Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cannellini Beans & Broccoli

This meal is a tasty mixture of cannellini beans, broccoli, onions, garlic, mushrooms and soy sausage in a white wine broth.  I love the smell of sauteed onions and garlic when you pour some white wine over them, so much so, that I created a dish around it.  It’s a delicious combination of flavors, that is so good, I had to make it twice in one week.

Cannellini beans are large kidney shaped Italian white beans.  Bigger than great northern or navy beans, they’re also milder in flavor and have a creamier texture.  They’re hard to find in cans (that would be probably be lined with BPA plastic) and are pricey in those little jars so I cook my own.  I find that white beans take longer to cook in a pressure cooker than other beans, usually about 25 minutes.  If you haven’t invested in a pressure cooker yet, I highly recommend it.  It allows you to cook beans in a fraction of the time it takes to soak and boil them.  Think of the energy that you’ll save.

I started with some broccoli flower tops, which I steamed for just a few minutes.  I sauteed some onions, garlic and mushrooms in a little olive oil.  When the onions and mushrooms were lightly browned, I poured a 1/2 cup of white wine and a quarter cup of broth over them.  I’d mixed a little corn starch into the broth, first, to allow the sauce to thicken up.  Then, I added the cooked cannellini beans, the cooked broccoli, and the browned and sliced soy sausage.

I love these soy sausages. They’re made by Turtle Island and they’re the only ones that I know of that  don’t contain soy isolates.  Isolates are a highly refined and purified form of soy protein that may contain dangerous levels of hexane and aluminum.  If you can’t find these sausages you can replace them with some cubed baked tofu.  It’s tasty either way.
Cannellini Beans and Broccoli
Makes 3 servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
2 cups broccoli tops
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
10 mushrooms, sliced 
1/4 cup vegetable broth (I used Imagine Un-chicken broth)
1 teaspoon organic corn starch
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups cooked Cannellini beans
2 soy sausages, sauteed and sliced (or sub with two pieces of cubed baked tofu)
Fresh basil for garnish
Steam the broccoli tops for 3-4 minutes and then turn off the heat and remove the pot top.
(this prevents them from continuing to cook)
Put the olive oil in a saute pan over a medium low heat.
Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and saute, stirring often, for 4 minutes.
Turning the heat up to medium and add the mushrooms.
Cook this mixture until the mushrooms are browned, stirring often.
Add the teaspoon of corn starch to the broth and stir until dissolved.
Pour the wine over the mushroom mixture and then pour the broth over them.
Let this cook for a few minutes to thicken up.
Add the cooked beans, steamed broccoli and the protein of your choice and stir.
Cook for a few more minutes, or until everything is warmed through.
Garnish with chopped basil.

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