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Old 10-27-2014, 02:37 AM   #1
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White beans

White beans are supposed to be a great source of potassium and a good way to help lower blood pressure. The first time I cooked with them, I realized that I made a chili that was really unhealthy for me. I'm looking for new ways to sneak these into recipes without using a ton of salt. Beans, in general, have little flavor. What can you do to spice them up, make it tasty, and still keep it on the healthy side?

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Old 10-27-2014, 04:30 AM   #2
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try to stay away from canned beans to reduce the salt, or at least rinse canned beans really well. get rid of the gloop.

i like plain cannelini beans (aka chick peas) on salads, and of course there's hummus - a dip made from mashed cannelini beans. you can make a lot of different hummi (hummuses?) by adding things like roasted red peppers, garlic, various herbs, diced hot peppers, hot pepper sauce, minced artichoke hearts or hearts of palm, and so on. i really like it garlic-y and spicey hot.

for real boston baked beans, you start with white navy beans. you can fake some of the ingredients like replacing the bacon with something flavourful but healthy like smoked turkey necks. i couldn't bring myself to do that, but someone might. ya gotta live a little or what's the point of being healthy and living to 125 years old? you ain't goin' anywhere fast at that age, lol. ok, maybe the funeral home, but i digress.

back to cabbelini beans: i used to make a dish of beans and blanched baby shrimp, aka popcorn shrimp. it was served on a bed of iceberg lettuce in a vinaigrette of minced shallots, shaved celery, lemon, evoo, and vinegar. mmm, i have to make that again soon.

white beans are also great in escarole e fagiole soup (the beans are the fagiole). you can sub kale if you can't find 'scarole.

beans also go well in minestrone soup.

there's also rice and bean burritos. just use white beans in place of red.
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:33 AM   #3
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oh, one more: mash them and add to mashed potatoes. or mashed cauliflower. or mashed turnips or rutebegas.

ok, that's more than one.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:33 AM   #4
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Hey Bucky, Garbanzos are Chick Peas, not cannellini.

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Old 10-27-2014, 08:41 AM   #5
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|Here is one of my favorite ways to eat white beans....White Beans A La Provencal

You can also make a salad using fresh veggies like celery, peppers, onions garlic, parsley, herbs, tuna with a vinaigrette.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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Drain and rinse a can of them.

Whirl them in a food processor with fresh lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan and eevo to taste. Salt as needed. Loosen up with water if necessary to make a smooth, dip-like texture.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Hey Bucky, Garbanzos are Chick Peas, not cannellini.

oops, you are quite right. i sort of clumped the recipes together.

i'll have to divvy them up later.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #8
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Cobine kidney beans, navy beans (or Great Northern Beans), and chick peas with sliced, raw celery, sliced onion, a couple of hot peppers (optional), a little sweetener, and vinegar to make a three bean salad. If you throw in greshly steamed green beans, or wax beans, or both, you have a 5-bean salad.

Navy beans are great is soups, added to stews, mixed in with green, leafy salads, made into dips, turned into custard deserts, or just eaten straight up as a side dish. Some seasoning is essential, as like you stated, they can be rather bland. But seasonings can be garlic, onion, paprica, peppers, pepper, oregano, basil, etc. Maple syrup is also great with beans, as are mollases, adn or brown sugar. A little salt, IMHO is required. Beans go very well when served with pork, or chicken. Use them in enchiladas, tamales, tacos, buritoes, or as a side dish, think refried beans with cheese.

Just some ideas. Use what you like, discard the rest.

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Old 10-27-2014, 10:39 AM   #9
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I make a soup with white beans, chopped tomatoes, kale, potatoes, and linguica sausage (you can substitute chorizo or even andouille). It's great this time of year!
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:51 AM   #10
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One of our favorite ways to prepare white beans (in our house that usually means great northern) is to either put about a pound of dried beans in a Dutch oven with a healthy amount of chopped onion, a bay leaf or two and somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 to 2 pounds of smoked turkey necks.

Many folks in our region use a smoked ham bone/hock, but they can be pretty salty and fatty. Turkey necks have next to no fat and barely as salty as ham.

Put enough water to cover and allow to simmer all day until the beans are tender. I don't add salt until the beans are through cooking because the seasoning from the turkey necks provides a goodly amount of flavor without adding salt. I simply put in enough salt to perk things up.

The turkey falls off the bone and, surprise to Glenn, there is a lot of meat on those bones. He's come to like his white beans better with turkey necks than with ham and he's a dipped and dyed southern country boy.

All that's needed to finish off the meal is a nice skillet of cornbread.

If you wish, you can cook this in the crock-pot, too. I've done it both ways with equal success.
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