struggling to come up with meaningful resolutions for 2016
(eat less, floss more, hit the gym, that kind of thing), you
could start by adding something simple to your diet — beans.
the website nutritionfacts.org, beans can solve a lot of
problems. Sure, portion control and calorie restriction are
keys to losing weight, but it turns out that simply adding
legumes to your meals can bring additional benefits, including
limiting a pre-diabetes risk known as "metabolic
syndrome," according to the website.
consumption is associated with lower body weight, a slimmer
waist, less obesity and lower blood pressure in population
studies, but whether the association of bean consumption with
healthier body weight and risk factors of metabolic syndrome
is due to physiological effects of the beans themselves or is
simply an indicator of a healthy lifestyle is uncertain,"
says the website. "Anyone smart enough to eat beans may
be smart enough to eat all sorts of other healthy foods, so
maybe bean consumption is just a marker for a healthy
researchers to pit caloric restriction against bean
consumption and see if beans — including split peas, lentils
and garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) — could make you
healthier. The bean group was assigned the task of eating more
beans, while the calorie group in the study was asked to cut
500 calories a day.
Apparently eating beans is a really good idea and reduces the
risk of metabolic syndrome even if nothing else about your
Why am I
writing this? For one thing, before I left home this morning,
I began soaking a pound of dried beans in a pot. I will be
making soup with them tonight in a pressure cooker, which is a
time-saving way to cook them. If you’re looking for pressure
cooker tips and recipes featuring legumes, check out
hippressurecooking.com. The website’s Laura Pazzaglia has
also written an excellent book, "Hip Pressure
Cooking," which includes several recipes and ideas
related to legumes.
good resource is the website Forks Over Knives (www.forksoverknives.com).
In fact, I just made this recipe, Vegetable White Bean Hash, a
couple of nights ago. It’s so tasty and healthy, this is the
fourth time I’ve made it. In addition to beans, it includes
kale and sweet potatoes. Last time, I used a minced onion
instead of a leek and it worked fine. In fact, this recipe is
easy to tweak. I also added garbanzo beans to the mix.
my resolutions for 2016 is to cut down on sugar intake and try
to limit desserts to once a week. That’s going to be quite a
challenge, especially since I just happened upon an amazing
vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe at Food52. One of the
websites I check regularly is by retired sports medicine
doctor Gabe Mirken, who is no fan of sugar and suggests
restricting sugar intake to times when you are exercising
(i.e. during long bike rides, runs or hikes). In other words,
if I want to eat more cookies, I need to ride more miles!
started cooking with legumes much more about six months ago,
when I decided to stop eating meat. I can attest that the
health benefits are real and the variety of legume-based
recipes is plentiful. Try the one I mentioned above and see
what you think.
WHITE BEAN HASH
Time: 15-20 minutes
Time: 30 minutes
The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)
The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) at
hash is a great way to use whatever vegetables you have left
over from the night before. But in the case of this delicious
recipe, it seems unfair to consider it just a dish of
leek (white part only), finely chopped
red bell pepper, seeded and diced
cloves garlic, peeled and minced
teaspoons minced rosemary
large turnip, peeled and diced
medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
and juice of 1 orange
cups cooked white beans, or one 15-ounce can white beans,
drained and rinsed
cup chopped kale
and freshly ground black pepper to taste
the leek and red pepper in a large saucepan and sauté over
medium heat for 8 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a
time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
the garlic and rosemary and cook for another minute.
the turnip, sweet potato, orange juice and zest, and the beans
and cook for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
the kale, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the kale
is tender, about 5 minutes.
"Forks Over Knives — The Cookbook"