Today the sun is shining and I thought it was a good excuse to get some seriously feel-good summer food on the blog.
Last week, I was looking through my cupboard stores and I saw a large bag of multi-coloured beans and I just knew that I had to cook something delicious with them immediately. So, I soaked them to come back to tomorrow, giving me a few hours to decide what I would do with them. I have always loved beans and I used to consume them in large quantities, especially when my sensitivities about meat and my love for animals meant that I stopped eating meat entirely when I was around five or six years old (my mother could tell you a lot more about that!). I did start pick-ily eating some meat again in my teens, until I stopped again when I was diagnosed with RA.
These beans was a bag of mixed beans which amazingly included black eye beans, black turtle beans, butter beans, haricot beans, lima beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, rose cocoa beans, alubia beans and mung beans. I know, I have not heard of some of them either! Anyway, these came in a pack from Waitrose, so I am sure you could find something similar in a local supermarket. The day after I put them on to soak, I completely fell in love with them and their amazing hues of greens, pinks, red, speckled purple, peach and white. The beans more than tripled in size during their soak overnight, and it wasn’t until they were spread out across my kitchen island and I knew what to do with them. This is the first non-vegetarian meal I have put on my blog so far. I have started to introduce more fish to my diet. Mainly oily fish like salmon to help my RA, but when I was out, these loins looked do good, I had to get them.
We all know that beans are great for us, but just in case you need a reminder: Beans are a great source of fibre and molybdenum, which helps to activate enzymes in the body. These two things are so important to maintain digestive help which supports many other functions in your body and can defend against diseases. They also contain iron, phosphorous, potassium, amino acids and protein. This makes them essential to diets that to not include animal protein.
*Before starting this recipe, soak the beans overnight. The following day, put the beans in a pot, and cover them with water. Put on a high heat and bring to the boil. Remove any foam from the water, then reduce the heat to a summer and leave the beans on for 1-1 ½ hrs. Keep checking there is enough water in the pan so that the beans do not dry our and burn. Add more water as necessary until they are tender and easy to squeeze between your fingers. Take off the heat and drain, ready to use when you make the below recipe.*
tomato bean mix
800g mixed beans
5 large organic tomatoes, large chop
1 yellow onion, large chop
2 shallots, fine chop
1 can organic chopped tomatoes
2 tsp extra virgin organic olive oil
4 cod loins
4 thin slices of organic unwaxed lemon
2 vines of organic baby tomatoes, each one cut into 2, so you have 4 sprigs in total
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin organic olive oil
tomato bean mix
1. put the olive oil, shallots and onion into a frying pan on a low/medium heat until translucent
2. add the large chopped fresh tomatoes, stir on the heat until they are soft
3. add the tinned tomatoes and continue to cook down
4. once they are all cooking away together add the beans and season to taste
5. add the fresh oregano and cook on a low heat for a further 15 to 20 minutes until ready to serve.
1. preheat the oven to 200C
2. while the tomato bean mix is cooking, put the cod loins in a baking tray lined with foil, with enough over the edge to fold over the cod
3. add a pinch of Himalayan salt and fresh pepper to each loin, place on a slice of leon and drizzle with olive oil cover with foil
4. put in the oven for 20 minutes
5. remove from the oven and fold back the foil, place the baby vine tomatoes next to the fish, cover with foil and put back in the oven for a further 10 minutes
6. remove from the oven and assemble the cod and tomatoes over the bean mix.