Smoky Confit Beans with Sundried Tomatoes & Dates
& how I'm very much not "hustling" right now
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes, musings, and faves in your inbox every Wednesday! Paid subscribers get even more! Learn more about my paid membership here. You can also try a week for free!
I feel like I’m in a slow era of my work-life right now. I don’t feel like I’m hustling at all, but I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it feels nice to not be slammed with deadlines or have my brain space become overwhelmed with thoughts about work or social media. It is also an immense privilege to be able to step back from work and focus on other aspects of life like sleeping, working out, seeing friends, traveling, etc.
On the other hand, I feel like I’m not doing enough or wasting time, even though I know for a fact my time is not being wasted. In fact, I somehow still feel like I have a full schedule, even though I’m not preoccupied with work for 8+ hours a day. I know everything comes in waves — work, our social life, our mental state, etc. — so I’m trying to just ride this one through without coming down too hard on myself. Because really, I feel content, even if I’m not making the most money this month or putting out a boatload of content. But I still feel a little bit of guilt. Sigh.
I’m going to half put blame on this awful, dreary weather in LA where it has been raining for weeks. I’m dying for a sunny day — I think I’ll feel more motivated when my energy levels are up. And for now, I’m going to try not to worry too much about not being in a constant state of hustle — because we absolutely do not need to be all the time!!
THINGS I’M LOVING!
My friend Emily got me this veggie sweatshirt last year for my birthday, and when I wore it on my Instagram story last week, my DMs blew up! Since it was so popular over there, I thought I would share it here as well, since I know you all love vegetables just as much as I do! This sweatshirt is so cozy, and the drawings are adorable. It also comes in a dark green color, which I think is so, so cute.
I have fallen in love with another Hilma product (not sponsored, although they have sponsored me in the past)! My brother recommended their Natural Sinus Support, since he had been using it and had seen great results. I’ve been taking it for my allergies instead of Zyrtec, and I agree that it works! I love their products a lot, but this one might be my fave, probably because I get so affected by allergies that this one feels most useful.
I am typically an oat-milk-in-my-matcha girl, but recently, I’ve been revisiting Milkadamia, which may be my other alt-milk favorite. It’s made with macadamias, and I love how the flavor is pretty neutral and not sweet (it’s very low in sugar, if that’s something you’re looking for). I have definitely not given up on oat milk (despite the internet’s insistence that it’s poison), but I like to switch things up sometimes, and Milkadamia is my milk of choice at the moment!
I am part of a Bean Club (yes, a club for beans exists) where I get a quarterly shipment of heirloom beans (shoutout Rancho Gordo, ily). As a part of this club membership, I get access to a Bean Club Facebook group where people share their recipes, tips, and tricks for cooking with all the heirloom beans we receive. This recipe for Smoky Confit Beans by Lukas Volger from his cookbook Snacks For Dinner has been making the rounds for months, and I made it once before earlier this year and loved it.
A little kitchen mishap led me to make my own version inspired by his recipe. I actually wanted to make a marinated white bean dish this week, but I overcooked my beans just slightly so that they were starting to split and break, and I figured that wouldn’t look so pretty for my video or newsletter. I decided to pivot and make my own version of the confit beans!
Lukas’s recipe calls for olives, and I simply cannot eat olives, so I replaced them with some sundried tomatoes and also added some Medjool dates for a little sweetness. I upped the amount of garlic, because duh, and then added a sprinkle of cotija cheese on top for a little saltiness, plus some thinly sliced green onion. You can leave out the cheese to keep the meal plant-based — it won’t change how delicious the beans are on their own!
I love how the beans get crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, and the smokiness from the smoked paprika pairs amazingly with the dates. I think the original recipe is more briney because of the olives, but I wanted a deeper, richer flavor for my version!
I recommend serving this dish some nice, crusty sourdough bread. There’s a lot of oil in here (it’s what makes the beans “confit”), so you can treat this dish almost like a dip or a side dish (although let me tell you, I will not be judging you if you eat it as a meal of its own — it’s so good, you’ll probably want to devour it).
A final note, I used cannellini beans here, but you can really use any type of bean! It’s a flexible dish :)
Oh, and also, I did include the link to the bean club above, but just a fair warning that there’s a large waitlist, and it can take years to get in! I know, it’s crazy! People love beans!
Smoky Confit Beans with Sundried Tomatoes & Dates
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
2 cups cooked cannellini beans
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (with oil)
3 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
6 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp crumbled cotija
1 green onion stalk, cut into long, thin slices
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or oven-safe baking dish, mix together the beans, sundried tomatoes, Medjool dates, garlic, smoked paprika, oregano, and salt. Add the oil and mix together. Bake for 30 minutes, undisturbed.
2. Remove from oven and top with a sprinkle of cotija and green onion. Serve warm with toasted bread!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
I LOVED how excited everyone was about this recipe last week! This Whipped Cottage Cheese Pimento Dip seemed to just hit right, and I totally get it! It’s super easy to make, and a wonderfully tasty and nutritious high-protein snack that’s great for adults or kids!
You can get the recipe by becoming a paid subscriber (it’s only $5/month, but you can also do a free trial)!!