Beans for Breakfast – 03.18.22

Abstract

Given the emerging health benefits of regular legume consumption, we hypothesized that the historically low legume consumption levels in US adults increased. We evaluated legume consumption patterns in US adults using cross-sectional data from the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014-year cycles of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) and a 2017 cross-sectional, online survey of Oregon families named “Beans, Lentils, Peas (BLP) Survey”. We also compared legume consumption patterns between consumers below US dietary recommendations for mature legumes (<37.5 g/day, marginal), below levels showing nutritional and disease-prevention benefits (37.5-87.49 g/day, recommended); and levels demonstrating nutritional and disease prevention benefits (≥87.5 g/day; beneficial). In NHANES, legume consumption remained low in US adults and declined from 2011 to 2014 (mature legumes: 12.8 to 8.3%; dry beans: 10.0 to 6.5%). In BLP, less than 5% consumed legumes daily; approximately one-third did not consume legumes during the last month. Marginal mature-legume consumers ate a limited variety of legumes (dry beans and green legumes on a weekly to monthly basis). Beneficial amount consumers ate mature legumes daily or every other day and included chickpeas, lentils and dry peas to their legume mix. Our data suggest that legume consumption declined in US adults, warranting improved communication about the benefits of regular legume consumption.

Perera T, Russo C, Takata Y, Bobe G. Legume Consumption Patterns in US Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2014 and Beans, Lentils, Peas (BLP) 2017 Survey. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 27;12(5):1237. doi: 10.3390/nu12051237. PMID: 32349355; PMCID: PMC7281997.

Here’s a link to the study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32349355/

My love of beans began when I moved to Texas and discovered fast food bean burritos. I’ve pretty much stopped eating restaurant prepared bean burritos since discovering my favorite local version has nearly 1200 mg of sodium in one burrito.

Too much sodium in my food tends to keep me in my fat jeans.

You can control the amount of salt in home cooked beans. If you are cooking with canned beans try the low sodium versions. Or if you are cooking with the regular canned varieties, rinse and drain several times before adding to your dish. This will cut down on the sodium content. Believe it or not, someone actually did a lab analysis on this:

If you’re watching your sodium intake, we have good news. In each case, draining and rinsing beans lowered the sodium by about 100 milligrams per ½-cup serving—or 20.7 to 26.5 percent.

Does Rinsing Canned Beans Remove Sodium? https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/11227-does-rinsing-canned-beans-remove-sodium

White Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

Sunday is a good Beanday. A day of rest. Maybe a few, but not too many errands. Hang out the rest of the day at home and make a pot of beans for the week.

This morning I was compiling a dried bean inventory so that I wouldn’t buy more of what I already have on hand. My beans are in various containers in the pantry and on the kitchen counter. Some packages of dried beans are unopened. My quick inventory told me I had green split peas, adzuki, black beans, black eyed peas, red and brown lentils, chickpeas, pinto, mayacabo, white beans, and an unidentified variety which I had to research to figure out I had Cranberry beans!

The white beans were stored in a plastic baggie and fearing they may have been in the pantry since the last time I made Wing and Leg Navy Bean Soup I thought I would cook them. After a triple rinse I quick soaked them (rinse, drain, pour boiling water over all and cover for one hour). Drain again, cover with fresh filtered water, a little onion powder, garlic powder, one bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to super low, and simmer for several hours.

Now I had a pot of beans before deciding what dish to make. After exhausting the possibilities I decided upon a White Bean and Sweet Potato Stew. My inspiration came from the same source as Spanish Style Lentils. So if you’re a visual learner, here you go:

Here’s a link to the original recipe – https://spainonafork.com/spanish-white-bean-and-sweet-potato-stew-recipe/

Here’s what I’ll eating all week.

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup canned stewed tomatoes
  • dash apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp regular sweet paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized stock pot
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper and carrot. Saute until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and both paprika powders. Saute briefly for about a minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and simmer for five minutes. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens.
  4. Add the beans, sweet potato, and two cups of broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for around 30 minutes. Check and stir throughout this process and add more broth to desired thickness and to prevent sticking/burning of the stew.
  5. When the potatoes are tender the stew is done. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt.
  6. Makes approximately six large servings.

Now I need to figure out what to make with the butternut squash I baked in the oven.

Spanish Style Lentils

I always wondered how they make lentils in Spain. So I went You Tubing.

Then my mind wandered and thought “I wonder if this chef has a website?”

Of course he does. https://spainonafork.com/classic-spanish-lentil-stew-recipe/

And since I’m feeling lazy today (while giving credit where credit is due) check out either the video or website for ingredients and instructions for the Classic Spanish Lentil Stew, known in Spain as Lentejas.

My tweaks:

  • no red pepper because I didn’t have one in the fridge
  • only two cloves of garlic plus granulated garlic to taste
  • 1/2 cup canned stewed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce (adds sweetness)
  • 2 carrots instead of one (because I like carrots)
  • 2 bay leaves instead of one
  • One quart organic vegetable stock instead of five cups (thicker stew, less soupy)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp regular sweet paprika (watch that smokey paprika because it can be quite strong and overpowering)
  • no added salt

This is an excellent recipe if you are gradually adding vegan dishes into your diet.

The Boss liked it.

Beans for Breakfast – 02.13.22

There is reliable research that suggests that older adults need slightly more protein than younger adults do. A somewhat higher protein intake, especially when combined with resistance training can build muscle in older adults. This increased muscle can help to offset the muscle loss that is a part of the aging process. Muscle loss can increase the risk of falls and keep older people from doing the tasks they’d like to do.

Protein for Older Adults
February 03, 2022 The VRG Blog Editor – https://www.vrg.org/blog/2022/02/03/protein-for-older-adults/

I’ve lost those extra stubborn muffin top pounds. A dental procedure has limited my diet to soft foods. Peanut butter and soft whole wheat bread has been my savior the past few days. Cooked smashed beans too.

Breakfast today was cold cereal soaked in soy milk for about 10 minutes. Soggy cereal never tasted better.

I might make some Vegetarian Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2022 to have for the next few days. Filling, nutritious and smashable.

While no one ever said “I love going to the dentist” the silver lining is I’m back in my skinny jeans.

Applesauce anyone?

Chickpea and Cabbage Soup

There was a head of green cabbage in the fridge that needed to be cooked. So I made a simple saute of cabbage, onions, carrots and garlic then put the entire veggie mix back into the fridge for another day. I spend quite a bit of time being creative with food items in the pantry/freezer/fridge in preparation for massive food shortages in the near future. My WFH coworker likes soup for lunch and I’ve frozen single servings of different soups so we could have different soups together for lunch.

This soup starts with leftover sauteed cabbage. You can always make this soup by starting with a veggie saute if you don’t have leftover cabbage. I always have vegetable broth in the pantry and there were cooked chickpeas in the freezer.

My inspiration came from https://www.thefullhelping.com/spicy-cabbage-chickpea-soup/#recipe but the two recipes are not really the same. The quantities here make about two servings. I didn’t want to make a lot in case I didn’t like it (I liked it).

Accidentally Vegan Chickpea and Cabbage Soup

  • 2 cups leftover green cabbage and vegetables
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one can, drained and rinsed)
  1. Everyone into a small pot
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer for about 30 minutes
  4. Makes about two servings

Tips

Salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the quantities of spice to taste also. I tossed in some extra garlic powder because I like garlic. Red pepper flakes or hot sauce if you’re into spicy. Subbing pasta or rice for the chickpeas would work nicely (if you can’t or won’t eat beans). This soup freezes well.