Friday, December 10, 2010

The Bean Diet

Our friend Eric has been following the Eat to Live program and doing really well. It's basically a nearly fat free, grain free, vegan diet. Having Eric and Shari to dinner last night was my "Top Chef" challenge of the week. And cooking beans it was no "quickfire."
I went for a Moroccan style stew to try and get as much spice and flavor as possible. I mixed chickpeas, butternut squash, chiles. cumin, saffron, onions, tomatoes, tomato paste and cinnamon in the crock pot and let it cook for hours. Even though I soaked the chickpeas they just weren't softening up. As it came closer to dinner I bailed on the slow cooker, actually fished the semi cooked squash out of the stew and poured the rest into a pot to bring to a rapid boil. Bean lesson of the day -- soaked or not, in the crockpot start beans (especially these fat free ones it seems) the night before. About 1/2 hour before dinner I stirred in some preserved lemon, chopped olives, and sliced zucchini to finish up our make-shift tagine.
For James I added a fennel spiked couscous, but the best dish of the night was my take on Dr. Fuhrman's diet friendly salad dressing -- 3 peeled oranges, 3 TB balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup raw cashews blended together over greens and steamed beets.
The bean diet might be in my future.

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