with a Variation for People Who Don't Like Beans
This bean sauce is a wonderfully versatile recipe and healthy too.
If you don't like beans or beans don't like you, try boiling up some raw peanuts. Peanuts are beans, except peanuts cook faster and stay crunchier. Boil for 10 minutes, pour out the water and add fresh water, then boil for 30 minutes.
By varying the spices this dish can be Italian style or Indian style. You can serve the Italian-style sauce with pasta and the Indian-style sauce with rice or other grains. The basic ingredients are beans and tomatoes. I prefer chick peas and lentils, but any type of bean or pea will do. Peanuts are beans rather than nuts. Peanuts make a delicious sauce. Lentils, called "dhal" in Indian cooking, are legumes for people who don't like beans. The advantage of lentils is that they do not need soaking and cook in 30 minutes. If you eat legumes (beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts) twice per week your gut will adjust to them.
Recipe for Bean Sauce
|US/UK||Ingredients for my Bean Sauce||Metric|
|2 cups||Cooked chick peas||1 lb/450 g|
|1 can||Plum tomatoes||1 lb/450 ml|
|1 tbsp||refined olive oil||15 ml|
|Use more or less garlic to taste.|
|If you buy canned chick peas, look for "low sodium" or "no salt added" on the label.|
|Add a cup of prepared tomato sauce instead of plum tomatoes. We use an Italian brand called Cirio because it has little added salt, preservatives and coloring.|
|Add spices/herbs, such as 1/2 teaspoon each of paprika, tumeric, ground cumin seed, garam masala, and ground coriander.|
|Add curry powder not in addition to, but instead of the spices shown above.|
|Add Italian herbs not in addition to, but instead of the spices shown above. Or use one of the Mrs Dash herb mixtures.|
|Add celery sliced thin crossways, thinly sliced or diced carrot.|
|Add finely chopped spinach.|
|Virgin olive oil can be used, though it's not for cooking.|
|Soak beans and peas overnight. Lentils do not need soaking.|
Preparation of Bean Sauce
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Check out the health benefits of a bean sauce.
- Crush garlic and set aside. Whiz in a mini-blender if you don't have a garlic press.
- Chop onion and fry in a saucepan with olive oil until the onion is translucent, but not quite brown.
- Drain beans and add to the saucepan. Add tomatoes or tomato sauce. Add chopped carrots and celery, if any.
- If really necessary add a little water.
- Blend together garlic, herbs/spices and add to the saucepan.
- Stir and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add leafy vegetables during the last 10 minutes.
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