Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Balsamic-Lime Bean and Veggie Stew
I am slowly emerging from my newborn baby centered world back into real life. Some days I am already there and others I struggle for any kind of normalcy. Had one of those two days ago. They are the worst! Making dinner has been a central part of feeling normal for me. Every day the kids get off the bus at 4pm and I sit with my Jeremiah and help him do his first grade homework. I like this, mostly because I can understand first grade math. I listen to him read me a book about what sort of jobs dogs can have or something like that and then we do a math sheet. Isabella never needs homework help. I like that since I mostly DO NOT understand sixth grade math -wipe that there smirk off yer face- After, I set the baby down, tidy up the kitchen and start my dinner prep. Its methodical and calming most nights provided I'm not rushed. I hate being rushed. Red wine helps too. I've decided I'm cool with a glass of red wine most nights, considering I usually only have more than that if people are over. Oh, and we're having people over again! Slowly, but surely. Real life has made it's re-entrance and It's sweet. I even got a little 10 min hot tub "date" with Jeremy a few nights ago. Ten minutes is about all my hubby can last in a pool of hot water. His stomach starts to hurt. He's weird. I've gotten used to it.
Along with real life, I've been enjoying comforting, simple pleasures. I'm starting to care about what I'm putting into my body again. Not that I ever stop caring, but you know...
Balsamic Beans is what my sister-in-law calls this dish. Actually, I think Isabella dubbed it that, but since the lime is so prevalent, I changed the name. Also, there's a fair share of vegetables up in this pot, so I couldn't let beans get all the glory. This is a goulash of sorts, but stew sounds tastier so lets go with that, hmmm? It's simple, satisfying, and versatile since you can throw most any vegetables you have on hand into this thing. My favorite combination is the red or yellow bell peppers, roasted sweet potatoes and spinach so that's what I'm sharing. I've had it with carrots and no spinach, and one time she forgot the sweet potatoes and it was still awesome. Although, the sweet potatoes are a must in my book. Don't ask why. I just love them here. This dish definitely fits the bill for my simple but comforting meals lately.
See? I'm paying more attention! I'm actually eating breakfast this morning within an hour of rising! And look at how balanced it is! Ezekiel sprouted english muffins with avocado, garlic flakes and sea salt on one side, and coconut oil and raw honey on the other. Minerals and good fats galore. Black tea with a smidge of raw milk and strawberries. I ate more than three. Bonus points. Oh, and I also had a green juice FOR THE WIN!
This stew is more saucy than it looks in these pictures since you don't drain the beans before adding them. The juice from the cans thickens everything up and carries the flavors over to the other vegetables. We eat these with sweet potato chips, but beanito's (black bean chips) work too. We mostly eat eat bite with chips, like a chips and dip, but obviously you can eat it with a spoon too.
Balsamic-Lime Beans and Veggie Stew
1 medium sweet potato, not peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces
2 cans black beans (or any beans for that matter) undrained
1 can of kidney beans, undrained
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 5oz. container of baby spinach
1 teaspoon dried garlic flakes (spice aisle- or substitute with 3 cloves fresh garlic and sauté with the vegetables)
2-4 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar (the quality you use makes a difference in taste)
1 lime, cut in half
sweet potato chips, beanitos or corn chips, for serving
Preheat your oven to 375.
Toss sweet potato chunks in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
In a large soup pot, saute the bell peppers until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beans with all their juice and spinach and wait for it to wilt down (it will all but disappear!) about 5 more minutes. Add the garlic flakes and salt (you need quite a bit of salt. Start with a teaspoon and go from there). Add the roasted sweet potato into the pot, then add the balsamic vinegar. I use close to four tablespoons of vinegar, you may need less or more depending on the quality. Just taste and add more if desired. Simmer everything together for 5 minutes, stirring. Taste for salt and add more if need. Add half on the lime juice to the pot and stir. Serve in shallow bowls with the chips for dipping, and more lime on the side for squeezing.
Posted by Krysta at 1:40 PM