Tag Archives: vitamin B

homage to herbs

18 Jun

1224527043_e132d2f026Herbs are a delicious and nutritious way to add flavor to lots of dishes. They taste magical in various outlets; omelets, spritzers, on all sorts of meats, seafood, tofu, in ice cream, vegetables, pasta sauce, salad dressings, marinades and rubs, and in creative desserts.

As wonderful as they are as accompaniments to many dishes, have you considered using them to make an herb salad, containing only herbs?  Yes, it can be done, and the results will leave your taste buds as happy as ever!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of the following herbs: parsley, basil, chives, taragon, dill
  • 1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Wash all herbs in cold water and pat dry. Tear off the leaves and combine in a large bowl. Cut chives into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the rest of the herbs. To make the vinaigrette, mix the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper together, then slowly whisk in the olive oil until the mixture gets thick. Toss the salad with enough dressing to lightly coat each leaf. It is also fun, and pretty to add edible flowers (like nasturtiums) as a garnish, or serve as is.

Herbs not only taste great, but are also packed with important nutrients. We used the following herbs in our salad:

  • Parsley: Derives its name from the greek word for “rock celery,” parsley is packed with vitamins B, A, C, K, E, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium.
  • Basil: Prized in many cultures as the “holy herb,” basil is a great source of vitamins A + C, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium.
  • Chives: Containing the most vitamin A of all of their allium family members, chives are rich in vitamins K, C, B and minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc and calcium.
  • Tarragon: Used to treat toothaches in Ancient Greece, tarragon is full of vitamins A, B, C, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
  • Dill: Native to Southern Russia, this fernlike herb is a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin A.
Photo courtesy of Denise Defreyne

our love affair with beans

2 May

8035456049_0801afba3fHere at Butter Beans, we truly love our beans!

You may have wondered where we came up with the name Butter Beans? Our co-founder and CEO, Belinda grew up in North Carolina on a farm and used to shell butter beans with her grandmother. This experience stood out to her as one of her fondest food memories. Butter beans are extremely nutrient dense and delicious, and were one of Belinda’s favorite foods she enjoyed as a child. Now these beans have come to embody our mission of feeding children nutritious foods at lunch-time, teaching children about nutrition, and the skills to cook up homemade meals for themselves and their families.

Beans are an excellent source of protein, are filled with fiber, vitamin B, folate and minerals like iron, potassium and zinc. Eating beans helps keep your heart, circulation, blood pressure and digestion strong! They make a great addition to most dishes; mixed into rice or quinoa, tossed into salads, blended into dips, sculpted into patties, stewed in soups, and spiced up to make a tasty chili.

Buying them in a can is great for saving time (always rinse the beans in a colander after opening the can to remove some of the sodium, and look for cans that are BPA free), however, buying them dry then soaking and cooking them on your own can save you money and time too (say thank you to your freezer)!  Soaking your beans also allows for easier digestion, and contain a lesser amount of sodium than canned beans.

Here’s how you can make your very own delicious beans at home:

Add 1 cup of dried beans to a bowl (they get bigger when you soak them, so with 1 cup of dried beans you end up with 2.5-3 cups depending on the bean), add water to cover the beans and place on your countertop or in your fridge for at least 8 hours. Rinse your beans off in a colander, and place in a pot. Add water to cover your beans by at least 2-3 inches, bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes- 1 hour (they are pretty low maintenance). Like you would when cooking pasta, taste a few beans to make sure they are cooked to your desired texture.

Use your cooked beans for lunch, dinner or even breakfast (huevos rancheros, yum). With your leftover or extra beans, place them in freezer bags or glass containers and place in your freezer for later use.

Photo courtesy of tonrulkens

Flora’s seasonal recipe: welcome back asparagus!

30 Apr

2552865406_0f2739a78bI’d like to give a warm welcome to our long lost friend, asparagus. When spring arrives, I always look forward to the shoots and stalks that we get to enjoy during this transformative time of year. When you are in the practice of eating seasonally you tend to get really excited about welcoming back certain items into your kitchen, and boy am I excited for asparagus’ debut!

I love asparagus, not only for it’s nutty-sweet taste, but also for the nourishment I receive from them. Asparagus is full of vitamin K, B’s, C, beta-carotene, zinc and other trace minerals that helps clear our skin, and clean our blood. Thanks my friends!

When I have a bundle of asparagus waiting to be devoured, one of my first inclinations is to sauté them like we did last spring, but this spring I want to try something different, so I’m going to make a fresh asparagus soup for chillier spring evenings.

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch of local asparagus
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Directions:

Roast your garlic, by placing your cloves (keep the peel on) in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. Add your stock and bring to a boil. Snap off the bottom of your asparagus stems (save them for a shaved salad later), and simmer them in the stock for 10-20 minutes or until your asparagus is fork tender. Place your tender spears and vegetable stock into your blender (or keep it in your pot, and use an immersion blender), add the roasted garlic (peels removed) and blend until smooth. Top your soup off with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper. I added a touch of goat cheese to mimic the effect of creme fraiche, but the soup stands well on it’s own without the addition of cheese.

Happy spring eating to all!

Photo courtesy of Benson Kua