Back to my original theme today which was Carol Vorderman - Accidental Vegan Hero, blogging about recipes from a series of Detox Recipe books that the television presenter and maths whizz put out with nutritionist Anita Bean in the noughties.
Just before Christmas last year I managed to fracture my heel. It took two months of pain and an MRI scan to diagnose it. As I didn't really know how I'd done it apart from maybe the repeated impact of doing some exercise DVDs at home I got sent for a bone scan. The results came back saying that my bone density was classed as Osteopenia. This wasn't a total surprise as I took part in a study at Bristol Vegan Fayre years ago when I was newly vegan that said my density was lower that average and without going into loads of details my bodytype and other factors make me a classic case for it. The good news is that it doesn't automatically mean that I will develop osteoporosis but I do need to work on preventing it, watching what I eat and doing plenty of walking. I'm trying to include more butter beans in my diet after reading that they are a good source of calcium. My calcium levels and all my blood tests came back fine by the way but the diagnosis has made me want to develop more awareness of nutrients in my food.This recipe for Butter Bean and Tomato Casserole from Detox for Life has got to be one of the simplest and easiest butterbean recipes around as it is predominately made up of store cupboard ingredients.
It calls for a couple of leeks, tinned tomatoes, tinned butter beans and stock. The leeks are sauted in water so that makes this a fat free recipe too. We actually used dried butter beans for the dish in the picture as Matt had cooked up a whole bag of dried beans and frozen them in batches. We served it as suggested in the book with new potatoes and a side of noochy kale. Another thing I like about the Detox recipes is they always make four good sized portions so you get plenty of left overs. The leftovers from this got recycled as posh beans on toast! Not one to try if you're following a strict detox regime as you would cut out bread but delicious nonetheless. I think a bowl of these would also be great with garlic bread.
Another favourite from Carol's Detox Recipes book is this Spicy Butterbeans with Sweet Potatoes recipe. It takes less than 30 mins to cook. You spend a few minutes boiling the sweet potatoes but then it's all into one pot after that. This tasty, hearty stew consists of onion, garlic, sweet potatoes, butterbeans, tinned tomatoes, korma paste, mushrooms, coriander and mint. There's a lot more going on flavour wise than you'd guess from this photo. I like to serve it over brown rice or quinoa with some steamed green veg on the side but it works well with pittas or crusty bread too. It makes four big portions and freezes brilliantly.