Hearty Middle Eastern butter bean stew
Health benefits of butter beans
- These beans not only soak up the flavour of any dish they’re put in, but they are also a wonderful source of plant-based protein. Butter beans contain a whopping 6 grams of protein per half a cup serving.
- Butter beans are also a great source of prebiotic fibre, meaning that they actually help to feed the good bacteria of the gut.
- With a range of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and folate, you’ll want to keep butter beans in high rotation!
Why cumin is good for you
- Like most spices, cumin is full of flavonoids (plant chemicals) that act as antioxidants in the body, helping to protect cells against free radical damage.
- Cumin helps to aid digestion, relieving bloating and gas.
- Cumin is also a good source of vitamins and minerals - it is particularly high in calcium, magnesium and iron.
Add vitamin C with capsicum
- The high vitamin C content of capsicum gives this dish an extra immunity and antioxidant boost.
- The vitamin C from the capsicum helps to increase the absorption of iron found in the other ingredients in this dish.
- The vibrant colour of capsicum also indicates that it is an excellent source of betacarotene, along with other antioxidants such as lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin - helping to protect the body from free radical damage.
- 2 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 200g brassica greens (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale) or other winter greens, thinly sliced
- 250g roasted capsicum, thinly sliced
- 1½ cups (375ml) of water
- 1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Za’atar, to serve
- Thoroughly rinse the butter beans and set them aside to drain in a colander or mesh sieve.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and fry for 5 minutes stirring occasionally, or until the onions have softened.
- Add in the tomato paste, crushed garlic and cumin seeds plus a little salt and pepper and allow to fry for another 3 - 4 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the tomato paste has deepened in colour – this will allow the tomato paste to sweeten and the garlic flavour to mellow.
- Add in the sliced greens and cook until the greens have wilted, then add in the sliced capsicum and drained butter beans. Pour in the water and stir to combine.
- Allow to simmer on medium heat, uncovered, for around 5 - 8 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the butter beans are heated through.
- Turn off the heat, drizzle in the balsamic vinegar and stir through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
- Serve the braised beans hot or at room temperature. Top with a sprinkling of za’atar, some freshly chopped parsley and a little goat’s cheese, or a dollop of hummus. For an extra filling boost of protein, top with a fried egg.
- SELF Nutrition Data. Updated 25th May 2018, accessed 20th July 2022 from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4340/2
- Organic Facts. Updated 24th June 2021, accessed 20th July 2022 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-cumin.html
- Very Well Fit. Updated 25th August 2021, accessed 20th July 2022 from https://www.verywellfit.com/bell-pepper-nutrition-facts-calories-and-health-benefits-4119789