Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pasta and Creamy White Beans

When you don't eat a lot of meat and are deathly afraid of becoming anemic and/or developing Kwashiorkor, it's important to be creative when trying to incorporate iron and protein into your diet.  That's where beans come in- they're packed with iron, protein, and fiber, and are low in fat and calories. They're also super cheap, thereby making them an excellent choice for people looking to cook Moet & Chandon meals on a Keystone Light budget.

The recipe below calls for a lot of olive oil, which means that 95% of you will be too scared to make this, but before you write this recipe off forever, I beg you to please do a shred of research. As I've mentioned before, extra-virgin olive oil (when consumed in moderation) is good for you and is part of a heart-healthy diet. It contains the lowest saturated fat content and the highest monounsaturated fat of all oils. Olive oil is good for your hair, skin, and nails, and can actually help reduce your risk of heart disease. I'm no dietician, but I'm really good at justifying eating fatty foods!

So anyway, don't be scared to make this recipe! When made with whole wheat pasta, it contains all of your essential amino acids and will help protect you from having a heart attack for one more day.

2 cans drained cannelinni beans
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 box pasta (I always use whole wheat shells)

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Make pasta. Once it's fully cooked (not al dente!), drain and do not rinse. 

2. During all of step 1: In a sauce pan, combine olive oil, salt, and garlic. Allow to lightly simmer.

3. Once the olive oil begins to take on a slight garlic flavor, add the drained beans and water.

4. Allow the bean mixture to simmer on medium for a few minutes. You'll know it's simmered enough when the mixture begins to look mucus-y. That's right... I'm not afraid to say when my food resembles phlegm.

4. Once your beans etc. have begun to look really yellow and gross, remove from heat and smash about 90% of them with a fork or a spoon. If you own a spork, go ahead and use that.Your mixture will become creamy. Yum yum delish.

5. Put drained pasta back into its pan and pour bean sauce over it. Stir until evenly coated. Now eat it. It's SO good!

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