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Happily Full of Beans

Last night, my daughter Joanna and I were really scraping the bottom of the pantry barrel. It was cold and rainy, and we both wanted something warming, flavorful, and filling. And we wanted it fast. Enter cannellini beans.

I love cannellini (otherwise known as white kidney) beans more than any others because they’re so fluffy, silky and creamy. In other words, they feel like they’re full of fat, even though they’re not. Not a speck. What they are full of, though, is protein, fiber, folate, and minerals.

I always have cans of beans in the pantry, along with garlic and olive oil. Luckily, I also had some fresh spinach (which I supplemented with spinach from our victory garden, along with fresh thyme – simply thrilling), and ten minutes later, we were happily slurping. Next time, I’ll add some lemon for a little zing, but it was really delicious just as it was.

Sautéed Garlicky Cannellini Beans with Spinach


  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh or ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cans cannellini beans (or 1-2 cups dry beans, soaked overnight), drained and rinsed
  • A few handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)


  1. In a large pan, over medium-low heat, sauté the garlic and thyme for a minute or so, just until it smells nice. Add the beans, and stir for a minute or so; then add the spinach.
  2. Increase the heat to medium, and cover the pan.
  3. Every 30 seconds or so, toss the mixture until all the spinach is cooked. This won’t take long.
  4. Remove from the heat. Add some lemon juice. Toss. Slurp.