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Friday, September 16, 2011

Fresh White Bean Tomato Sauce and Health Benefits




   Here's my favorite homemade Healthy Recipe for Beans in place of meat:

1 small bag or package of dried bean  made in crock pot ( or your own method see below for instructions) I prefer Great Northern or any white bean. An alternative is using canned beans of choice rinsed several times, using three cans total.
(Here is my easy was to make dried beans overnight in a crock pot see instructions here)

2 pounds of washed fresh plum tomatoes put through the food processor with skins and all leaving some chunks. Transfer to a bowl.

1//4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 stalks of fresh celery with leaves on
4 cloves of garlic cleaned
2 cups of homemade low sodium chicken (instructions for broth click here) broth or canned
1 can of tomato paste
salt pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
optional 1 package of fresh cooked spinach can be added or fresh cooked escarole separately cooked in boiling water.
 add extra water if sauce gets too thick for your preference
In a food processor, add celery, garlic, herbs, pulse till fine. In a large sauce pot add two teaspoons extra virgin olive oil. Place contents in the food processor into the oil, saute all together for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, paste, broth, rest of seasonings to taste. Stir together, mix evenly.
 Add  the beans simmer on low for 1 1/2  hours.
This now can be used to pour over  cooked whole wheat pasta such as baby shells, penne or even spaghetti, other choices would be brown rice, mashed potato or very good over crunchy Italian bread.
Delicious and healthy.

Interesting fact behind beans:
Legumes are often called poor peoples meat.  Many legumes, especially soybeans, have been very  impressive to the diet concerning health benefits. Diets rich in legumes are being used to lower cholesterol levels, improve blood glucose control in diabetics, and reduce the risk of many cancers.
So, it's time to add more beans to your diet!