Beth Baldino, MSW, CHHC
Certified Holistic Health Counselor
(973) 979-6951

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Beans Bolognese with Pasta

Let the beans replace the meat in this heart-friendly, hearty version of the classic pasta dish

Ingredients:

1 14-ounce can salad beans (mixed beans) or can of your favorite bean rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat or brown rice pasta of your choice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 56 secs)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

A twist on the classic version for when you want something special. Great as a dip or a spread for sandwiches or wraps.

Ingredients:

2 cups chickpeas/garbanzos (1 cup dried or 2 15-oz cans drained)
6 cups vegetable stock or water (for cooking beans)
2 bay leaves (for cooking beans)
1 teaspoon cumin seed or ½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 medium red bell pepper
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt or ¼ cup soft silken tofu
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 60 secs)

Basic Hummus

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzos (3 15-oz cans drained or 2 cups dried, to be soaked and cooked as instructed)
½ cup sesame tahini
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, if using canned.
  2. Combine chickpeas with remaining ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor or blender container. Blend to a rough puree texture adding a little more water if necessary. The mixture should not be totally smooth.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the olive oil.

Braised White Beans and Escarole

Ingredients:

2 cups white cannelini or great northern beans (1 cup dried or 2 15-ounce cans)
3 cups water
2 bay leaves (for cooking beans)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ head escarole, cleaned and chopped
½ cup water
½ cube vegetable bouillon or other vegetable seasoning (such as A. Vogel organic herb seasoning salt, used to taste)

Instruction:

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  1. Prepare beans according to bean chart directions (using bay leaves and adding ½ teaspoon salt to beans at end of cooking and cook for additional 5 minutes) or drain canned beans.

Leafy Greens & Beans

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups kale
2 cups water
1 15-ounce can or approximately 1 cup fresh cannelini beans
¾ cup chicken stock

Instructions:

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  1. Wash kale and strip the leaves off the stalks. Discard stalks and roughly chop kale.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a 10-12 inch skillet that has a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Add the kale and cook, covered, over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Remove and drain, saving the cooking liquid to drink (for a really healthy, vitamin and mineral rich green cocktail known as “pot likker”).

Italian-Style White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe

I’ve written about the tremendous value of beans elsewhere (see Bountiful Beans & Legumes in this cooking class overview). Combined here with a leafy-green familiar to anyone who enjoys Italian food, this is an extremely nutritious and delicious soup.  This recipe is from Greens Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi & Catherine Walthers, an excellent resource for anyone wanting to add more of these foods to their diet.

This recipe serves approximately four people

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 1:30 mins)

Lentil Soup

Beans, actually one type of legume (a category that includes peas like string beans, green beans, and lentils) are a rich source of protein, fiber, minerals including iron, potassium and magnesium, and vitamins like folate. They also contain phytochemicals, like flavonoids, that can reduce your risk of developing some diseases.  And for all their nutritional benefit and delicious taste, beans are also extremely affordable, making them a great choice for everyone trying to eat well on a budget.

This simple recipe serves approximately four people, and is adapted from The Whole Truth, an excellent book by Andrea Beaman, Holistic Health Counselor. All soups are great for making in larger batches and using for multiple meals.

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 54 secs)

Simple Brownies-Dairy, Wheat & Sugar-Free

These brownies are dairy, sugar, and wheat-free. I also love them for their ease. They are different than traditional brownies, but rich & satisfying. They go well with an all-natural whipped cream on the side. Kids tend to really enjoy them!

In terms of the health benefits, the carob is high-fiber, and contains antioxidants, vitamin E, phosphorus, calcium, and an anti-allergic & antibacterial substance called gallic acid. Unlike chocolate, it has no caffeine, which makes this a great alternative for the evening dessert for children or adults who are sensitive to caffeine’s effects. The garbanzo beans (chick peas) are a good source of  folic acid, manganese, protein, and a trace mineral called molybdenum, known to detoxify sulfites, a preservative often found in wine, lunch meats, and used on salad  bars.

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 59 secs)

Making the Most of Farmer’s Markets

Eating well is never easier than when your local produce is so conveniently available at the temporary markets that allow farmers to sell directly to the public. You can find these markets in both small towns and big cities, from early spring into the fall (or all year-round in the southern and western states). Here are some suggestions for making the most of the experience this summer:

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  1. Bring your own heavy-duty bags and you’ll be able to handle your purchases much more easily. If you become a regular, a wheeled cart or wagon is a worthwhile purchase.

Recipe: Spiced Lentils

Beans are a rich source of protein, fiber, minerals including iron, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins like folate. They also contain phytochemicals like flavonoids, anti-oxidants that help the body avoid oxygen-related damage. Their health benefits include blood-sugar maintenance, cancer-prevention, and promoting heart health. Beans can also play an important role in weight management, as they provide lots of satisfying “bulk” without a lot of calories.

Lentils are a particularly good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. They are also provide special benefits in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. They also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein-all with virtually no fat.

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 1:37 mins)

Recipe: White Bean Arugula Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing

Beans are a rich source of protein, fiber, minerals including iron, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins like folate. They also contain phytochemicals like flavonoids, anti-oxidants that help the body avoid oxygen-related damage. Their health benefits include blood-sugar maintenance, cancer-prevention, and promoting heart health. Beans can also play an important role in weight management, as they provide lots of satisfying “bulk” without a lot of calories.

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 1:07 mins)