low-calorie

Butter Beans simple Italian style recipe

Pulses have found their way regularly in our weekly dinners and compared to our childhood boring brown and white beans, cooking with spices and herbs sure brightens our palate and lifts up the taste for more. Recycling in the house by reusing various glass jars filled with all kinds of dried beans in plain sight, in stead of storing in the cupboard makes it invisible and forgotten easily. Now I am in the habit of quickly grabbing a bean variety and letting it soak overnight to a maximum of two days if cooking plans changes or I prepare them and store them in the fridge or freezer. For example making re-fried beans recipe for breakfast burrito’s, dip, salads or as a side dish.

I’ve just re-stocked buying soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed beans and while at it, brought home a bag of butter beans as new addition. Haven’t prepared these creamy whites in a long time, the butter bean is a well-rounded source of nutrition, rich in protein, fiber, iron and B vitamins. Hardly any fat and all these nutrients combined will provide you with everything you need to lose weight, build muscle and feel energetic.

“Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans’ fiber and protein, but this is far from all lima beans have to offer.” (source:whfoods.org)

Butter Beans aka Lima beans

Dried butter beans or Lima beans

For dried beans how-to cooking instructions click on the link for instructions.

Style variations:

With the Italian style recipe here you can easily vary by using Chinese cooking wine, Chinese (or Thai) soybean sauce, Chinese mushroom soy sauce, fresh or dried peppers or other oriental spices as garam masala the variations are endless. Garnish with coriander, spring onion instead for an Asian finish.

Butter Beans Italian style

Butter bean simple Italian style recipe

More Butter Beans nutritional information and links:

Silken tofu Smoothie with strawberries & banana

Energizing boost to start your workday, pre- or after workout, full of nutrients and proteins. Fresh fruits and Silken Tofu makes this a wonderful breakfast, a powerbooster and great muscle energizer after a fitness workout.

Tofu has a low calorie count, relatively large amounts of protein, and little fat. It is high in iron and depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, may also be high in calcium or magnesium. The perfect low-fat, low-cholesterol fresh ingredient suitable for everyone in any diet.

Silken Tofu in Smoothie’s
Using tender soft-tofu has become one of my regular ingredients in my own smoothie concoctions, I prepare this for breakfast or more often after a gym workout. After having read many advices and recommendation for protein powder based shakes I thought why not use fresh soybean milk or silken tofu instead, combined with seasonal fresh fruits or frozen berries. For a sugar sweetener variation I use honey, Torani almond syrup or non-caloric substitute Stevia, you will find the preparation in the recipe box here under. If you can not find the silken tofu or unavailable in your local toko or Chinese supermarket, you can substitute silken tofu with soy yoghurt but not with blocks of dou fu (beancurds). Although both derived from soybean it has different textures.

Silken tofu information

Soft or silken tofu is named 嫩豆腐 nen dou fu in Chinese, “soft or “smooth tofu”; 絹漉し豆腐, kinugoshi tōfu in Japanese and “silk-filtered tofu”; 순두부, 純豆腐, sundubu in Korean. More recipes will follow soon from mentioned cuisines as well as healthy recipes starting with the powerboost Strawberry-Tofu smoothie. Soft tofu, a custard like appearance has a soft and very light consistency than regular tofu. In terms of firmness the very opposite of regular tofu, silken tofu crumbles immediately. Therefore an ideal ingredient for use in protein smoothies, vegetarian dishes as in dips, baking or sauce thickening agent.

Both silken and regular tofu can be found in soft, medium, firm and extra firm packaging. Dou fu also known as bean curd is derived from soy beans and a staple food in many east-Asian and south-east Asian cuisines, but they are processed slightly differently, and are not interchangeable in a recipe. Dou fu has a subtle flavour and is used in sweet and savoury dishes adaptable to almost all cooking techniques and appeals to vegan and non-vegan whether it is raw or cooked.

Note: A personal preference, I listed ice-cubes optional because all ingredients were taken straight from the refrigerator and cooled between 5°- 7°C. It’s a well known fact that blood vessels widen and narrow due to body temperature conditions. After a workout, headaches and belly cramps do not need “ice-cold”.

Over the years I have collected quite a few cooking books, several focusing on 豆腐 dou-fu, my latest purchase is a very informative and comprehensive guide titled ‘Asian Tofu‘; Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook it at Home by Andrea Nguyen in English. Describing techniques for DIY home-cook in making home made dou fu or just cooking one of the featured 75 recipes.