For a healthier 2018, add more beans to your plate, 2 cups per week to be exact. Beans are inexpensive, easy to prepare, extremely versatile, and are waiting in your pantry for a quickly assembled weeknight meal. No excuses. If your concerned about the unwanted gassy side effect of eating beans, start slowly, allowing your digestive enzymes and bacteria time to adjust. Using Middle Eastern spices, here’s a savory alternative to the thick, syrupy, overly sweet baked beans we all grew up on.
Curried Baked Beans with Pita and Yogurt
1 pound dried beans (garbanzo or white beans soaked over night) or (4) 15-ounce canned beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or a few shakes of hot sauce
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
1 teaspoon coarse salt
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (if using dried, soaked beans or 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth for canned beans)
Fresh whole wheat pita bread or wraps
Chopped parsley or cilantro
Plain Greek-style yogurt
Soak dried beans in water overnight or for a least 4-6 hours. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add onion and carrots until softened. Add garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add spices, 1/2 the lemon zest, and salt, cooking for about a minute. Drain the water off the soaked beans and add to pot (if using canned beans, drain and rinse). Add 4 cups of vegetable broth for soaked dried beans or 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth for canned beans. Bring mixture a boil and boil for 1 full minute.
Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 60 minutes (if using soaked, dried beans) or 20-30 minutes for canned beans. If using soaked, dried beans, the cooking time will vary depending on the type of bean you are using. Beans should be firm but tender.
Serve with whole wheat pita wedges, yogurt (mixed with remaining lemon zest) and chopped cilantro or parsley.
Note: I’m in love with dried beans from Rancho Gordo. They’re fresher than store bought beans which results in smoother, creamier beans that are never dry or mealy. You can substitute canned beans in this recipe but I encourage you to give dried beans a try.
Nutrition Note: The recipe itself is gluten-free but use gluten-free chips or wraps if you can’t find gluten-free pita bread.
Recipe adapted from the smittenkitchen.com