Let’s talk about lima beans. The first time I tried them, I was about 12 years old, at a friend’s house and I hated them. They were boring and bland. So one day, when my mom randomly made them, I was quite hesitant to eat it. But, I succumbed to the pressure and tried these beans once again. I was pleasantly surprised. Lima beans can actually be tasty and full of flavour!
If you don’t normally eat these beans, or have never tried them, I don’t know what you are waiting for! Lima beans are packed with protein and a wide array vitamins and minerals. They are particularly a good source of copper, manganese, folate, iron and cholesterol-lowering fiber. They also provide numerous health benefits including: promoting heart health, producing energy and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Plus, they are readily available in your local grocery store. So no excuses! You can find them dried, canned or frozen. This recipe uses dried lima beans, since it is the only type that I have tried to make so far.
So what is the secret to make them tasty? There really is no secret at all. There’s no complicated way to cook them, nor is there a rare, secret ingredient. In fact, all it takes is a few basic ingredients to bring these beans to life: onions, garlic, turmeric, italian seasoning blend (which consists mainly of basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme), salt and pepper. Yup, that is ALL! The key is that once everything has cooked in the saucepan, turn off the heat and set it aside (still covered) for at least 20 minutes. This is crucial! It enables the flavours from this combination of ingredients to really settle into the sauce to create the flavourful creaminess and richness that is so apparent in this dish. That’s right, the creamy texture comes from the beans, not from any dairy. This dish is completely 100% vegan!
Once ready to be served, simply reheat the beans on the stove. Give them a taste and add more salt, pepper or italian seasoning as required. I love to keep this meal gluten-free and vegan by serving over a warm plate of Basmati rice with saffron. If you are not on a strict diet, you can also serve this with a side of toasted french bread.
If you realize that you have made too big of a batch, no need to panic! This recipe makes excellent leftovers! I personally think they taste even better the next day. They also freeze very well. So well, that I usually double this recipe just to freeze the rest. It makes my life so much easier on a weekday when I am super tired and do not feel like cooking! I just take one of these out in the morning and it is thawed out by the time I get home. I only need to reheat and possibly add more salt or seasoning.
Jazz it up
Feel free to create a more substantive dish by adding other hearty vegetables. Both carrots and potatoes taste incredible in this dish, hence why I added the carrots (which are optional). Adding corn or sweet potatoes will also result in a great stew. Experiment a little and see what works for you! 🙂
- ½ tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup dried lima beans
- 1 carrot, chopped or sliced (optional)
- 1 tsp. italian seasoning blend (consisting mainly of basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- In a medium frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Saute the onions for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and turmeric. Continue to saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the lima beans, sautéed onions and garlic, carrot, italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer (covered) for 30 minutes until the lima beans are soft and tender. If the beans are still hard, continue to cook and check every 5 minutes until the beans are soft and tender.
- Turn off the heat and set the saucepan aside for 20 minutes (still covered).
- Reheat for serving. Add more salt, pepper or italian seasoning to taste.
Use this recipe to make Homemade Veggie Burger Patties with Lima Beans