Monday, November 5, 2007

The Secret Life of Lima Beans

In my opinion, Lima Beans are about the unsexiest most boring things on the planet. They are dull, they are mushy and they taste like cardboard. But they are also one of the healthiest sources of low-fat, low-cholesterol protein out there so when I found this Cooking Light version of New Brunswick Stew, I decided to give it a chance despite the fact that it called for an entire 10 ounce carton of frozen lima beans. After all, the whole point of this blog is to get us to try NEW things that we might not otherwise have been brave enough to try and allow ourselves to be surprised by what we might find. I'm glad I did. The entire stew was excellent, and lima beans moonlight in this dish like the ugly duckling that has finally blossomed into the beautiful swan. The lima beans are even more enriched by their surroundings, absorbing the flavours of the other ingredients and giving a heartiness to the stew that makes you wish it could be winter all year round. Like that friend you never saw in that certain light until they finally started dating someone else, Lima beans... I never knew you had it in you.

For everything you ever wanted to know about the secret life of lima beans, check out The World's Healthiest Foods.

Much of the flavor of this recipe depends on the Tabasco sauce so don't be shy. The recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon and I used about a Tablespoon which came out nice and flavorful without being too spicy.

Brunswick Stew

From 19th-century Virginia, this stew originally included squirrel meat (we opt here for chicken). Although the stew is sometimes thickened with stale bread cubes, this version uses flour to give it body and features garlic bread on the side. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.


Cooking spray
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
6 (1-ounce) slices Italian bread, toasted
2 garlic cloves, halved


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, onion, and celery to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oil to pan. Combine flour and chicken in a medium bowl, tossing to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (through lima beans) to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

Rub bread slices with cut sides of garlic; discard garlic. Serve bread with stew.


6 servings (serving size: 1 cup stew and 1 slice bread)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 319(26% from fat); FAT 9.2g (sat 2.2g,mono 3.5g,poly 2.6g); PROTEIN 22.4g; CHOLESTEROL 50mg; CALCIUM 58mg; SODIUM 596mg; FIBER 5.8g; IRON 3.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 38g

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough , Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2007

1 comment:

Don Early said...

Squirrel meat... Well, I think another kind of more red type meat would work better in this recipe. The chicken turned out pretty dry. The lima beans, well, still not a fan. Reminded me a bit of something that Ben would make. However, I didn't get the usual reaction that his recipes have on me. Gas!

I'd REALLY be interested in trying this with more adventurous meats. It was a VERY hardy stew.

The peas in the cornbread were not a fave however... but then again, I strongly dislike peas.