Thursday is not only Vegan Feast Day, but also the day the local newspaper includes a food section. Is this the case everywhere? Just wondering. Anyway, it really pleases me to find the following headline on the front page of today’s food section of the Sun-Sentinel; Loving legumes for all the right reasons: Health, flavor and value. Never knowing what the difference between a bean and a legume was, I now know that all beans are legumes, but not all legumes are beans! Legumes are defined as a class of vegetables that include beans, peas and lentils. Ah, now I know! The article goes on to say that legumes are as near to a perfect food as one can find.
Just a 1/2 cup serving of legumes contains at least 20% of our daily requirements for fiber and folate and about 10% of our daily requirements for protein, potassium, iron, magnesium and copper as well as some selenium and iron. Highly economical and easy to store, they have been linked to lower blood cholesterol levels, lower body weight, lower rates of heart disease, hypertension, some types of cancer and diabetes! The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends we eat at least 3 cups a week.
Hummus is a staple in my home. Thanks to Rita, I am mostly making it with the northern beans, which I agree makes a really yummy hummus. I usually whip up a bowl to go with some raw veggies, chips or pita, when the “kids” come Thursday night. Makes a perfect, fresh, healthy appetizer. Chick peas almost always go into my garden salads. Warmed cannellini beans drizzled with olive oil and salt make a really easy and delicious side dish. Throwing some navy beans into a pasta dish makes what seems like a high carb meal, into a high protein meal, as well! The lentil, white bean and split pea soups from Falafel Bistro are ALL out of this world.
If you are not getting enough fiber in your diet (somewhere between 20-35 grams a day depending on your size and gender–but note that in China they eat up to 75 grams of fiber a day—and remember the China Study!) do start thinking about adding some beans to your diet. Just make sure to add a little bit at a time as increasing fiber can make trigger bloating and yes, flatulence. Remember the old jingle…beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat em, the more you….
Also in the food section a great write up on Sublime, the all vegan dining experience in Fort Lauderdale. Open only for dinner, I have still never been there!!! Hint to my family–my birthday is in December and I want to go THERE!
Tonight will be Italian night. When I woke up I wasn’t sure what I would be making with the pasta and mushrooms, but now I am sure I will be tossing in some beans, too! If you are concerned about the side effects, this little children’s jingle might change your perspective….
Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So let’s have beans at every meal!
I hope I have left you smiling. As you go through your day I hope you continue smiling. Beans. Peas. Peace. Get on it!