A hearty bean and beef dish that ‘sticks to your ribs’. Economical way of getting your fiber, vitamins and protein. Why people aren’t eating them more often?

My guess is that one reason is the popularization of the Paleo diet, which demonizes legumes. While Paleo has some good guidelines for healthy eating, there’s absolutely no scientific evidence to support avoidance of beans.

Extra credit for the nutrition geeks:

Paleo proponents’ reason to avoid these: Their high concentration of anti-nutrients, which supposedly reduces their nutritional value to zero. They cannot be more wrong. Indeed, research suggests that the benefits of legumes far outweigh their anti-nutrient content, especially in light of the fact that cooking eliminates most anti-nutrient effects.

Lectins and protease inhibitors, in particular, are greatly reduced with cooking. And once cooked, these chemicals may actually be good for us. Lectins may reduce tumor growth, while protease inhibitors become anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic.

Benefits:

  • Beans and peas taste good, they’re inexpensive, they’re healthy, and they pose very little risk of causing food borne illness.
  • Consuming just a half cup of beans and peas each day can result in a higher intake of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium.
  • When we eat more legumes, saturated fat intake and blood cholesterol tends to go down.
  • Beans can help to protect us against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • We also have data that shows legumes predict overall survival among elderly

This recipe is an amalgamation of several bean recipes I’ve tried over the years. By now you probably know that I like to save time in the kitchen, without sacrificing taste or nutrition of the dishes. This one takes time to cook down, but preparation is minimal. You don’t have to check the stove every 10 minutes or so to stir the beans (as opposed to the traditional New Orleans style Red Beans’n’Rice I cook for my husband occasionally). The addition of stew beef makes it rustic and deeply satisfying.

 


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: about 8 hours

Serves: 6-8

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 16 oz dried black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lbs of stew meat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 can (28 oz) Rotel Diced Tomatoes (They do have other flavors. I use Original. Try the one with chopped Chilies)
  • 1 can (28 oz) can of water
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 large Bell Pepper, chopped
  • fresh parsley and green onions for garnish

 

METHOD

  1. Put all the ingredients (minus the salt and bell pepper) in the slow cooker/crock pot. Cover and cook on high heat 8 hours or more, until beans are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. (I put it all together at night before going to bed, wake up to the most awesome aroma, and get out of the door prepared with my home-made meal for lunch).
  1. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the salt and chopped bell pepper.
  1. Continue cooking on LOW untill ready to serve.
  1. Remove bay leaves. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and gren onions.

Notes: You can use 2 (16 oz) canned beans instead of dried ones. Drain them well and add to the slow cooker. Omit the 28 oz can of water. Reduce the cooking time to 4-6 hours.

Bon appétit! Or, like they say in Russia: На Здоровье! [Na Zda-ro-vye]

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