I've gone and done it. Taken a pure wholesome dish by Vegan Dad and bastardized it with the addition of bacon. Yes, those crispy bits from formerly cute little piglets. But come on now, doesn't everything taste better with bacon? No I'm serious about that - I had the pleasure of tasting chocolate covered bacon in Hermanus 2 weekends ago and let me tell you it was a glorious thing. I was skeptical at first, I'm not gonna lie to you, but when I tasted that first biteful of salty crispy bacon and sweet creamy chocolate... well! It was like discovering a dirty little secret. And we all know how good those are, right?
But I digress. Because this has nothing to do with bacon and chocolate. Just a big bowlful of flavourful beans with a little bit of bacon to perk them up. Now doesn't that sound perfect for a lazy weekend?
Italian White Bean Stew
Adapted from Vegan Dad
Serves 4 - 6
1 1/2 cups dried cannelini/white haricot beans4 cups water1 tbsp olive oil2 medium onions, chopped2 tsps minced garlic125g extra-lean bacon, chopped1 celery stalk, finely diced2 medium carrots, finely diced2 bayleaves1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakessalt & pepper to taste1 tin of chopped tomatoes3/4 cup of white wine1 tbsp tomato pastea squirt of lemon juice
1. Place beans in a microwaveable container and cover with water. Microwave on high for 50 minutes.2. Meanwhile saute onion, garlic and bacon over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Add celery and carrot and cook another 5 minutes or until starting to soften.3. Add beans, bayleaves, tomatoes, tomato paste, chilli flakes and wine and stir to combine. Season to taste, cover and cook for another 20 minutes until the beans and veggies are tender. Add a squirt of lemon juice and serve on a bed of creamy polenta or with some deliciously crusty bread.
Note: The quantity of dried beans is equal to about 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans if you want to take a shortcut and use a tin. No shame in that.
Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 284.6 , Total fat 4.3 g, Saturated fat 0.9 g, Polyunsaturated fat 0.5 g, Monounsaturated fat 2.1 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 116.1 mg, Potassium 917.7 mg, Total carbohydrate 38.2 g, Dietary fiber 8.5 g, Sugars 2.6 g, Protein 19.3 g
Good source of: Vitamin A 61.1 %, Manganese 50.3 %, Iron 26.4 %, Folate 26.2 %, Magnesium 21.3%