you are what you eat

Vegetarian Bean Curry

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I always keep a can or two of Italian Beans in my grocery Cupboard. Beans are high in fibre and protein, and make a deliciously quick mid- week meal. Full of nutrients, this vegetarian bean curry is so easy to do! I know in many households, when beans and vegetables are presented as the highlight of dinner, kids (and parents too!) often frown upon it, enquiring where is the meal?? Including vegetables, in all forms, whether as a soup, grilled, steamed, curried or raw add many nutrients and vitamins to our diets. They are also cheaper than cooking meat, easier on the environment and add variety to the menu! Vegetables are naturally low in fat, high in fibre and once families are exposed to these sort of meals, they quickly get used to it, often enquiring when can we have beans again?

For the starch:

I was really rushed, and I had no time to boil water and roll roti’s. So I boiled the kettle, and mixed:

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Cous Cous

3/4 cup Bulgar Wheat

3 T roasted pine nuts

1 cube coriander lime pesto

– Mix the two grain in a heat proof bowl which has a tight fitting lid. Pour in just enough boiling water to cover the grain. Stir well with a fork, add a pinch of salt and close tightly. Leave aside.

– Open after 10 minutes and you will notice all the water has been absorbed. add 2 Tablespoons good olive oil, the pesto and pine nuts. Stir well so that the pesto is mixed into the grains without leaving any clumps. If you have fresh herbs on hand, you can add this to the mix too!

Vegetarian Bean Curry:

– 1 can of your favourite beans (I have used Fagiola beans)- drained and rinsed under running water

– 1/2 cup canned tomato (pureed)


– 3 cardomom pods and 2 cloves

– 1 tsp ginger garlic paste (more if you want it more spicy)

– red chilli paste or dry red chillies (depending on how hot you want it to be)

– 2 bay leaves

– 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

– 2 tsp lemon rind

– 2 tsp coriander powder

– 1 tsp cumin seeds

– 1/2 tsp arad (tumeric)

You will need 3 cups of raw vegetables, cubed or cut into smaller pieces. I have:

– Mange tout

– Onion

– Peppers

– Baby corn

– 1 cubed Cubed tomato

– Baby marrow (sliced into rounds)

To make the curry:

– Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wide bottomed pan. Add the onions, bay leaves and cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds are fragrant and onion soft, add in each vegetables, stirring after each addition.

– In a separate bowl mix all the remaining spices and pureed tomatoes, stir well. Add this to the vegetable mixture. Close the lid and let it cook for 10 minutes.

– Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the beans to the curry. Stir well close the lid again and cook until the beans are soft but not mashed. Garnish with herbs and serve hot.

Nutrition Tip:

Try to include vegetables at lunch lunch and supper- aiming for 5 fruits and vegetables daily. If you include 1 fruit at your mid morning snack and another at mid afternoon snack, you have just 2 vegetables portions left for the day.

Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, changing the vegetables you would add to your shopping cart each week. Some good reasons not to leave them out:

– Fruit and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, folate, Vitamin C and potassium.

– They are an excellent source of dietary fibre, helping you maintain good digestive health, prevent constipation and other digestive tract problems.

– Diets high in fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat!

– Vegetables can be fresh or frozen.

What is a serving:

– 1 medium fruit (the size of a tennis ball) ( 1 medium apple or pear)

– 2 small fruits (2 small plums)

– a dessert bowl of salad

– 80 g of any other vegetable

Try these tips to fit more fruits and vegetables into your day:

  • Keep fruit out where you can see it. Replace the biscuit tin for a bowl of fresh fruits.  Keep it out on the counter or in the front of the fridge.
  • Get some every meal, every day. Try filling half your plate with vegetables or fruit at each meal. Serving up salads, stir fry, curries or other fruit and vegetable-rich dish making it easier to reach this goal. Bonus points if you can get some fruits and vegetables at snack time, too.
  • Explore the produce aisle and choose something new. Variety is the key to a healthy diet. Get out of a rut and try some new fruits and vegetables—include dark green leafy vegetables; yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables; cooked tomatoes; and citrus fruits.
  • Bag the potatoes. Choose other vegetables that are packed with more nutrients and more slowly digested carbs. Potatoes are a starch and do not count as a vegetable!
  • Make it a meal. Explore, Be creative, or try a new recipes where vegetables are the highlight!



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