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Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit, the More You Eat, the More You….


Lose weight of course! (did your mom teach you a different version?) So, #wwgays family, how has your week “bean”? Okay, okay, I promise I’ll stop now


Today’s post is all about beans and legumes (also known as pulses). Back pre-Freestyle, beans were expensive under the old plan, which I found really frustrating as a vegetarian. They are truly a super food - a staple at my house, satisfying and super healthy! So, why eat beans? Here are just a few benefits from these nutrition packed powerhouses:

  • Packed with protein (as much as 20-30 grams per cup)

  • Loaded with fibre (A cup of lentils has about 16 grams)

  • Rich in nutrients such as iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins

  • Cancer prevention (especially colon, breast and prostate)

  • Improves heart healthy by lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure

  • Keeps blood sugar low

  • Keeps you satisfied for a long time!

  • Proven to assist with weight loss and management

  • Very, VERY inexpensive (especially dried beans)

If you’re a meat eater on WW, it wouldn’t surprise me that you’re probably getting a little tired of chicken and eggs. I know that if I get bored with my food, it’s much easier to fall off track, so consider mixing it up and trying a bean recipe. They are very versatile, and if you are buying canned beans, really quick to make. Most of the beans I eat come canned, because I just don’t have time to make them from dry and I haven’t invested in one of those miracle Instant Pot things yet (my trusty Crockpot refuses to break on me).

You’re probably wondering about the …ahem… well known side effect of bean consumption. The truth is, they can make you gassy, but to be honest, I find that Greek yogurt and other dairy products do a much worse job on my digestive system. I found that once I started upping my bean consumption, my body adapted, and I did not find myself any more or less flatulent than before. You might also find that some beans have stronger reactions than others, so pay attention to your own body. Black beans seem to have a stronger impact on me – although I love them and still eat them.


So, what beans would you like to try? This morning, I made up the Super Easy Slow Cooker Three-Bean Chili from the WW app – which will be ready and waiting for me when I get home. Here’s a great recipe to try that I’ve adapted from one of my favourite vegetarian websites, Vegan Richa.


Chickpeas in Turmeric Peanut Butter Curry (Serves 4)

Chickpeas in Turmeric Peanut Butter Curry

4sp per serving

Prep time – 10-15 minutes

Cook time – 30 minutes


This curry is very mildly flavoured and the nut butter adds a lovely rich texture to the sauce. I make this for company all the time. It does not take a long time to make, and I find that I can do most of the washing up (blender, cutting board, etc) while the curry is cooking, so by the end all that’s left is the pan. Before you start, pre-wash and slice the carrots, zucchini and pepper and drain and rinse the chickpeas so you have everything ready to go. I load this dish up with veggies and beans, more than the original recipe calls for – the only thing you are paying points for is the oil, milk and nut butter.


Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered

  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled

  • 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled

  • 1 tbsp of safflower or avocado oil (olive is okay too)

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ½ tsp cardamom

  • ¼ tsp of cayenne (optional)

  • 1 tsp of turmeric

  • 3 tbsp of peanut butter or Wowbutter*

  • ½ cup of unsweetened soy or almond milk (regular milk is okay too, just adjust your points value)

  • 1 cup of vegetable broth

  • 1 sliced bell pepper (red, orange or yellow)

  • ½ cup or more of sliced carrots

  • ½ cup or more of sliced zucchini or summer squash

  • 2 19oz cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

  • Salt to taste

  • 1-2 packets of stevia (or sugar/honey/agave, just be aware of points adjustment)

  • 1-2 tsp lime juice

  • Chopped cilantro (optional)

  • Baby greens such as spinach (optional) – you can add lots of spinach in because it really shrinks down!


* my wife is allergic to peanuts, so we use Wowbutter.

Instructions:

Ingredients!

1. Use a magic bullet or blender with a little water (2-3 tbsp) to blend the onion, garlic and ginger into a smooth puree. If you don’t have these, mince the onion and garlic and grate the ginger finely, then mix with water a tbsp at a time until you have a thick

Presliced Veggies

2. Heat the oil in a large pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Mix all spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne) together in a small bowl EXCEPT for the turmeric and sprinkle into pan over oil. Cook for 30 seconds. Then add the onion/garlic/ginger mixture to the pan along with the turmeric and stir well.

Blend Onions, Ginger, Garlic and a Little Water

3. Cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you did not blend the original mixture, use a slightly lower heat. The puree is ready for the next step if it doesn’t smell raw.


4. Stir in nut butter and milk – it will take half a minute or so to stir in. Add the veggie broth and mix well


5. Add veggies, chickpeas, salt and sugar. Stir well and cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until veggies are at your desired level of firmness, 5-10 minutes.


6. Add lime juice and cilantro, and more salt if needed. If you want a little spice, add some red pepper flakes or crushed chilies, a little at a time!


7. Continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce reaches desired thickness.


8. Enjoy! Serve with rice, quinoa, pitas or toast.


Adapted from Vegan Richa: https://www.veganricha.com/2016/05/chickpeas-in-turmeric-peanut-butter-curry.html


(Sources: Pulse Canada http://www.pulsecanada.com/food-industry/pulse-benefits/health-nutrition/ and Food Revolution Network https://foodrevolution.org/blog/benefits-of-beans/ )


Please let me know if there is anything else you’d like me to blog about or any questions you have! You can find me on Connect at drea_luks_good or on Instagram @drea_luks_good