Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cannellini Beans With Roasted Butternut Squash
Instant Pot And Stove Top Recipes

Roasted butternut squash adds a natural sweetness to this dish.

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Beans for Fiber, Protein and More
For those of you who have vowed to eat less meat this year, you will be happy to know that you can get lots of high quality protein from beans. Unlike with meat, this protein comes with critical dietary fiber, antioxidants, and complex carbohydrates that will stabilize your blood sugar and help lower your cholesterol. The best part about this protein source is that it doesn't come with saturated fat and cholesterol. So add some to your diet each day.

Winter Squash
I had a wonderful winter squash harvest this year so I'm looking for recipes to use them up. Last week, my friend Margarite brought over some cannellini beans with roasted butternut squash. The roasted squash gave the beans a beautiful sweet flavor. Here's my attempt to duplicate this lovely recipe. You can make the beans in an Instant Pot or just cook them on the stove, but always start with dry beans. I don't think canned beans would taste as good.

Some of my winter squash harvest.
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Cannellini Beans with Roasted Butternut Squash
Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
[makes 6 servings]

Beans can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop.

Allow time to soak beans overnight.

1 1/2 cups dry cannellini beans 
Water for soaking
4 cups rich vegetable stock
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pound butternut squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or splash of vinegar (optional)

Pick through the cannellini beans for rocks and rinse well. Place in a pot, cover with 2 inches of water, and soak overnight.  If you forgot to soak the beans overnight you can place them in a pot with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil on medium heat, turn off the heat, and let the beans sit in the pot, covered, until the water cools down. One and a half cups of dry beans should plump up to about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups of soaked beans.

Rinse the soaked beans well. If you are cooking them on the stovetop, place the beans in a large pot or 5-quart Dutch oven with the stock, onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook until tender. You may need to add more broth if it cooks down.

If you are using an Instant pot pressure cooker, place the soaked and rinsed beans in the pot along with the stock, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Hit the manual button and set for 6 minutes under high pressure. Make sure the quick release switch is in the closed position. 

When it's done, hit the off button and let the pressure come down naturally. When complete, open the cover and tilt so that the steam comes out the back and away from your face. Test for doneness. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the beans are cooking, clean the squash. Check out my post on An Easy Way to Cut a Butternut Squash. Dice the squash and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried rosemary. Toss until well coated and spread out on a non-stick shallow baking pan or one lined with a Silpat silicon mat. Roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until cooked and slightly golden brown.

You may notice that I have heavily seasoned the squash. Once cooked, the squash will be used to season the beans so don't skimp on the salt and other seasonings.

Before baking
After roasting

Remove the roasted squash from the oven and set aside.

After the beans are cooked (using either method), stir the cooked squash into the beans. Simmer the squash and beans together so that their flavors melt together. If on the cooktop, simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes. If in the instant pot, you can either hit saute for 10 minutes or slow cook for 30 minutes. 

Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir in lemon juice or vinegar, if desired. 

Serve immediately over rice, quinoa, or your favorite grain or pasta, or refrigerate. They will thicken and become even more flavorful the next day. This is a good dish to make on Sunday and serve a few times during the week.

Cannellini beans with roasted butternut squash
served over GABA sprouted brown rice.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving: 261 calories, 7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 151 mg omega-3 and 769 mg omega-6 essential fatty acids, 10 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 9 g dietary fiber, and 399 mg sodium.

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