Swapping meat for beans allows healthy nutrition alternatives
When I eliminated meat and most animal products from my diet, people would frown and ask: “Where will you get your protein from?”
I would say “There are many sources of plant protein, blah, blah, blah” 🙂
One of those include legumes and in this case, beans.
- Most types of beans are good sources of potassium, a mineral that promotes healthy blood pressure levels.
- Beans are excellent sources of copper, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium—nutrients that some of us don’t get enough of.
- Most types of dry beans are rich sources of iron, which makes them important for vegetarians and vegans who do not get an animal source of iron.
- Dry beans are an excellent source of the water-soluble vitamins thiamin and folic acid and a good source of riboflavin and vitamin B6.
So, beans and other legumes are part of our weekly meal plan. One of our all-time favourites is bean stew. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, beans stews are pretty much a staple in a Cypriot kitchen and especially this time of year.
Let me know if you enjoy bean stews too 🙂
2 cups dry white beans
2 stalks celery plus leaves chopped
1 medium carrot chopped
1 medium onion sliced
1 small sweet potato chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes or you can use fresh ripe tomatoes
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch chili flakes
Pepper and sea salt to taste
Note: All the veggies are approximately 1 cup each
Soak the beans overnight. When ready to use, rinse well and drain
Place them in a saucepan and bring to the boil, remove from cooker
Rinse well and drain, add water just covering the beans, about 4cm, return to the cooker and bring to a boil
Remove any white foam that forms on the surface during cooking
In a separate pan add 4 tbsp. olive oil, sauté onions until translucent, add carrots, celery and sauté for a few min
Add tomatoes and allow to combine
Once the beans have been boiling for about 20 – 30min, add the sautéed veggies, dried oregano, cinnamon and chili flakes
Add chopped sweet potatoes
Optional: Add a cube of vegetable stock (use organic)
Turn the heat down, put the lid on and let it simmer for 1-1/2 hrs. or until cooked and beans are tender. Add extra water if needed.
Add the salt towards the end as well as the remaining olive oil (2tbsp)
Serve with fresh village bread and, for those that eat fish, a simple tuna salad with parsley and fresh onion, a simple olive oil, lemon and sea salt dressing, is an and ideal pairing.