March is the beginning of spring, but it still looks like winter here with piles of snow. So I’m cozying up with comfort food with a green twist: tomato baked white beans with vegan feta and chimichurri. The flavorful chimichurri gives this meal delicious spring vibes and freshness.
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The original recipe is from one of my favorite food bloggers: The Bojon Gourmet. I veganized her recipe and here’s a the original: Tomato baked white beans with feta and lemon parsley oil. How I bumped into this recipe was pure coincidence: I was casually browsing Pinterest for a daily dose of inspiration and I bumped into a beautiful photo of baked beans in tomato sauce. This recipe is based on a Greek dish: Gigantes plaki, which is a simple tomato based sauce with giant white beans.
I was very inspired to start making a vegan version of this meal right away, since I have all the ingredients in my pantry:
Vegan pantry staples
One of the things I really love about vegan recipes: most of the ingredients are not special or expensive and besides a blender you don’t need fancy kitchen gadgets to make them. A blender I’m listing as a must, because I couldn’t imagine eating plant-based and not eating smoothies or making raw cakes, or cashew cream / cheese, which is also an essential part of this recipe.
Canned goods: tomatoes and beans
I always have canned crushed or diced tomatoes in my pantry. They are the basis of many kid-friendly recipes and they make my everyday cooking much faster than if I was using whole tomatoes. In the summer time when it’s tomato season, I love to use fresh ones as well because nothing beats the sweet flavor of fresh summer tomatoes.
Beans are another staple. Cooking beans is very easy, but it is very time consuming. Most of the time I buy pre cooked ones, which come in very handy when I need to make a dinner in 15 minutes. Sometimes I also cook a big batch of dried beans and store them in the freezer. It’s easy to take a portion when needed.
Another pantry staple: nuts of every kind. I use nuts a lot in cooking, and my favorite nut is cashew. To make vegan cheese, I always use either cashew or almonds or both. In this recipe I wanted a tangy feta flavor, and I used both cashews and almonds. The recipe is very similar to my vegan feta.
Herbs: parsley, basil, cilantro
I always have fresh herbs and these three are my staples. They make even the most boring foods taste fresh and full of flavor. A herb sauce is so easy to make too, no blender required! To make the chimichurri, I just chopped herbs with scissors and added oil + spices – that’s it! You can make this oil-free too by using avocado as a base.
Grains: pasta, rice, quinoa, millet
Kids love pasta, so that’s a staple in our house always. It’s so easy to make a simple vegan pasta sauce from veggies, lentils or just canned tomatoes and beans like in this case. We also eat rice, millet (my favorite) and quinoa, but will always choose pasta first, because we love it!
Perhaps you’ll find these ingredients in your pantry too? Happy cooking 🙂
Have you checked out this kid-friendly creamy tomato pasta with macadamias?
Recipe for tomato baked white beans with vegan feta and chimichurri:
Tomato baked white beans with vegan feta and chimichurri
- olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion
- ~28 oz / ~800 g crushed tomatoes
- 2 tsp coconut sugar / syrup (or any sweetener)
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- ~15 oz / ~450 g cooked white beans (either giant white beans or cannelini beans)
Vegan "feta" cheese
- 2,5 oz / ~70 g unsalted cashews (~1/2 cup)
- 2,5 oz / ~70 g unsalted almonds (~1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup oat milk (or oat based cooking cream)
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Also: 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated vegan cheese
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 cup cilantro (or basil or any herb you want)
- 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (either red, green or yellow)
- 1/3 olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 200 C / 392 F.
- Chop garlic and onions.
- Heat olive oil and cook chopped garlic and onions in medium - low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes and spices and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Blend all vegan "feta" ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Pour tomato sauce in a baking pan, add beans and mix well.
- Add dollops of vegan "feta" on top, olive oil and grated vegan cheese.
- Bake in the oven, in middle rack for 30 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Chimichurri: chop herbs and garlic. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Enjoy tomato baked beans with pasta and chimichurri. This sauce tastes amazing with fresh sourdough too!