Saturday, July 10, 2010

White beans are amazing

This summer has been really busy, and I've been making a true effort to eat healthy, satisfying foods. On a time and budget crunch, this means preparing 1 bag of beans on the weekend to form the basis of a variety of meals throughout the week. A couple of weeks ago, it was black beans. I can eat black beans almost every day the same way without flinching. They don't bother me. I really enjoy them. The next week was chickpeas (i.e garbanzo beans), which hold up to long cooking times and take on flavor well. I didn't prepare them this way, but they also bake into a crunchy snack pretty well too! This week was white beans, which I find are a little bland on their own. This week's meals highlight the variety of ways you can cook white beans without getting tired of them.

First up: Baked beans.

I routinely make my own. Usually they are spicy and tangy, but the fiance requested some sweeter ones this week. I undercooked the beans to al dente, then pressure cooked them in a sauce of water, bbq sauce, agave nectar, 1/2 a strip of locally made bacon, and my homemade spice rub. These were made on Monday and gone by Wednesday.

White beans make the best beans for this because their skin is so thin and they cook quickly. Served here with thinly sliced pork tenderloin and my dad's pickles.

Next: Garlicy White Beans
These were also a hit! I simmered the undercooked beans in some homemade turkey stock until fully cooked, then threw out the majority of the turkey stock, retaining 1/2 a cup. I sauteed some garlic, onion, thyme, and oregano. I added the beans, the stock, another cup of water, and some lemon juice. Simmer until mushable and salt to taste. These are pictured with some portobello ravioli tossed with homemade pesto (recipe for the pesto here).

Couscous and White Bean Tabbouleh
This is an easy way to sneak in veggies to a carb-lover's dish. Fully cook white beans and set aside. Julienne and cut into bite-size strips the following: onion, carrot, pepper, broccoli stalk, and zucchini. Saute in garlic and olive oil until mostly cooked (al dente). Add dry couscous and beans. Add enough water to almost cover the mix and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit, sealed for 5 minutes. Uncover and add 1 tbsp lemon juice, and herbs of choice. I added thyme and oregano. I also added cubed feta cheese to one batch and left it out of the other batch. Ya never know if I'm going to be feeling cheese on any given day...Serve over a bed of veggies. I think it's especially fabulous with spinach and some balsamic vinegar (pictured).

Italian White Bean Quesadilla

This seems boring and obvious, right? I mean you can add and kind of beans to cheese and press it into a tortilla and BAM it becomes a quesadilla! This is so much more than that! I sauteed some sliced red onion, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, garlic, and 1/2 c beans in cooking spray. To that I added some basil, black pepper, and salt. I placed my tortilla on the george foreman (no spray required) and added 1/2 serving cheese. I let the cheese melt a little and topped it with the bean mixture and 1/2 serving more cheese (Italian Blend shredded). Then I added about 1 tbsp grated parmesan for flavor and folded it in two. This was amazing! I could eat it all the time!

So those were the highlights. Here's the rest of my food for the week:
Breakfasts were almost ALL smoothies, so I'm not taking pictures of those anymore. 3 chocolate cherry bombs and a pineapple/banana/mango concoction. The one solid breakfast was PB&Banana on a multigrain english muffin with a side of blueberries in almond milk.
This was so good that I made it for the fiance when he got up.

Lunches were actually pretty repetitious as well - lots of tabbouleh, the quesadilla, and one day I didn't get lunch (damn you science!), so I had an unpictured KIND bar and an apple with peanut butter. Here are some pictures of the sides I had with my repetitive lunches:

(the small container is some leftover strawberry crisp I helped the fiance make for his departmental picnic)

(The sandwich is a white bean quesadilla with bread. Panini pressed by george foreman himself)

Dinners I've moved a lot of my exercising to the evening because of my foot pain (better, not gone yet) and I'm trying heat train for my races. So I usually eat something small and then have the other half of the meal later. The exception being when I went on my 30 mile bike ride this week, which required a lot of food to recover from.

The fiance's chunky meatloaf (1/2 turkey, 1/2 ground chuck with chunks of veggies) and a big salad.
This was the post-bike ride meal. Meatloaf, sauteed beet greens and onion, both bbq beans and garlicy white beans. I was hungry! A bit later I think I went back for a snack. I estimate that bike ride alone burned 1500 calories.

I think you can tell I was tired during this meal...when I defrost the remaining 1 cup of frozen broccoli, slap a veggie burger on a bun and call salsa a serving of vegetables ( is....but normally I can do better than that!), you can tell life is wearing me out.

The other ones came in snack form:
Small salad.
 Same bowl with 2 cups of blueberries and strawberries topped with almond butter sauce.

Some cantelope and a can of delicious cancer (it's a joke people! I'm consuming Diet Coke as I type. I have an addiction).

Ok I'm out. This week is lentils, which I really like. I forsee curry lentils, lentil loaf ala Eat Live Run, and probably some fun side salads like Emily makes.

Eating Requires Activity (and boy do I eat a lot!) Monday: 30 min elliptical and 10 miles on a stat bike, Tuesday: 30 mile bike ride, Wednesday: 25 min yoga, Thursday: 4 mile run and 1 hour weightlifting class, Friday: 1000m swim.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, you took me back to the days of biweekly 12-packs of cherry 7up cancer ;) Soooo good. Your quesadilla sounds and looks amazing, too!