Mung Bean & Sweet Potato Casserole

I haven’t really done a proper bean post before and one of my favourite beans are…. mung beans.  I actually think they’re really sweet and cute, and they do taste amazing too.  A wonderful trait about mung beans is that they are easier to digest compared to larger beans and you don’t need to soak them for hours.  You can just pop them in and let them cook for about 45 minutes.  Hurray!

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Some people have difficulty digesting beans and legumes. They may develop gas, intestinal problems, irritability, or unclear thinking. Here are a few techniques for preparing and eating legumes that will alleviate most problems.

  • Soak beans for several days, changing the water twice daily, until a small tail forms on the beans.
  • Chew beans thoroughly and know that even small amounts have high nutritional and healing value.

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  • Avoid giving legumes to children under 18 months because they have not developed the gastric enzymes to digest them properly.
  • Experiment with your ability to digest beans. Smaller beans like adzuki, lentils, mung beans and peas digest most easily. Pinto, kidney, navy, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lima and black beans are harder to digest. Soybeans and black soybeans are the most difficult beans to digest.
  • Experiment with combinations, ingredients and seasonings. Legumes combine best with green or non-starchy vegetables and seaweeds.
  • Season with unrefined sea salt, miso or soy sauce near the end of cooking. If salt is added at the beginning, the beans will not cook completely. Salt is a digestive aid when used correctly.

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So what’s the scoop on mung beans, you ask?  Well, for starters, ancient China used mung beans for detoxifying the body, so a high five to the Chinese on that one.  Mung beans are high in soluble dietary fibre.  What’s soluble dietary fibre  you say?  Read after the pic of the green chilies!

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Here’s Soluble Fibre 101: Dietary fibre refers to certain food particles that cannot be digested. Dietary fibre comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre aids in normalizing bowl movements, but it does not do much for lowering blood pressure. Soluble fibre when mixed with water in the digestive tract will form a gel-like material, which in turn aids in supporting essential bodily functions. And foods rich in soluble dietary fibres have been show to help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL).   So, another high five there.

Let’s get started on creating this delicious dish!

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Grab these goods and you are ready to go!  Serves 6 – great for a dinner party!

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. fenugreek seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. turmeric

3 garlic cloves

1 inch ginger, grated

4 green chilies, sliced

2 small onions, diced

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, 1 1 /2 chunks

350g mung beans

1 litre vegetable stock

400g spinach

3 large tomatoes, chunked

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Heat the coconut oil in a large pan.  Once the oil has melted, stir in the fenugreek seeds and cumin for about 2 minutes until you smell the lovely frangrance of the spices.  Add in the garlic, ginger, chillies, onion and red peppers, sauté until the onion is soft.

Toss in your chunked sweet potatoes and top with the turmeric for about 2 minutes.  Then you’re ready to stir in the mung beans and the vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil and then let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans are cooked.  Lastly, add in the spinach and the tomatoes until both are soft but not over cooked – again, about 7-10 minutes.  Season with your limes, sea salt and black pepper.  This dish is incredibly filling so you probably won’t need any grain to go with it!

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Courgetti Spaghetti with Sundried Tomato & Almond Sauce

My good friend Russell James, the Raw Chef, is KING in the RAW arena.  I’ve pretty much tried all of his recipes, bought his amazing e-books, and think he’s one cool dude.  So, this recipe is dedicated to him and his awesome RAW recipes!  To find out more about Russell, head to:  www.therawchef.com and find even more amazing RAW recipes!

Before I get into the way to prepare this awesome recipe, I thought it best to explain why RAW is so important in our diets.

Now that summer is nearly here, we are more likely to eat raw food in summer because we are crave lighter, cooler dishes such as salads, juices, chilled soups and smoothies.   And that’s great as raw fruit and vegetables deliver far higher levels of nutrients to our body than cooked food.  I always try to have ONE RAW DAY.

One day of the week; immerse yourself into raw foods – it’s awesome!  Go to the your local store and buy a huge amount of organic fruits and vegetables. Having one 100% raw day per week can give your body a rest and let it heal and rebuild. Think of it as like a ‘detox’ one day a week.  If you’re new to RAW, then why not sign up for my Green Smoothie Challenge.  Click here for details!

And now onto the recipe!  It’s easy peasy, lemon, squeezy.  My 14-year old even said so as she helped me make and then we ate it!

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Okay, one more thing.. if you don’t have a spiralizer… it’s okay!  Although they are very inexpensive so if you think you’re going to do more recipes like this, definitely invest in one!  You can then use a mandolin or julienne slicer instead of a spiralizer.

For the Courgette Spaghetti:  2 green courgettes or in America, we say zucchini 🙂

For the Sundried Tomato & Almond Sauce:

1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked

1/2 cup almonds, soaked for 4- 6 hours

zest and juice of one lemon

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp. olive oil

sea salt and fresh pepper

Marinated Red Peppers

1 red pepper, sliced

50 ml apple cider vinegar

50 ml tamari

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Red peppers, red peppers, red peppers, where for art thou red peppers?  Remember, I was Captain of my Cheerleading squad in High School so my brain is all about poems, rhymes and cheers.  Well, red peppers are an awesome ‘super’ food.  A quick summary: All peppers are rich in vitamins A & C, and K, but red peppers are simply bursting with them. Vitamins A and C, awesome antioxidants, help to prevent cell damage, cancer, and disease related to ageing (am all over that one!) , and they support our immune system. They also reduce inflammation like that found in arthritis. Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, strengthens bones, and helps protect cells from free radical damage.  There’s LOADS more information on what Red Peppers can do for you health wise, but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I try to keep it simple so that you can remember snippets here and there rather than slamming you with a War & Peace novel of information. 

So, slice your red pepper and marinate it with the tamari and the apple cider vinegar.  Cover your peppers and set aside in the fridge to allow the tamari and the apple cider to absorb in the red peppers.

Next, get your spiralizer… so fun!  But don’t worry , you can still have fun without one and use a mandolin or julienne slicer instead.  You’re aim is to create spaghetti or taglietelle like strips out of the courgettes.  If you think you’ll use this recipe again and again, then spiralizers are actually very inexpensive to buy.  Put your strips into a bowl to have ready for the sauce.

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Now put all of the Sauce ingredients into your blender  and whizz away.  You should get a paste-like sauce, but if that’s too thick for you add just a bit more water to thin it out.

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Pour the sauce over your Courgetti, mix well and top with your marinated red peppers!  If my 14 year-old raved about this and ate it all up, then I hope you will too!  If you like this, then why not LIKE my Facebook page too!

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