DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, SOY-FREE, VEGAN
MAKES 2½ CUPS COOKED BEANS / PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES, PLUS OVERNIGHT SOAKING TIME / COOK TIME: 1 HOUR
I am a huge fan of making all kinds of beans from scratch. It’s the cheapest way to do it, and it’s the healthiest. Canned beans are often high in salt, and can introduce toxic BPA (bisphenol A) from the plastic lining in the can. When you’re in charge of the process from start to finish, you can soak the dried beans before cooking them, which cuts down on cooking time and removes the gut-harming phytic acid. Plus, they’re a versatile ingredient in all kinds of recipes and they freeze well.
8 ounces of dried beans
Filtered water, for soaking and cooking
Seasonings, such as bay leaves, garlic, onion and cumin (optional)
- In a large glass bowl, cover the beans with water. Add the salt and let soak on the counter, covered, overnight.
- Drain the beans and rinse well. Transfer to a large pot and add any seasonings you like (if using).
- Cover the beans with 1 to 2 inches of water, place the pot over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
- Check the beans for doneness; some varieties require longer cooking times. Continue to simmer, if needed, and check every 10 minutes until done. Use immediately in soups or chilis, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Cooked beans can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
COOKING TIP: One cup of dried beans will expand two or three times in size when cooked. Measure with this in mind.
PER SERVING (½ cup) Calories: 153; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrates: 28g; Fiber: 7g;
ALMOND ROMESCO SAUCE
DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, PALEO, SOY-FREE, VEGAN
MAKES 2 CUPS / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES / COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES
The heart of traditional Spanish romesco sauce is a blend of nuts and red bell peppers. Usually, bits of stale bread or bread crumbs are added as a thickener, but this anti-inflammatory option is full of flavor and texture without them. This versatile sauce can be served warm or cold. Try it with the Grilled Salmon Packets with Asparagus (here), or the Baked Chicken Breast with Lemon and Garlic (here).
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
5 or 6 cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped ½ white onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon avocado oil
- cup blanched raw almonds
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the broiler to high.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onion on the prepared sheet and drizzle with the avocado oil. Broil for 10 minutes.
- In a food processor (or blender), pulse the almonds until they resemble bread crumbs.
- Add tboiledled vegetables, olive oil, vinegar, and salt, and season with pepper. Process until smooth. Serve immediately. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for 3 to 4 months.
COOKING TIP: Blanched almonds—almonds with their skins removed are used here because the skins detract from the creaminess of the sauce. Blanch your almonds in a pot of boiling filtered water for 45 seconds. Promptly rinse them in cool water. Lightly rub the almonds between your fingers and they will burst easily from their skins.
PER SERVING (4 ounces) Calories: 358; Total Fat: 32.2g; Saturated Fat: 3.2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrates: 13.7g; Fiber: 6.4g; Protein: 7.3g