Super Food: BEANS

Today’s Foodie Friday Post,

For the next few months, I want to focus on Super Foods; mostly for myself because I want to eat healthier, but also to inform you as well in case you have been living under a rock all this time and have never heard of these things before.  Now, I’m going to assume you have heard of the concept of Super Foods. Just for reference, a Super Food is one that is jam packed full of vitamins, minerals, and nutritional elements that are bouncing off the wall.  These foods individually pack a powerhouse of dietary goodness and we should all eat them in large quantities often for optimal health.

I want to break them down a bit in each Foodie Friday Post just to give each one a spotlight on how amazing they are.  Let’s start with the more, shall we say….accessible versions of this category? After doing a simple google search I landed at WebMD and read a quick little article on what they call “10 Everyday Super Foods.” I liked this because if you are aware of what most people refer to as a Super Food, one would have to go on a half day jaunt to perhaps many health food stores in search of an item you probably have never heard of and are skeptical about eating.  Therefore, we will begin with easy to find supermarket heroes. Here’s what the article said about BEANS:

“Beans –  good for your heart — really! Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fiber, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste. They’re also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, and potassium. Edamame (whole soybeans) are favored because they also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Beans can easily substitute for meat or poultry as the centerpiece of a meal, but they also work as a side dish, or tossed into soups, stews, or egg dishes. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 cups weekly.”

_MG_0546But wait, There’s MORE!!! I cooked up a delicious recipe this week featuring black beans.  I encourage you to try it as it is amazing.  You don’t have to use chorizo if you don’t want to or can’t find it.  You can sub a myriad of things instead (such as Italian sausage, bacon, whatever…) or nothing.  Chorizo is flavored with a lot of paprika, so you may want to add that ingredient in to the mix if you end up not using chorizo.  Here you go, found from my beloved Nigella cookbook:

Cuban Cure Black Bean Soup_MG_0532

Serves 2

1/4 lb. chorizo sausage (not the salami sort)

2 scallions

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 x 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 fresh tomato

2 cups chicken stock ( use your own or canned)

juice of 1 lime, or to taste

2 – 4 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

_MG_0537Brown the chorizo in a soup pot or medium sized sauce pan, dry (no oil) for about 5 minutes, or until it gives up it’s orange oil. Remove it with a slotted spatula or fork to a bowl or plate.

Cut off the green parts of the scallions and reserve for slicing later, then finely slice the white part and add this to the pan slicked with orange oil, along with the ground cumin, stirring everything together for a couple of minutes over a gentle heat.

Tip the black beans in the pan and roughly chop the tomato, adding the pieces – peel, seeds and all – along with the chicken stock.  Stir the pan and let it simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Ladle the soup into 2 bowls; add the reserved chorizo, then give each bowl a good squirt of lime juice and sprinkle with the finely sliced green part of the scallions and some chopped cilantro.



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