These days, many people are looking for more plant-based meals for various reasons and still crave a hearty meal. Plant-based can still mean something with sustenance, warmth, vibrant colors, and flavors to help fill your belly and your soul! Stews are a great way to satisfy that need for a heartier meal. They can be served warm in the colder months, and cold on a hot and humid day.
The spinach in this meal delivers a serving of low-glycemic vegetables, gut-promoting fiber, and vitamin K, A, C and folate. The iron in spinach plays a role in well-functioning red blood cells which help to transport oxygen around the body.
The phytochemicals ("plant magic") in onions can reduce the amount of damaging free radicals circulating in your body. The sulfur and chromium work in tandem to help reduce blood sugar.
Olive oil is rich in heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat. This helps us absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins in the dish, promote healthy hormones, and nourish our skin and hair. Olive oil also has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is a staple in health-promoting Mediterranean Diet.
Thyme is known to help sore throats...as well as lowering high blood pressure and helping to manage elevated cholesterol in the blood.
Garlic is highly nutritious, yet low in calories. The powerful compounds in garlic can help to reduce and stabilize blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Cannelli beans brings a plant-based serving of protein to help heal damaged tissues and promote and strong and lean body. These white beans are also full of fiber which promote a diverse microbiome, weight management, and regular bowel movements.
The lycopene (that red hue) in tomatoes are activated most during the cooking process. It has been shown to promote the health of the skin, prostate, heart, bones, and blood vessels.
White Bean and Spinach Stew (Serves 4)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
• 2 x 16-oz. cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed & drained
• 1/2 cup water
• 4 canned plum tomatoes, drained (organic if possible)
• 1 x 14-ounce low sodium veggie broth (organic if possible)
• 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.
2. Add garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute.
3. Add the beans, water, tomatoes, and broth. Increase heat to high until stew begins to simmer.
4. Reduce heat; let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring. Add more water, if needed.
5. Stir in the spinach, and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
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In good health,