Meals Under $10 - Mediterranean Beans with Greens and Grains

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I had the pleasure of making this video with JL Fields, co-author of “Vegan For Her: The Women’s Guide to Being Healthy & Fit on a Plant-Based Diet“, which will be released this summer. This is JL’s recipe which is not only vegan and delicious, but quick and inexpensive to make.

Need meat with your meals? This makes a great side too. Beans, tomatoes, greens and a dash of extra-virgin olive oil makes this the perfect healthy Mediterranean meal. You’ll enjoy the simplicity of the preparation and the intensity of flavor in this recipe.

And my favorite thing about this meal (besides it being delicious), is how versatile it is. Most of these items are probably things you already have in your pantry and you can easily substitute the beans, greens and grains; depending on your likes, what you have on hand, what’s on sale and what’s seasonal…it’s delicious, cooks in under 30 minutes and is inexpensive.

I didn’t shop sale items for this recipe, wanting to see what my cost would be if none of these items ever went on sale (which most of them do), and my price came in at exactly $10 for a family of four as a main dish. Again, this also make a really delicious and healthy side too. You know, I was a bit apprehensive when I saw the list of ingredients, thinking the mix of flavors seemed a bit strange, but they complemented each other so well and the green olives take this up a notch.


Prep Time: about 5 minutes
Cook Time: about 10 minutes, plus grain cooking time
Serves: 4 for approx $10


  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes seasoned with basil, garlic, and oregano

  • 2 cups cannellini beans (about 1 1/2 15-ounce cans), rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

  • 1/4 cup green olives, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 8 cups arugula, loosely packed (10 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 3 or 4 olives sliced, for garnish

  • 2 cups cooked grains (farro or barley are excellent with this, we used barley…polenta slices works well too)

  • Pepper to taste


  1. Cook your grain of choice according to directions.

  2. In a saucepan, bring tomatoes, beans and olives to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

  3. In a skillet, heat extra-virgin olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until garlic begins to brown. Add arugula and lemon juice. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Make sure you don’t overcook your greens!

  4. To serve…plate your grains, add the greens, and serve the beans on top. Garnish with olive slices.

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