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Full of beans

March 19, 2011 by Laura

As a Nutritarian, I am committed to eating one serving of beans or legumes daily. Here is why, according to Dr. Fuhrman’s website:

“Beans’ unique composition makes them a dietary wonder. Beans are rich in fiber and resistant starch and are not easily broken down by enzymes in the small intestine. They pass into the large intestine where bacteria ferment them into short chain fatty acids such as butyrate.6 Butyrate protects against colon cancer in many different ways:

• Butyrate halts cancer cell growth and causes cancer cell death.7 

• Butyrate increases the expression of detoxifying enzymes and limits DNA damage due to oxidative stress.8

• Butyrate inhibits tumors from acquiring a blood supply.7

• Butyrate has anti-inflammatory affects.7″

 

So there. I love beans. And before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way, okay?

They both work. ‘Nuff said.

Tonight I made a vegetarian bean soup with a blend of about 10 varieties of beans. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t miss the ham. It’s not that the soup was lacking anything, I am just very partial to bean soup with ham. Ham, however, does not pass the “Will this make me healthier?” test. Here is the recipe for my delicious, ham-less, bean soup:

Makes a lot, use a big pot.

Dice and saute in a small amount of olive oil the following:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 or 2 ribs of celery
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic

when they are soft and fragrant, add:

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups of assorted beans and lentils
  • 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce (I used some I’d made a few days ago)
  • 12 cups of water or stock
  • bay leaf or 2
  • thyme

Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for 3 hours or until the beans are soft. Add some fresh parsley, and correct the seasonings with salt & pepper.

Serve with crusty bread and bacon fat.

And beer.

Oh, sorry, that was my evil twin.


5 Comments

  1. Craig says:

    Our favorite black bean method: Start with a whole chicken. Put it in a pot, cover with water and simmer for an hour or so. Remove the chicken and set it aside in a bowl to cool. Skim the fat from the broth. Add black beans, onions, carrots, celery, fresh garlic, and seasoning (generally for us this is chipotle powder, lime juice, sucanat and cumin, plus some tomato paste). Cover pot and simmer at low temp for a few hours. In the meantime, when the chicken is cool, use fingers to separate the meat from the bones, leaving the meat in large chunks. When the beans are about done but there is still a bit too much liquid, increase the temp and remove the lid to reduce the excess liquid. When the liquid is about at the correct level, add the chicken meat back in. Yum.

    For a real treat, put a single serving of this into a small saucepan and crack in an egg, using the heat of the beans to poach the egg. Serve with fresh corn bread and tossed salad.

  2. Laura says:

    Yum. Wondering why you don’t put the aromatics in with the chicken rather waiting & adding them with the beans, etc.

  3. Craig says:

    Sometimes I do it that way, but I find it’s easier to get the chicken out and get the fat skimmed if there is nothing else in there. Since I begin with dried, un-soaked beans, the cook time is fairly long. The aromatics have plenty of time to simmer and add their flavor. I sometimes put in bay leaf and/or a sachet of herbs with the chicken, which I fish out along with the chicken.

    By the way, if you like that ham flavor but don’t want to eat the meat, try the same method above using a smoked pork shank. There is only a little bit of lean meat that you can get from one, but it does add a nice flavor.

  4. Sam says:

    Sounds yummy girl … even without the ham!!! Now make me some tomato sauce and I will be all set!!
    Toot Toot!!!

  5. Sam says:

    YUM YUM … thanks for the sample!!! Jon did not eat it …it made it home safe and sound. It sure is delicious and I will for sure be making this very soon!!

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