One way to get plenty of whole grains, beans and legumes into your diet is by turning leftover beans and rice into cheesy croquettes. Have your kids help you pick out bean and lentils in the bulk section of your store. Go for mixes with lots of different beans and lentils, it's a great way to try new things and oh-so healthy!
I made this super simple 7 bean and lentil "casserole" in my pressure cooker. I lightly sauteed the green pepper & onion then simply added the bean mix, brown basmati rice and broth and cooked on the 2nd ring for 10 minutes. I love the time savings with my pressure cooker!
Just make sure you rinse then soak your beans and rice separately, beans for at least 3 hours and up 10 hours, rice for 20 minutes. This is really important to remove starch, reduce gas and remove phytic acid which can cause mineral deficiencies due to it's zinc and iron blocking effects.
This is the starch still in the water after thourougly rinsing and on it's 2nd soak.
* Health Tip
Phytic acid in grains, nuts, seeds and beans represents a serious problem in our diets. This problem exists because we have lost touch with our ancestral heritage of food preparation. Thanks to the recent trend of raw and unprocessed “whole foods;” more people are consuming a lot of high-phytate foods like commercial whole wheat bread and all-bran breakfast cereals. But while raw may be good for most veggies and fruits, raw is definitely not Nature’s way for grains, nuts, seeds and beans. . . and even some tubers, like yams; nor are quick cooking or rapid heat processes like extrusion.
Diets high in phytic acid can also cause a calcium deficiency since the body has to excrete more of this important mineral to metabolise the phytic acid. Phytic acid not only grabs on to or chelates important minerals, but also inhibits enzymes that we need to digest our food, including pepsin, needed for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach, and amylase, needed for the breakdown of starch into sugar. Trypsin, needed for protein digestion in the small intestine, is also inhibited by phytates.
Read more about this here.
Bored with Beans? Turn them into croquettes!
1 cup 5 Bean mix
1 cup Brown Basmati Rice
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 cup Yellow Onion, diced
1/2 cup diced, Italian stewed tomatoes
2 teaspoons Italian herb mix
3 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
Dinner ~ Night One:
Place All ingredients into a Pressure Cooker ( can also use a slow cooker). Cover and bring pressure to 2nd red ring. Lower heat to med-low to maintain pressure. Set timer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, let pressure come down naturally ( about 3 -4 minutes). Serve with fresh fruit and greens salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
* Healthy Tip: serving Brown or Whole grain rice along with beans or legumes is
considered a complete protein. Eat Raw veggies and/or fruits before your meal to help
with digestion and control hunger.
Dinner Night Two: I usually make Seafood so as not to have beans 2 night in a row.
Dinner Night Tree: Bean and Basmati Cheesey Croquettes
You Will Need:
2 cups of leftover beans and rice dinner
1/2 cup shredded cheddar, Monterrey jack or mozzarella.
For the bread crumb coating:
1/4 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese
1/2 cup home made bread crumbs ( make extra and store in fridge or freezer for quick use)
1 tablespoon mixed herb seasoning of choice ( I like Trader Joe's 21 season salute)
toss to coat
Putting it all together:
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into small balls with hands. Carefully roll balls into breadcrumb mixture. Place on very lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 400F degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.