Author: Codi Hale
Morning! Hope that your day is getting off to a nice start.
Today I want to focus on legumes, a family of foods that include beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts.
Why are these good for you?
- High in fiber and protein: This means you can eat less and feel more full, which is helpful if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight.
- May aid in prevention of heart disease: Legumes are high in protein and therefore rule out having to eat as much red meat, which can be high in saturated fats.
- High in vitamins and nutrients: Legumes are high in folate, iron, and magnesium.
- Folate aids in fetal development, preventing heart disease, reducing depression, developing red blood cells, and boosting the brain’s defenses against aging.
- Iron is central in the production of hemoglobin, carrying oxygen through cells, fortifying muscle and preventing anemia. magnesium
- Magnesium can prevent cardiovascular disease, regulate blood pressure, help fight diabetes, and even can reverse osteoporosis.
Overall, this food group is great for you. Let me show you how to make them taste delicious too!
This simple White Beans and Peppers recipe is healthy and very easy to make [taken from allrecipes.com]:
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 12 ounces each), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 large stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion (12 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 package (16 ounces) dry lentils, rinsed and picked through
6 cups water
Yogurt, toasted coconut, lime wedges (optional)
1. Melt butter over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, celery, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder, ginger, cumin, coriander, salt, and ground red pepper; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
2. Add vegetables, add broth, lentils, and water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve with yogurt, toasted coconut, and lime wedges, if you like.
Change up how you think of peas with this recipe for Shiitake Mushrooms and Sugar Snap-Peas [taken from wholeliving.com]. Try pairing it with grilled chicken or fish.
- 2 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
- 2 teaspoons light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sake, dry sherry, or white wine
- 2 tablespoons shoyu or other natural soy sauce
- 1 pound sugar-snap peas or snow peas, strings removed
Lastly, try infusing your dinner with a little Asian influence tonight with this classic Peanut and Vegetable Stir Fry [taken from eatingwell.com].
- 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup water, divided
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften and brown in spots, about 6 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to the pan along with bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pepper has softened and the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the reserved peanut sauce and season with crushed red pepper. Garnish with peanuts.