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Pan-Seared Peruvian Giant Lima Beans January 24, 2012
Pan-Seared Peruvian Giant Lima Beans
with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Inspired by Gigante Beans, a dish from Ziziki’s Taverna in Addison, this dish prepares beans in a whole new light. The pan-seared, garlic-rich flavor is spiked with savory tastes that make these beans anything but bland.
-12 fresh brussels sprouts, rinsed and sliced in halves
-6-8 cloves fresh garlic
-About 3/4 cup dry Giant Peruvian Lima Beans
-4 cups water
-3-4 slices lean, nitrate-free turkey bacon (or alternative)
-4 tbsp olive oil
-dash of turmeric
-dash of paprika
-dash of ground cloves (optional)
-pinch of salt and ground black pepper
BEANS: 1) Soak beans overnight (or for at least 4 hours) in about 4 cups water. Follow the instructions on the package as this may vary slightly with the variety of ginat lima beans. 2) Next, bring beans to a boil and reduce to a high simmer for 1 hour. Check on them to make sure that the water does not evaporate too quickly. If the water becomes very low, add more. 3) Drain beans and add to saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil and 5 cloves minced garlic. Stir frequently. Sear for about 5 minutes.
B. SPROUTS: 1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse brussels sprouts and cut into halves. Add to a baking tray with 2 tbsp olive oil, a dash of ground black pepper and a very slight dash of salt. I have found that you can use less salt and taste it more if you primarily add it after cooking. Add in 3 cloves minced garlic after the brussels sprouts have already cooked for about 15 minutes. Bake for 30-40 minutes total, shaking tray or stirring with a spatula every 15 minutes.
T. BACON: 1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Follow your bacon’s package instructions. I used lean nitrate-free turkey bacon. Cooked for 17 minutes at 400°F. You can prepare the bacon the day before and keep in fridge to use for recipe the next day. You only need about 3 pieces of bacon for this recipe; it is meant to accentuate the flavors not overpower them. Here is a recipe to try with the leftover bacon strips: Bacon-Wrapped Dates. Otherwise, store in the fridge and use to top soups or salads. Vegetarians and vegans feel free to sub out the bacon for another savory flavor such as from the suggestions below.
PUTTING it all TOGETHER: Combine ingredients in large saucepan and serve hot! Store leftover in the fridge for up to 4 days for best freshness. Re-heat in microwave-safe ceramic bowl or plate (for about 1 min 30 seconds) or reheat the portion you will use on the stove top.
Here are 3 versions:
1. Con carne- With crisp, lean, nitrate-free turkey bacon
2. Vegetarian- With thin shavings of aged Parmesan or aged sharp white cheddar.
3. Vegan- With an extra dash of salt and 2 extra garlic cloves (or with soy bacon if preferred)
Carrot Cinnamon Smoothie January 22, 2012
Carrot Cinnamon Smoothie
with Strawberry & Mango
-4 oz 100% carrot juice
-3 large frozen organic strawberries
-1 fresh banana
-1/2 cup almond milk
-1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-dash of turmeric
-dash of cinnamon
-pinch of ground flaxseed
-a few carrot shreds (optional)
1) Blend until smooth.
2) Top with ground cinnamon and ground flaxseed.
Nutrition Highlights: This smoothie is high in Vitamin A. Carrot juice is lower in sugars than many fruit juices and is used as an accent to the fruit and calcium-containing almond milk. Cinnamon and turmeric have valuable anti-inflammatory properties, adding to the health value of this smoothie without tarnishing the refreshing taste. Turmeric pairs well with sweet and tangy mango and cinnamon pairs well with the the radiant carrot flavor.
Spiced Up Split Pea January 19, 2012
Picante Split Pea
with tomatillo & jalepeño
This is not your ordinary split pea soup. Adjust the heat to your desire by adding more or less of the hot peppers. Heat it up by the mug-full to satisfy your hungry. A mild soup get’s a little kick of savory flavor with the addition of some salsa verde. I used Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde with tomatillos and jalepeños here and have also made it using Trader Joe’s organic Tomatillo & Rosted Yellow Chili Salsa. Both were delicious and kept the soup quite mild.
Approximately 8 servings
-1 lb dried green split peas
-1 large yellow onion (chopped)
-1 12oz jar Salsa Verde
-4 green tea bags
-2 small organic yukon gold potatoes
-Approx. 8 cups water
-1 tsp or more Ancho Chile Pepper to taste (or Cayenne)
-3 gloves garlic (minced)
–Daiya Vegan Cheddar Shreds (topping
Total time Approx 1 hour, Active Time Approx 30 minutes
1) Add 8 cups water to large pot and boil on stove top. Turn off stove once water has reached boil. Add 4-5 green tea bags and allow to brew for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse split peas and potatoes and begin to chop onion and garlic.
2) Remove tea bags, add rinsed split peas and cubed organic potatoes (about 3/4 cup cubed potatoes). Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium high heat and allow to simmer for 4o minutes. After 25 minutes add remaining ingredients: chopped onion, garlic, salsa verde, and chile powder to taste. Skim off the foam while cooking.
3) When split peas and potatoes become soft, turn off stove. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients until smooth. Serve hot topped with a dash of chile pepper and a pinch of Daiya cheddar shreds.
Store in the fridge for up to a week or stash some in the freezer for up to 6 months. Nutrition Highlights: High fiber, high protein.
Warm Date Wraps with Bacon & Endive January 17, 2012
Warm Dates Wraps
with Turkey Bacon & Endive Leaves
Inspired by my favorite tapas dish at Oliva this weekend. This triad of flavors complement each other perfectly: sweet dates, savory bacon, and bitter endive. This dish is easy to make and only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. Enjoy as an appetizer or a part of your meal. Pairs well with garlic roasted brussels sprouts.
-16 fresh dates
-8 uncured 97% fat-free turkey bacon
– 2 large endives (16 large fresh endive leaves)
1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Make a slit in dates and remove pits. Wrap each date in 1/2 slice of lean nitrate-free turkey bacon.
2) Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot on fresh endive leaves. Enjoy 2-3 wraps per person. Each wrap is approximately 70 calories. A serving of 2 wraps is approximately 140 calories.
A Lighter Veggie Samosa January 16, 2012
Lightened-Up Vegetable Samosas
with cilantro, peas, and corn
Vegetable samosas sound misleadingly healthy on the menu of your favorite Indian restaurant. These potato pastries are usually fried in plenty of oil, are high in salt, weigh in at around 270 calories each, and thus do not make the list of healthiest dishes to order at Indian restaurants. You can make your own vegetable samosas to cut down on the oil and salt used while still enjoying the crisp flavor and spices.
-Nasoya All Natural Egg Roll Wraps
-3 large potatoes or 5 small potatoes (I used 5 small organic yukon gold)
-1 bunch cilantro
-1 whole yellow onion
-1/2 cup frozen green peas
-1/2 cup frozen corn
-4 cloves garlic minced
-1/4 cup frozen spinach
-8 tsp olive oil (2 tsp per batch of samosas cooked)
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 tbsp of your favorite samosa spices (such as curry spices)
1. Rinse potatoes and peel. Submerge potatoes in water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high and maintain a high simmer for 40 minutes to an hour or until potatoes become soft. Drain water.
2. Chop onion and add to a medium saucepan with 1 tbsp olive (or canola) oil and cook at high heat until onions begin to brown. Stir frequently. Mince garlic and add to pan once onions have begun to brown (after about 5 min). Continue cooking for a few minutes then add remaining frozen veggies. Stir frequently. Add cilantro and spices.
3. After draining the water, you can use an immersion (hand) blender to puree the potatoes. If you don’t have a hand blender you can grate the potatoes instead once they have cooled.
4. Combine cooked ingredients in pot and stir well. Add about 2 tbsp of the mixture to each wrap, fold wrap, and cook in sauce pan with olive or canola oil. Use about 2 tsp of oil per batch of 3-4 samosas.
5. Serve hot. You can freeze some samosas for future meals and store the rest in the fridge.
The Best Black Bean Soup January 10, 2012
The Best Black Bean Soup
with zesty salsa & avocado
They say black is slimming. When it comes to black beans these high-fiber, high-protein, low-calorie legumes can certainly do a body good. It won’t matter however, when you taste your first spoonful of this simple, natural combination of flavors you won’t need any further convincing.
Makes 8 Servings
-1/2 lb dried black beans
-4-5 green tea bags
-1 cup of your favorite salsa
-1 bunch fresh cilantro
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 ripe avocado
– 2 tsp cumin powder
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-juice of 1 lime
-1/4 cup oat bran (optional)
–daiya deliciously dairy free mozzarella style shreds
-Baked blue corn chips
-1/2 ripe avocado (divide into slices)
1. Overnight: Rinse dried beans and soak overnight (or for at least 4 hours) in large saucepan.
The next day...After soak, drain most of the excess water. You will lose some water-soluble nutrients in the water but you will also lose some of the raffinose (type of sugar found in beans) that causes the discomfort known to give beans their nickname as “the musical fruit.” The majority of the nutrient quality will remain and your guests will thank you for this measure.
2. In a separate pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Once the boil is reached, turn off the burner and add 4-5 green tea bags. Cover pot with lid and allow to steep until very strong (for at least 15 minutes- but leaving the brew longer is even better).
3. In a large pot, combine brewed green tea (remove tea bags) and beans and add water until beans are totally covered. Bring beans to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for approximately 1 hour until beans are soft.
4. Chop onion and add to large saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Stir frequently until onions brown to a caramelized state (but do not become black and burnt).
5. When beans are soft, reduce heat to low and stir in cilantro leaves from one bunch, caramelized onions, 1 cup salsa, cumin, cayenne pepper, oat bran (optional), lime juice and 1/2 ripe avocado. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients until smooth.
Serve hot. Delicious topped with baked corn chips, daiya dairy-free “cheese” shreds, and a few small avocado slices. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for months. Freezer tip: If freezing, use containers that will hold only a few portions each for easy future dining.
Nutrition Highlights: This 100% vegan dish is packed with nutrients and extremely filling despite its low-fat, low-calorie profile. Black beans are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, and magnesium. The green tea is high in antioxidants which help protect cells against damage (including both heart damage and wrinkles). This soup is an ideal dish for helping to lower cholesterol; The beans and oat bran are very high in soluble fiber- the type of fiber that can bind to cholesterol carrying molecules in the blood and help remove these molecules. The avocado, which adds a delicious creaminess to the soup body, is high in monounsaturated fat- the “heart-healthy” type of fat that helps to raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels.