It’s true, I travel with food. It’s not because I’m a food blogger, a halal foodie or averse to outside food. It’s because I like to feel good and comfortable by eating what I know is healthy, especially when I have the time to relax and cook (yes, cooking is relaxing to me).


Quick Kidney Beans with Tomatoes, Onions and Cilantro

That said, during car trips I always bring a few essentials, just in case: olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, any fresh herbs and produce on hand that would otherwise go bad if I left them at home. I mean, have you ever noticed the food at travel plazas along the highway? For the most part, they’re expensive, greasy, processed, unhealthy and don’t carry halal foods (to say the least).

I often try to get hotel rooms with kitchenettes or if I’m driving I’ll bring a hot plate with me so that I can plug it in and warm up things like milk,  or even go as far as making a quick and easy soup or bean dish. All I need on the side is a bit of bread or tortillas and I’m good to go. Economical, too.

Recently, I made this red kidney bean dish with a couple of fresh tomatoes I had on hand. It was so tasty and delicious that we had it for dinner with a few fresh tortillas.  After being tired from a long day of driving, this was easy to make and it meant that we didn’t have to go out searching for a place to get a quick bite. That was nice…

Of course you’ll probably do this at home, not on the road, and elaborate with more spices or additions but this simple recipe was so delicious and fulfilling you may want to follow it as is.

Quick Kidney Beans with Tomatoes, Onions and Cilantro

Serves 4


2 tablespoons light olive oil

1/3 cup red onion, diced

3 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

3 cups fresh kidney beans (2 regular-size cans kidney beans)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro


In a medium skillet or saucepan, heat the oil gently.

Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and sauté for 1-3 minutes.

Add the kidney beans and stir. If the pan is getting a bit dry, add a little water, about 1/4 cup at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes.

Just before serving, add the fresh cilantro and mix thoroughly into the dish.


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