Hot Lunch Wagon: Cheesy Beans

Our hot lunch wagon presents a hot lunch you can take to work or school.  Our recipes are quick, easy and less than 30 minutes to cook.  Cook our recipes the night before, refrigerate and reheat the next day.  Or, on the other hand, you can cook our meals and freeze them for next week’s lunch.  Our special today is  Cheesy Beans

HOT LUNCH WAGON: Cheesy Beans

Lima beans have gotten a bad rap in this country, probably because they are prepared so badly in school cafeterias.  A good lima bean is sweet and delicious, something like a combination of peas and corn.  This recipe is a one-dish meal because it has vegetables (lima beans are full of nutrients), protein (cheese and nuts), and a grain (the rolled oats topping).  Pine nuts are one of the few whole nuts children can eat before the age of five, because they are so soft and won’t cause choking and their rich flavor is enticing.

1 cup frozen baby lima beans, thawed (about half a 10 ounce package: see hint)

¼ cup grated cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


½  cup chicken broth

1/3   cup minced onion

½ tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce

½ cup quick -cooking rolled oats


¼ cup pine nuts (pignoli)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a round 8 or 9 inch cakepan with nonstick baking spray.  (If you have a decorative heatproof casserole dish that holds the same amount, you can use that)
  • Mix the lima beans, onion, cheese, and nuts and spoon into the prepared pan.  Mix the broth and soy sauce, and pour into the pan.  Evenly sprinkle the oats over the top and lightly press it down; dot with butter.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

HINT:  Thaw the lima beans in the microwave, or by putting them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

VARIATION:  If you’d rather not use lima beans , substitute fresh zucchini cut into ½ inch chunks.

COOKING AHEAD OF TIME: You can make up the casserole and refrigerate it for a day before cooking.  Add the oats topping and bake it just before packing your lunch, adding 5 minutes to the baking time if it’s just been taken out of the refrigerator.

You can pack your hot lunch in a heated lunch tote.

HOT LUNCH CHEF

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