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Category: beans

mexican breakfast bowl

The holiday season is wrapping up and soon the whole country will be on the healthy eating bandwagon trying to achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

Forget what happened over the past couple of weeks — most of us overate. You are not the only one! Stop carrying around guilt about it. Move forward and make mindful choices in the New Year.

What really counts is what happens from now until next December. Make small, maintainable changes to your everyday eating habits that will improve your health in the long run.

What is your favorite cuisine?

Such a tough question…

I was recently asked what my favorite cuisine was and struggled to come up with an answer. After making this recipe I think I might have to go with Mexican! Although others (Indian and Thai) are VERY close runners up.

I went on a girls trip to Cancun a few years ago and still think about how delicious the guacamole and fresh salsa were!

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This recipe is a lot easier to make and healthier than authentic enchiladas but just as tasty! It reheats and freezes perfectly too. Using flavored tortillas can add a punch of flavor and fun color. Or, if you have the time, you could get really fancy and make your own!

Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are, by far, my favorite lunch/breakfast in a pinch. The flavor combo cannot be beat, especially if you have that perfectly ripe banana (the first day all the green is gone). I much prefer slightly under ripe bananas to over ripe…unless they are for banana ice cream!

I always get weird looks when I go to the grocery store because I usually pick 1 banana from  4 or so different bunches, all about 1 day riper than the next. That way every day you have a perfectly ripe banana! …. Yes, I know I’m a crazy foodie… but it’s a good idea right?!

yeated-banana-bread2

By now you may begin to understand my obsession with bananas, so you can only imagine how excited I was to come across this recipe for yeasted banana bread. Before I owned the Spilling the Beans cookbook I used to go to Chapters just to read the recipes in it. I would sit and secretly(or not so secretly) take pictures of all the recipes I couldn’t wait to make, including this one! …. I know, crazy foodie in me coming out again.

This bread is heavenly. You get that delicious, mouth watering, all-consuming smell of freshly baked bread filling your kitchen, and there’s bananas baked right in it!! Toasting it and slathering it in Nutella natural peanut butter just takes it to a whole other level. Plus, it also has beans pureed into the dough to make it an extra satisfying snack that will keep you full longer.

Have I convinced you to make it yet???? … I thought so.

Here’s the recipe…

 

yeasted-banana-bread

Yeasted Banana Bread

Source: Spilling the Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp butter (organic, grass fed is best!)
  • 1 cup rinsed and drained canned white beans (half a 19 oz can)
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 + 1/4 active dry yeast (make sure it’s not passed the best before date!)
  • 3 + 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour ( I used 1 cup WW )
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
  • course sugar for sprinkling (optional)

 

Directions: (they are long but it’s worth it!)

  • Turn the oven on to it’s lowest temperature and let it heat for 5 min, and then turn it off
  • Melt the honey and butter in a small saucepan; let cool briefly
  • Puree the bananas, beans, and honey mixture in a food processor, add the egg and process until smooth
  • Transfer to a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over top and stir well
  • Add one cup of flour to the banana mixture and stir until well combined, add another cup of flour, the salt, and the cardamon and mix well. Continue adding flour, when the dough becomes too stiff to stir turn it out onto a clean counter top and knead it. Keep adding flour until the dough is smooth and not as sticky (it will be a little stickier than the standard yeast dough)
  • Wash, dry and lightly oil the bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel, and let rise in the oven until the dough is doubled in bulk, about 1.5 -2 hours (but check it earlier just in case!)
  • When the dough has risen, divide it into 3 equal portions. The dough will deflate a lot by itself but don’t hasten or further that – you want it to stay light.
  • With floured hands, form a piece into a long, thin rope (once you have it roughly oblong, hold it up and squish it down vertically – like your trying to squish water out of a rope). You’ll want each piece to be about 15 inch long.
  • Braid the ropes together, and carefully transfer the bread to a well buttered baking sheet, tucking the frayed looking ends under
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F about 45 min after this point
  • Cover the braid with a piece of parchment or oiled plastic wrap and let rise for another 1 – 1.5 hours. The dough should yield softly if you press a finger into it, and the indent should remain
  • Brush the egg wash over the bread, then sprinkle generously with course sugar (if using)
  • Bake the bread for 40-45 min in the preheated oven, until golden, when gently lifted it should sound hollow when taped on the bottom. The bottom crust will become quite browned.
  • Cool on a wire rack

ENJOY!! :)

This a great recipe for a lazy Sunday around the house, let me know how it turns out if you make it! I love to hear about your kitchen adventures.

Thai Chicken Thighs

4 COMMENTS

Spilling the Beans does it again! This book does not disappoint, if I haven’t convinced you to buy it yet…buy it! I loved this recipe. To be honest, I didn’t put much work into making it. My very  lovely friend, Anja, invited me over for a dinner and movie date and I ended up mostly observing while she cooked (… she was just doing such a good job I didn’t want to interfere ;) )

This recipe is packed with protein and flavor, and reheats well so make a big batch! Make it even better by cooking your rice in some light coconut milk and unsweetened coconut flakes! Just a word of warning it takes quite a while to bake (about 1 – 1.5 hours) which we didn’t realize until we where making it…good thing it took us that long to decide what movie to watch. Dietitians are so indecisive…..

I clearly didn’t get a good picture of this dish, I was too excited to eat it! But somethings better than nothing …

thai-chicken-thighs

Thai Chicken Thighs

Serves 6

Adapted from Spilling the Beans

  • 1 to 2 lbs skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 smallish dark-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups black beans (cooked or drained and rinsed if canned)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
  • heaping 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2  5.5 oz  can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Chopped salted peanuts and fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Steamed rice, for serving

Directions 

  • Whisk the peanut butter, cumin, garlic, salsa, tomato paste and water/broth
  • Mix salsa mixture with the remaining ingredients (besides the rice, cilantro, and peanuts) in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish
  • Cover with foil. Bake at 350 F for an hour to 1.5 hrs — check the temperature. The chicken thighs should reach 165 F
  • Stir every 1/2 hour or so until the chicken is cooked through

Serve over hot (coconut) rice and garish with peanuts and fresh cilantro.

Slow cooker option: Put everything in, cover, and cook on low for 6 hours, stirring once or twice.

Do you have a favorite vegetable? It’s hard to decide (because there are SO many to love) but I love beet.! They are so tasty, they can be used and prepared in so many different ways (including their delicious greens) and they make everything pink! (Clearly a key point.)

upbeet dip

A few fun beet facts:

  • In many cultures the belief persists that if a man and a woman eat from the same red beet then they will fall in love.
  • Beets can be made into a wine that tastes similar to port.
  • In Australia, a true Oz-style burger must have a slice or two of beets. Even McDonalds and Burger King have had to include it in their menus.

One of my favorite ways to use beets is in a beany dip. They make it pink, which kids (and adults) love. I have even had people that hate beans and beets say they like this dip. So give these recipes a try!

upbeet dip

Beet Black Bean Dip

1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 large cooked Red Beets, peeled and diced
2 large cloves Garlic, minced (…or 3 cloves if you love garlic like me!)
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Cumin Powder 
Couple shakes of cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground 
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt to taste
 

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the side of the processor during the process.  Add a small amount of water or olive oil if the dip is too dry.  Season with salt, to taste. Garnish with more fresh parsley.   Serve room temperature, or chilled.

Beet Hummus

Source: Marianne

 1 can (19 oz or 540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup cooked beets
1-2 large clove garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tahini (can be replaced with PB if needed)
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh dill
sea salt & pepper to taste
1/4 – 1/3 cup water
 

Combine all ingredients except water in a food processor, and blend until combined. Add water until desired consistency is reached (you may not need any). Allow to sit for several hours in the fridge before serving to let flavors meld.

As promised in my previous post, 4 Ingredient *No Knead* Bread. I tried a similar (almost just as easy) recipe that added pureed white beans and 2 cups of whole wheat flour. It bumped up the nutrition and the flavor, I LOVE it! This will definitely be a new staple recipe for me. This combination also makes this bread a source of complete protein, great for vegetarians!

… sadly, this time I didn’t get a house filled with delicious fresh bread smells as my housemates oven is brand new and is burning off that new oven smell every time you turn it on (on the plus side it’s a VERY nice oven)! Even so, the bread turned out great. You can’t taste the beans at all, so if you live with a “bean-hater” as I currently do this is one way to get them to eat ’em!

No Knead Bean Bread

Slightly adapted from: Spilling the Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup or 1/2 a 19 oz can of drained and rinsed white beans (I use white kidney beans)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  • Blend beans with a 1/2 cup of water until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast and salt. Add the pureed beans along with 1 cup of water and stir until blended. The dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter for 18 – 24 hours. The dough is ready when it’s surface is dotted with bubbles.
  • Flour a work surface and place the dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour, fold it over onto itself once or twice, then roughly shape it into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (preferably a smooth one) with flour. Place the dough on the towel and dust with more flour. Fold the towel over the bread or cover it with another cotton towel and let it sit for another hour or two (mine sat for 2.5 hrs and it was fine).
  • While the bread is resting, preheat the oven to 450 F. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, pyrex, or ceramic) into the oven as it heats (I just used the inside of a crock pot and used tin foil as a lid). When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and (nicely) flop the dough over into the pot. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

butternut-squash-and-apple-chili

Chili or stew? What’s the difference? … Chili is a type of stew made with beans!

When I made this recipe I thought it should be called a stew not a chili but I guess, technically, it is a chili! Anyways, call it whatever you want, either way it is absolutely delicious!

At first I thought this recipe sounded a bit odd, but I have a bit of an addiction to butternut squash (it is the BEST pureed into the sauce for Mac & Cheese) so I had to try it. I also happen to love coconut milk, but I never thought of putting them together! What an epiphany (definitely had to look up how to spell that).

ENJOY!

butternut-squash-and-apple-chili

Turkey and Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Apples – Serves 6-7

Adapted from : Spilling the Beans

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
2 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalk, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb ground turkey, or 2 cups leftover shredded roast turkey or chicken
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 large apple (cored & chopped-leave the peel on)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
300-325 ml  low sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
14 oz can coconut milk, regular (or light… but regular is better)
1 cup cooked black beans (about 1/2 a 19 oz can…although I’d just add the whole thing!), drained and rinsed

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup salsa
3 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp red curry paste (or a little more if you really like it!)
salt and pepper to taste

 
Topping
  • fresh cilantro
  • Greek yogurt/sour cream
  • green onions
  • feta cheese
 

Directions:

  • In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, saute the onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil until softened, and a little browned.
  • Add the ground turkey (if using) and garlic, breaking it up with a spoon until it’s cooked through and slightly browned.
  • Add the squash, apple, chili powder and cumin, continuing to stir and cook for a few minutes until fragrant, then stir in the broth, coconut milk, beans, quinoa, salsa, tomato paste, curry paste, salt and pepper.  Mix well. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and the mixture is thick (if you want it thicker cook it longer – but keep in mind you will be reheating leftovers and don’t want it to turn to mush!)
  • Top with toppings and serve with a side salad …or even better, fresh made bread for scooping.

Slow-cooker directions:  Cook the turkey, then toss all the ingredients except the toppings into the slow cooker and simmer on low for 6 hours.



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