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Cooking with Beans and Lentils

Cooking with dried beans and lentils, All cooking times are based on the beans
being soaked overnight, except for red lentils which don’t need soaking. By
soaking the beans they are made easier to digest by the body and their
nutrients are more readily available.

All cooking times are estimates. Once the bean has come to the boil, turn it
down to lowest heat and simmer with the lid on.

TIPS WHEN COOKING WITH BEANS

As a general rule of thumb, 1 cup of dried beans will yield about 2 ½ to 3 cups
of cooked beans.
For convenience, soak a large amount of beans overnight and after cooking
freeze them in portions so that they can be removed and added to foods when
you need them.

Always wash beans before cooking and look out for discoloured or badly
formed beans and discard. Ensure there is no debris or small rocks in the
beans.

Beans and lentils cook more quickly and their digestibility benefits with soaking
in water for about 3 to 8 hours or overnight. Discard the soaked water and
rinse well before cooking the beans or lentils in fresh water.

Salt and seasonings added during the cooking tends to make beans cook
slower and can toughen the beans so add little salt and seasonings during the
last few minutes of cooking.

Many people are concerned with the reputation that beans and lentils have for
causing flatulence. Starting your bean/ lentil ventures with small amounts helps
to increase your body’s enzyme production gradually. Soaking your beans and
lentils over night and cooking thoroughly helps to break sown the complex
sugars which challenge our digestive systems.

Some herbs that help the digestion of beans can be added during the cooking
process. These include bay leaf, cumin, fennel, and Kombu seaweed found in
health food stores. These herbs can be helpful but are by no means essential.
Try drinking a cup of fennel or peppermint tea at the end of a legume meal to
aid digestion.
Bean and lentil cooking times

Bean – 1 dry CUPS COOKING TIME CUPS


cup WATER YIELD

Adzuki 4 30-40 minutes 3


Black eyed 3 40 minutes 2
peas
Cannellini 3 45 minutes 2½
(white kidney
beans)
Fava Beans, 3 40 minutes 1 2/3
skins removed
Chick peas 4 1.5 hours 2
Green split 4 45 minutes 2
peas
Yellow split 4 1 hour 2
peas
Kidney beans 3 40 minutes 2¼
Lentils 2 40 minutes 2
brown/green
Lentils, red 3 20 minutes 2.2 ½
Lima beans, 4 45 minutes – 1 2
large hour
Lima beans, 4 50-60 minutes 3
small
Navy beans 3 40 minutes 2 2/3
Pinto beans 3 40 minutes 2 2/3
Soybeans 4 1-3 hours 3
Brown lentils with garlic and tomatoes
Serves 4. extra portions can be frozen in portions for later use

Ingredients

3 cups of cooked brown lentils

5 tomatoes sliced

5 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp of freshly ground sea salt and pepper

Method

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve with steamed broccoli and brown rice or quinoa.


Lentils with coconut milk and lime
Serves 3 to 4, This recipe cannot be frozen

Ingredients

3 cups of cooked brown lentils


1 chopped onion
1 tbsp of ginger, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp each of turmeric, (garam masala - optional), ground coriander, and
ground cumin
1 tbsp of lime juice
1 can of coconut milk or cream
¼ tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of salt
Large bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Method

1. Fry onions in olive oil until clear, then add garlic and ginger and stir fry.
Add a few spoonfuls of coconut cream and heat until the oil splits from
the cream.
2. Add spices (except nutmeg) and stir until fragrant.
3. Add lentils and the remainder of the coconut milk and stir over medium
heat until hot. Grind in sea salt and nutmeg and mix through the lime
juice and coriander.
4. Serve over steamed green vegetables and brown rice.
Red lentils in tomato sauce
Serves 4. Extra portions can be frozen for later use

Ingredients

1 cup of red lentils


400 ml of vegetable stock
2 tins of organic tomatoes or 5 fresh tomatoes and some tomato juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery
5 cloves of garlic crushed
1 thumb of ginger peeled and grated
1 tsp of ground cumin, coriander, thyme, and oregano
2 bay leaf
Seasonings

Method

1. Sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger in some olive oil and water (steam
fry).
2. Add all the herbs and stir until fragrant.
3. Add the carrots, celery, red lentils, tomatoes, bay leaves, and stock and
bring to the boil.
4. Once boiled, simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.
5. Allow to cool.

Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

Use on the first day as a stew and turn into a soup the following day by
blending, adding more liquid if required.
Lentil salad
Lentil salad with spinach, fennel, toasted hazelnuts, and lemon garlic dressing

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups of baby spinach washed


1 medium bulb of fennel
½ cup of cooked green lentils
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
Freshly-torn basil
Hazelnuts, toasted

Method

1. Finely shred the fennel, then season with sea salt and steam until soft (al
dente). Place in a small bowl and put in the fridge to cool.
2. In a pestle and mortar, pummel the garlic and some basil. Remove to a
small bowl and stir through the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Season
to taste.
3. Combine the spinach with green lentils and fennel. Toss through the
dressing and serve with sprinkled toasted hazelnuts.
Chickpea casserole
Serves 4. Extra portions can be frozen and reheated for a quick lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

½ pumpkin, cubed
2 organic potatoes, unpeeled and cut into cubes
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 jar of tomato puree
2 tsp of fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
3 cups of water
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 cups of cooked or tinned chick peas
1 courgette, cut into thick slices
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsps of light tahini

Method

1. Place the onions, pumpkin, potatoes, tomato puree, rosemary, and water
in a medium pot and bring to the boil.
2. Simmer uncovered until the potatoes are almost cooked.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to cook until the broccoli
and potato are tender.
4. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a simple salad.
Black-eyed beans with leafy greens
Serves 3. This recipe is best eaten fresh.

Ingredients

2 cups of cooked black-eyed beans


2 cups of shredded leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, pak choy, silver
beet, or choy sum)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion sliced
Fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Lemon juice, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Pine nuts
Sea salt
½ cup of finely-chopped parsley

Method

1. Gently sauté the onions and garlic in some olive oil until clear.
2. Add the beans, rosemary, leafy greens, and plenty of freshly-squeezed
lemon juice and stir until the greens have wilted.
3. Season with sea salt, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with pine nuts and
parsley.
Slow-cooked beans and tomatoes
Serves 3-4. Extra portions can be frozen for later use.

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped


4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup of haricot beans (or bean of choice), soaked overnight
1 red pepper, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp of tomato paste (not puree)
2 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil
Small handful of fresh herbs of choice (e.g.: parsley, marjoram, oregano,
coriander, rosemary, basil)
450 ml of vegetable stock
2 handfuls of spinach, shredded

Method

1. Combine all ingredients (except the spinach) in a large saucepan and


bring to the boil.
2. Transfer to a large, covered, oven-proof casserole dish and bake at
180⁰C, until the beans are almost cooked (about 1 ½ hours). Remove the
lid and cook uncovered for a further 30 minutes at 160⁰C .
3. Remove from the oven and stir through until the spinach has wilted.
Season well.

TIP: You can add additional vegetables 10 to 15 minutes before the beans are
cooked.

For a richer sauce, use 100% tomato puree in addition to some of the stock.
(Don’t confuse tomato puree with tomato paste).
Chick pea soup
Serves 4-6. Extra portions can be frozen for later use.

Ingredients

1 cup of cooked chick peas


500 ml of vegetable stock
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery
1 leek, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
2 red onions, chopped
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds, thyme, oregano
1 cup of broccoli florets
2 bay leaves

Method

1. Add all ingredients to a large pot and stir in boiling vegetable stock.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat with the lid on.
3. To thicken the soup, add 1 teaspoon of arrowroot* or corn flour to some
stock, stir well and add to the soup.

* (Arrowroot powder can be found in health food stores and is gluten free).

Serve with brown rice or quinoa for a stew lunch or blend into a soup.
Vegetable korma with lentils
Serves 4. This recipe cannot be frozen but will keep for 2 days in the fridge.

Ingredients

1 leek
1 medium onion
1 red pepper
1 cup of broccoli florets
2 cups of fresh spinach
Tin of organic lentils or 400g of soaked green lentils
2 tbsps of organic tomato puree
1 tin of low fat coconut milk (you only need half of it)
200 ml of boiling water
1 tsp each of cumin, garam masala, and turmeric

Method

1. Sauté the leek and onion on a low heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the
onion is soft,.
2. Add the cumin, garam masala, and turmeric and stir for 1 minute on low
heat.
3. Add all the other ingredients (except the coconut milk.)
4. Cover and bring to the boil.
5. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, for 10 to
15 minutes.
6. Pour in ½ tin of coconut milk and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

Serve with brown basmati rice.


Carrot and red lentil soup
Serves 4 to 5. Extra portions can be frozen for later use .

Ingredients

2 tbsps of olive oil


2 large onions
4 celery sticks
6 large carrots
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of turmeric
300g Split Red Lentils, rinsed (you don’t need to soak red lentils)
500 ml of vegetable stock

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan; add the onions and celery and
sauté over a low heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened.
2. Add the herbs and stir.
3. Add the carrots and garlic and sauté for a further 3 minutes.
4. Add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil.
5. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and cook gently for 20-25 minutes, until
the vegetables are soft and the soup is pulpy.

Blend for smooth consistency if desired. Red lentils will become very soft .
FISH
Fish is quick and easy to cook, taking only 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the
size of the fillet. Keep some frozen in the freezer for your convenience. It’s a
great source of protein and the oily varieties like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
provide you with Omega 3 for your joints, brains, nervous system, and heart,
and also helps with inflammations. We cannot manufacture Omega 3 in our
bodies, so we need to take it in our diets. Flaxseed is a plant source of omega
3. If you are injured, it is really important to get good quality protein into your
body to help repair your wounds.

Basics for buying fish

Select fish from fish counter if possible.

Make sure that the fish doesn’t smell too fishy! It’s a sure indication that it’s
going off. The flesh should look nice and fresh with no dark or dry bits on the
corners.

Frozen fish can be defrosted easily by running it under a cold tap. Ideally,
however, allow frozen fish to defrost in fridge.

Basics for cooking fish

Wash the fillet and pat dry.

Place the fish on a baking dish. You can wrap it in tinfoil or parchment paper.

Squeeze some lemon juice on the fish and add a small teaspoon of olive oil (if
weight loss is an issue, leave out the oil or butter when cooking, there are
plenty of fluids in the fish to keep it moist).

Sprinkle with dried herbs.

Oven bake at 180 degrees; it usually takes 10 to 15 minutes, depending on fish


size.

To grill, turn over after 4 minutes.

Poach in boiling water with a squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper.

To steam, place in steamer with a squeeze lemon or lime. Steamers are a


fantastic way to cook. You could be cooking your vegetables on top tier and
have dinner ready in minutes. Also a great way to retain as much of the
nutrients as possible especially where vegetables are concerned. Recently saw
a steamer in Marks and Spencer’s for €14.00 .
DO NOT FRY YOUR FISH!! OR ANY OTHER FOODS….
Thai baked fish
Served with steamed garlic spinach, baked sweet potato, and asparagus tips.

Ingredients

2 fillets of fish
2-3 cloves of crushed or sliced garlic
1 stick of lemon grass, cut into 4 strips
Zest and juice of a lime
1 inch of grated root ginger
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of tamari or soya sauce

Method

1. Heat oven to 190 degrees/gas 5.


2. Wash and place fillets in an ovenproof dish.
3. Place the garlic and lemongrass over the top of the fish.
4. Mix all the other ingredients in a cup and pour over the fish. If possible,
leave the fish to marinade for an hour.
5. Cover the fish with foil and place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes
depending on the size of the fillet. (For a deeper flavour, make individual
parcels of fish in tin foil or parchment paper.)

Steamed garlic spinach, baked sweet potato, and asparagus tips:

1. Bake sweet potato chunks, tossed in a small amount of olive oil and
pepper, in the oven for 20 minutes.
2. Place asparagus tips on the bottom of the steamer with some chopped
ginger and a splash of tamari of soya sauce. Steam for 3 minutes.
3. Put the spinach in a steamer or colander, add 2 cloves of chopped garlic
and steam for 2 to 3 minutes.
Baked cod with sautéed leeks and garlic spinach

Ingredients

2 fresh cod fillets (or any fillet of fish of your choice)

1 large leeks

large bag of baby spinach

3 garlic cloves

1 lemon

Method

Wash fillets, pat dry. Place on tin foil (either individually or altogether). Drizzle
with extra virgin olive oil. Add a squeeze of lemon juice on each fillet. Season
with black pepper and then wrap like a parcel. Put in oven at 180 Degrees, will
be cooked in 12 to 15 minutes.

Melt some oil in a pan and add chopped leeks; sauté on low heat for 3 to 4
minutes; turn heat to low (gas mark 2, electric hob 1)and cover with lid, stirring
occasionally.

On a low heat (gas 2 and electric mark 3), place washed baby spinach in a
large pot with 2 tablespoons of water. Add crushed garlic and mix. You will see
the spinach wilting very quickly. Leave the heat on low, until totally wilted.
Turn heat off. Place lid on top and allow to steam in the garlic. (You don’t get
much out of 1 bag of spinach so if feeding more than 2 people get two bags.)

Serve the fish on a bed of leeks with spinach and extra wedge of lemon.
Scallops with ginger and lemon grass

Ingredients

12 Scallops
2 tablespoons of finely chopped lemon grass
2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of unrefined sesame oil
2 tablespoon mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 lime, juiced
Coriander leaf and lime wedges to serve

Method

1. Mix the lemon grass, ginger, sesame oil, mirin, fish sauce, and lime juice
together and leave to infuse for a few minutes
2. Place the scallops in an oven dish and spoon a little of the marinade over
each of the scallops.
3. Bake in the oven for 4 minutes, turning after 2 minutes and placing some
marinade on the other side.
4. Check that the scallops are cooked by slicing down the middle, they
should be clear all the way through, no raw centres.
5. Serve with lime wedges and coriander leaves.

Variations

Use prawns instead of scallops.

Use the marinade for other fish dishes.

Serve with a rocket and cucumber salad.


Marinated roast fillet of fish
Serves 2

Ingredients

2 fresh fish fillets


Juice of half an orange
4 tbsps of tamari or soy sauce
A 5 cm piece of ginger, grated

Method

1. Mix the orange juice, tamari, and ginger together and pour over the fish,
ensuring that all of the fish is coated.
2. Cover and leave the fillets for at least 3 hours, turning after 1 ½ hours.
3. Take the fish out of the marinade and bake for 15 minutes in the oven at
180 °C / gas mark 4.

Variations/Serve with

Minted pea puree

Steamed broccoli with a teaspoon of sesame oil


Organic lamb moussaka

Ingredients

1 teaspoon of coconut oil


500g of organic minced lamb
3 aubergines
2 medium onions
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, rosemary, thyme and mixed herbs
½ teaspoon of all-spice
2 tins of tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
½ cup of hot water
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Slice the aubergines length ways, cover with salt on both sides and cover
in tea towels. For how long?!]
2. When you have the lamb mince ready, wash the aubergines and dry
them using a tea towel or large towel.
3. Place the coconut oil in a pan, add the minced lamb, cook and strain.
4. In the same pan, add a small bit more coconut oil in with 1 tablespoon of
water.
5. Add the onions and sauté on the lowest heat for 5 minutes.
6. Add all the herbs and stir into the onions for 2 minutes.
7. Add the tomatoes, puree, and seasoning and bring to the boil. Once
boiling, reduce to a simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes, stirring
occasionally.
8. Line the bottom of an oven dish with the aubergine, then a thin layer of
mince ,and continue this for about 5 layers. You want the top layer to be
aubergine.
Lamb burgers
Serves 2

Ingredients

400g of minced lamb


1tbsp of dried thyme
1 tbsp of ground cumin
Zest of 1 lemon
Pepper and sea salt

Method

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands, ensuring that
the herbs are mixed well into the lamb. (Alternatively, mix everything in
a food processor.)
2. With damp hands, make burger shapes or small rissoles with the lamb
mixture. Bake in the oven [how hot?] for 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Serve with rocket, tomato, cucumber, red onion, toasted pine nuts, mint,
and parsley salad. You could also use some hummus with this dish.

Serve with ¼ cup of grain of choice.


Turkey breast stir fry
Turkey breast stir fry with crunchy vegetables and toasted almond flakes

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 turkey breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 cups of bean sprouts
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped into strips
Bunch of pak choy
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 scallions, cut into strips
3 tbsps of toasted, flaked almonds
5 tbsps of tamari or soya
3 tbsps of mirin (Japanese sweet rice vinegar)
Lime wedge to serve on side

Method

1. Steam/bake or grill your turkey breast with garlic cloves and freshly
milled black pepper and some lemon juice. Steaming turkey or chicken
gives it a lovely succulent flavour and is quick. Avoid using oils, and try to
avoid frying the meat if possible.
2. Sauté the onion on a low heat, add the crushed garlic, and sauté for a
further minute.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of tamari.
4. Put the pak choy in a colander and pour boiling water over it to allow to
wilt. Strain and add to the wok with meat and all other vegetables,
except scallions, and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
5. In a separate small pan, bring the mirin and remaining tamari to the boil;
once boiled, take off the heat and add scallions; allow to sit for 1 minute.
6. Add the sauce to the dish, toss and sprinkle with toasted almond flakes.
Turkey Shepherd’s pie

Ingredients

500g of minced turkey


2 medium sweet potatoes
½ teaspoon of coconut oil or cooking oil of choice (not extra virgin)
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 thumb of ginger
1 heaped tsp of cumin
½ tsp of cinnamon
2 tins of plum tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato puree
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, ½ cup of frozen peas, 1 red pepper, chopped
1 large handful of baby spinach
Pinch of paprika, sea salt, and black pepper

Method

1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into cubes, place in cold water and
bring to the boil. Once boiled, reduce to simmer for 15 minutes until
cooked through. Drain and set aside.
2. Over a medium heat, place the oil in a large pot with 1 tablespoon of
water. Sweat the onion and garlic for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring
occasionally.
3. Add the cumin and cinnamon and coat the onions well.
4. Keep on low heat and add the turkey mince and mix well into ingredients.
You will need to scrap the spices off the end of the pot.
5. Turn the heat up to medium to cook the turkey mince through.
6. When the turkey is cooked, add the ginger, tomatoes, and puree; stir well
and bring to the boil. Once boiled, reduce to a simmer and add the
balsamic vinegar, peas, and red pepper, and cook for a further 10
minutes.
7. Add the baby spinach and stir through, it should wilt in the heat. Season
with black pepper.
8. Place the turkey into a pie dish and add mashed sweet potatoes on top. Sprinkle with some
paprika and bake in the oven at 180⁰ C for 15 minutes.
Chicken chermoula
Chermoula is a North African spice and herb mix that makes a wonderful
marinade for chicken or turkey.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 skinless chicken breasts


½ teaspoon of olive oil
1 ½ tbsp of lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of fresh flat leaf parsley
½ tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander
½ teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
½ teaspoon of paprika
Salt and black pepper

Method

1. Mix all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a bowl to make the
marinade.
2. Cut several slashes in each chicken breast and rub the marinade into the
meat, cover and allow to marinade for 2 hours or more.
3. Grill or fry for 10 to 15 minutes or until the juices run clear. Turn the
chicken over half-way.
4. Serve with salad and tomato relish or quinoa salad.
Bean and vegetable soup
A one-pot winter warmer, packed with fibre. Freeze for convenience. You could
blend this soup if you wanted to.

Ingredients

¼ cup of dry red lentils


1 tin of green lentils
2 onions, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
3 leeks, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
4 tsps of vegetable bouillon in 1 ¼ litres of boiling water
Salt and black pepper
1 bay leaf
Sprig of thyme
4 tbsps of fresh parsley, chopped

Method

1. Put the onions, celery, leeks, and carrots in a pot; add the stock and
thyme and bring to the boil.
2. Once boiling, add the red lentils and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the green lentils and seasoning and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Add some fresh parsley at the end of cooking.

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