Lunch for the Week Part II: Savory White Bean Wraps

As you're getting ready to make your grocery lists and head to the store this weekend, consider what you'll be eating for lunch next week. Maybe you're planning to eat dinner leftovers. Save those leftovers for dinner the following evening, and have this lunch ready to go instead. This recipe will make enough for five lunches for one person. Increase or halve the recipe as you wish.

I love this as a winter lunch. Even though it doesn't make a hot sandwich, the ingredients are readily available in the winter (especially if you use dried herbs instead of fresh). The dilly beans combined with the tangy, crunchy red onions is immensely satisfying. I like to have them in a whole grain wrap with Romaine or Bibb lettuce (use a brown rice wrap for a gluten-free version). Alternately, increase the lettuce and combine with the beans and pickled red onions for a salad. Pour some extra pickle juice on top as a dressing, and have some bread on the side. If you find yourself with extra pickled red onions after you've used up the beans, they're also great with avocado, cheese, pâtés, and burgers.

The different parts of this recipe only look complicated at first glance, but in reality, the active time to make this is probably only 20 minutes. Just plan a day in advance to soak the beans, then plan to be around to cook the beans for an hour. While the beans cook you can prep all of the other ingredients, and then just mix them together.

Savory White Bean Wrap/Salad
by Mollie Katzen
Serves 5

5 whole grain tortillas
1 recipe Just White Beans (below)
1 recipe Pickled Red Onions (below)
1 head Romaine or Bibb lettuce
Lay 1 tortilla on a plate. Scoop 1/3 cup of Just White Beans. Add loose 1/4 cup of Pickled Red Onions. Add 2 leaves of lettuce. Roll it up.

Just White Beans
Serves 5-6

1 1/2 cups dry white pea beans
1 teaspoon salt
Pour beans into a large pot. Cover with water by a couple inches. Let soak overnight. The next day, drain water and add fresh, covering by a couple inches. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 45 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and simmer for 15 more minutes. If using in a wrap, let simmer about 15 minutes longer until the beans turn soft.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried dill (or 2 tablespoons fresh)
Stir together in bowl. Mash beans and mix in. If using for a salad, do not mash beans.

Pickled Red Onions
by Mollie Katzen
Serves a lot -- makes about 3 cups

4 medium red onions
boiling water
Thinly slice onions and place in a colander. Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil. Place colander with onions in sink, and slowly pour all of the hot water over the onions.

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
Mix together in large jar or bowl. Mix in red onions.