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Fifty Weeks of Green cookbookFunny romance starts in December. Useful page-turner for the cook or romantic in your life.

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100 recipes, 4 seasonal menus, 20-minute starter plan, tips, more!

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Confetti Bean Stew

Let this all-in-one meal get you through busy periods. It's a festive, toothsome way to lose weight and stay healthy when you don't have time to focus on cooking. The beans and corn work together to provide complete protein. Tomatoes, spinach, onions, and garlic are all nutritional powerhouses.

And with lots of fiber and less than a quarter teaspoon of oil per serving, this satisfying stew can help you lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived. Add an apple or a banana for a complete, balanced meal. Carrot sticks add snap and more nutrition, but you can get by without them.

Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 30 minutes starting with cooked beans and using some frozen vegetables (see Tips and Notes below). Serves 10. Vegan and gluten free.

Recipe ingredients:

5 cups cooked, drained pinto beans (from 1 pound dried)
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons corn oil
2 onions
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne
two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 pound frozen corn
1 pound frozen chopped spinach

Recipe method:

  1. If you haven't already done so, cook dried pinto beans using the Basic Beans recipe.
  2. Mince garlic and set aside. Heat corn oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Chop onions and add to pot as you go. Let onions cook for about five minutes, until soft.
  3. Add cumin and chipotle to onions and stir. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until hot, about five minutes. If you have time, reduce heat to low and simmer for ten more minutes to allow flavors to combine.
  4. Serve hot. Refrigerate any extra for up to five days or freeze for up to a year.

Recipe tips and notes:

Although I rarely recommend cooking with frozen vegetables, use these timesavers to keep from resorting to a bucket of McPounders or calling out for pizza.

  • Use fresh spinach or Swiss chard instead of frozen spinach. If using Swiss chard, cook stems with onions.
  • Use fresh corn instead of frozen corn or skip the corn all together and serve this stew over rice or quinoa.

Other variations:

  • Use other beans in place of the pintos, such as black beans or chickpeas.
  • For more protein, flavor, and yes fat, stir in a few tablespoons of pesto or some peanut butter with a dash of hot sauce. You can do this on a case-by-case basis: stir in extra flavorings for your track star but not for your desk jockey. (Thanks to Ginger Zucchino for introducing me to the idea of stirring pesto into vegetable stews during her terrific pressure-canning workshop.)

Reader Comments (3)

Hi Linda
This recipe looks great!! Do you think it would freeze well for later?

Oct 20, 2011 | Registered Commenterthejennypincher

Hi Jenny! Yes, this will freeze beautifully. I've just tucked three meals' worth into the freezer so I can have a healthy, easy lunches in December.

Big congrats on your 4th anniversary at The Jenny Pincher. Love your money advice & other thrifty tips!

Oct 20, 2011 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson

Linda, although you indicate this recipe serves 10, I don't see an indication of the serving size. I'd find it really useful if you would include the serving size in your online recipes like you have in your ebooks. Thank you!

Jan 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Miller
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