Recipe For Health
by Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Featured Food: Mirepoix Yield: Serves 4-6Learn more about Mirepoix


  • 12 oz. dry Michigan bean blend*
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. medium-dice mirepoix:
  • 1 c. medium-dice yellow onion
  • ½ c. medium-dice carrots
  • ½ c. medium-dice celery
  • 4 ½ c. low sodium vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 T. minced fresh garlic
  • 2 T. chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 T. course ground black pepper
  • Salt as needed
  • 7 slices provolone cheese


Pick out damaged beans, stones and other foreign matter. Rinse beans well. Place in large pot with 8 cups of water. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans in a colander and rinse until water runs clear.

Rinse and dry pot and place over medium heat. Add oil; wait until oil gets warm then add mirepoix and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Add soaked beans, stock or broth and garlic. Bring to simmer then reduce heat to low to keep the pot simmering for about 1 hour. Test beans for doneness. Continue cooking as needed.

When beans are tender to your liking, add parsley and pepper. Add salt to taste. Transfer to large cast iron skillet and top with slices of provolone cheese.

Place in 400°F oven and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and slightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.

*Michigan Bean Blend: Combination of any of the following beans grown in Michigan: Azuki, Black, Cannellini, Cranberry, Great Northern, Red Kidney, Navy, Pinto, Small Red Bean, and Yellow Eye Bean

Learn More About Mirepoix

“First, make a mirepoix.” It’s the opening line—the “once upon a time”—for classic French cuisine. And it’s simple, really. Mirepoix (pronounced “meer-pwaw”) is a combination of chopped onion, carrot and celery fried gently in butter or olive oil. Cooking over low heat allows the vegetables to release their flavors to become the aromatic foundation for the rest of the dish.

The story begins a little differently for every culture’s cuisine. For instance, 

  • soffritto, the flavor base for Italian cuisine, is onion, garlic and fennel cooked in olive oil, butter or fat rendered from prosciutto or pancetta. 
  • sofregit, Spanish for “to underfry” or to fry lightly, starts with onion and tomato gently fried in olive oil, the basis of Catalan cuisine.  
  • bumbu, the foundation of Indonesian cooking, uses shallot, garlic and chiles cooked in coconut oil. 
  • refogado, the cornerstone of Portugal’s fare, combines onion, garlic, tomato and hot or mild peppers cooked in lard or olive oil. 
  • the Cajun trinity, the foundation of Louisiana Cajun and Creole cuisine, uses onion, bell pepper and celery cooked in butter or bacon fat. 

You may have noticed that mirepoix and its counterparts each include at least one member of the Allium (onion) family. A traditional mirepoix is half onion (2 parts) in combination with equal parts carrot (1 part) and celery (1 part). Long slow cooking transforms onion’s distinctive flavor from a sulfurous sting to a savory sweetness.  

The size you cut the vegetables should be determined by how long the mirepoix will cook. For a quick-cooking sauce, finely diced vegetables are best for releasing their flavors during the short cooking time. A medium-size cut is good for soups and braises whereas mirepoix for a long cooking stock or stew can be chunks of vegetables. 

Herbs and spices, or simply salt and pepper, are the signature of each cuisine (or cook)—and make the story memorable. 

Peggy Crum MA, RD

Featured Recipes

Culinary Cooking and Concepts

Classic Beef Stew

Chef John's Hearthy Beef Stew is a simple recipe to make wtih a lot of flavor.

Culinary Cooking and Concepts

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Enjoy this creamy chicken soup on a cold winter's day.

What's on hand

No-knead Bread

Need bread? Just 4 ingredients - flour, yeast, salt and water - a covered pot in a hot oven, and you're in business. It takes very little effort - only time. With more time at home, it may be just the bread you need.

Culinary Cooking and Concepts

Turkey Gravy

Homemade turkey stock takes the flavor up a notch. But homemade gravy is divine regardless.

More Food and Nutrition Recipes

Find a Recipe

Browse all recipes

Find a Class

Browse all courses

Search Health4U

Coaching and Counseling Services

Coaching and Counseling Services provides you with access to accurate health and lifestyle information, helping you to explore new behaviors and skills, and identifying useful campus and community resources.

MSU community members eligible for coaching and counseling services include faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and retirees

Read More

Departmental Services

The goal of department based services is to provide work units and colleagues the opportunity to learn about health and wellness as a group activity or exploration.  

Read More

Health e-Guide

This guide has been discontinued and is no longer viewable.

Visit Health e-Guide