The New Year is upon us and with the New Year very often comes…New Year’s resolutions! Have you made any resolutions this year? Are you sticking to them? Perhaps you’ve vowed to read more, exercise more, be nicer, get out of debt or volunteer. Of course, there’s always the ever-popular resolution to eat better and/or lose weight. I don’t know about you, but after the excesses of the holidays, I’m ready to get back to more vegetables and less sugar.
We have here in our collection a lovely cookbook by Meg Wolff – A Life in Balance: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Optimal Health. Published in 2010, the book is full of healthy recipes like Summery Quinoa Salad, Vegan Pad Thai, Sweet Turnips with Maple Glaze and the one I’m going to share with you here today – George’s Tuscan Bean and Bread Hearty Stew.
This hearty stew could certainly fit right into a new year of healthy eating!
George’s Tuscan Bean and Bread Hearty Stew
In January 1999, Dr. Devra Krassner, a naturopath, told me that “some women with breast cancer have been helped by the macrobiotic (a plant-based) diet.” She later told me that her father George Krassner had adopted the way of eating when he was diagnosed in 1988 with advanced prostate cancer, which was expected to be terminal. My husband and I met George and his wife Judith on a trip to Italy in 2001. After that, we got together each year when they came up from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to Maine to visit their children. When I saw George in summer 2009, he was 80. He continues to live a healthy and active life, continues to travel, and still beats his 20-year-old grandson at tennis (almost).
- 1 1/2 cups pre-soaked cannellini beans
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 small ribs celery
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 carrots, sliced in rounds
- 2 cups green cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 16-ounce can stewed tomatoes
- 2 cups coarsely chopped kale
- sea salt, black pepper, garlic, shoyu to taste
- 3 slices sourdough or whole-grain bread, cut into bite-size pieces
Soak beans overnight. Bring the beans to a boil on high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour or until tender.
Optional: Set aside 3/4 cup cooked beans; puree the remaining beans with the cooking liquid.
Heat olive oil on low to medium heat in a soup pan, then add the celery, onion, carrots, and cabbage. Stir well and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and water to cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the beans (and the puree, if used). Simmer covered for 1/2 hour. Add chopped kale and cook for 8 more minutes. Season with spices to taste. Stir in bread and serve.
George says: “I’m pleased to credit my friend, Ginger Seles, a holistic chef, caterer and purveyor of natural skin-care products, for the basis of this recipe.”
Have a happy healthy new year!