Butter Beans with Roasted Vegetables, Fresh Herbs & Tomatoes.

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Ingredients: Cooked butter beans aka giant lima beans, oven-roasted fennel & onion, fresh mint/parsley/fennel fronds, cherry tomatoes, toasted almonds, fresh lemon, olive oil, S&P.

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Halve the cherry tomatoes.

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Roughly chop parsley & mint.

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Roast the fennel and red onion – season with smoked paprika, cumin, S&P, olive oil (see below)

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Beautiful butter beans!

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A hearty & creamy legume! one of my favourite foods.

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Combine the salad components, plate up and enjoy!

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You can make this recipe two ways: leaving the beans as is, simply boiled and seasoned with salt, or lightly sautéed as seen in the image above. To do so, add them to a skillet with a little olive oil on medium heat to let them develop a bit of colour and crust – for textural contrast. Add a squeeze of lemon juice or another acid like balsamic vinegar to the beans once have turned slightly golden.

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This simple, fresh ‘complete-meal salad’ is both delicious and nutritious, providing a balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Using Butter beans instead of the usual suspects (chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, lentils), offers a different, tasty, and nutrient-dense alternative. Incorporating different whole foods into your diet not only gives you a wider spectrum of nutrients, but also makes your meals more interesting. Butter beans are especially high in fiber, and packed with protein (10 grams protein/1 cup cooked), Iron, B vitamins, Zinc, and Magnesium.

Butter beans, aka Lima beans, originate from the Andean region of Peru, hence the name ‘Lima bean’ after the capital city Lima. When the Spanish colonized Peru, they exported these beans to the Americas and Europe. In Spain, butter beans are called Garrofón, used in Valencian paella. Greeks have also adopted these beans, known as Gigantes, prepared in a simple stew with tomato sauce – the Greek ‘Baked Beans’ if you will. One can find butter beans in dried or canned form at most grocery stores, especially smaller ethnic food shops.

RECIPE REVIEW

• 4 cups of cooked butter beans
• 2 small bulbs of fennel, chopped into medium sized slices (keep fennel tops/fronds)
• 1 large red onion, sliced thinly (similar size as fennel)
• 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
• 1 handful of fresh mint, chopped
• 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
• 1/4 cup raw almonds, dry toasted in skillet then broken into pieces (if allergic to nuts, use toasted pumpkin/sunflower seeds for crunch instead)
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 tsp Cumin
• Salt & cracked black pepper to taste
• 1 tbsp olive oil

Dressing

• Olive oil, 1 tbsp
• Juice from 1 large lemon
• Garlic, 1 clove minced
• Maple syrup, 2 tsp
• Salt & cracked black pepper to taste

1. Make the dressing and set it aside.

2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, coat the fennel and red onion with 1 tbsp olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Roast on a baking tray for 20 min – or until tender and slightly golden. Once cooked, allow to cool slightly before adding to the other ingredients.

3. In a large bowl, mix the butter beans, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, roasted fennel and onion. Drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle the toasted almonds pieces. Enjoy!

NOTE: If buying dry butter beans, this is how you prepare them from scratch:
– Soak beans overnight in a big pot. Drain and rinse the next day.
– Add the beans back to the pot, and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches.
– Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 50-60 minutes. Let the beans cool.
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