Bean Counting

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And what adds up is the nutritional value in just one serving

Green beans, black beans, red beans and pintos … For some reason, butter beans — a longtime staple in many Southern homes — often don’t make the shopping list. Butter is in the name for a reason, so look for the rich, tasty beans now at local farmers markets. Try these recipes, and soon you’ll count butter beans among your favorites!

Fresh Lima Beans

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  1. 1 pound fresh shelled lima beans
  2. 1 tablespoon bacon grease
  3. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. ½ teaspoon black pepper
  6. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  7. ½ teaspoon sugar
Instructions:
  1. Place the lima beans in a large saucepan, and cover with water. Place over medium-high heat, and stir in the bacon grease, butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder and sugar. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes or until the beans are tender. Serve warm.

Honey Bacon Lima Beans

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  1. 1 recipe Fresh Lima Beans (above)
  2. 8 bacon slices
  3. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  4. 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  6. ½ teaspoon black pepper
  7. 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  8. 1 tablespoon honey
Instructions:
  1. While the Fresh Lima beans are cooking, place half the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry until crisp, and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining bacon. Add the oil to the bacon drippings, and when hot, add the onions, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon when cool enough to handle and set aside. Add the vinegar and honey to the onion mixture, and stir constantly for 1 minute. Pour over the freshly cooked lima beans, tossing to evenly coat. Top with the bacon, and serve warm.

Lima Bean Garden Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  1. 1 recipe Fresh Lima Beans (above)
  2. 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  3. 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  4. 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  5. 1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut in thin wedges
  6. 1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
  7. 3 tablespoons canola oil
  8. 1½ cups cherry tomatoes
  9. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  10. 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  11. 2 tablespoons crumbled feta Shredded baby spinach leaves
Instructions:
  1. Prepare the recipe for Fresh Lima Beans. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, green bell peppers, onions and zucchini in a baking dish. Drizzle with the oil, and toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven, and add the tomatoes and vinegar. Return to the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Pour over the cooked lima beans, stirring well. Serve on salad plates, and sprinkle with the pine nuts and feta. Top with the spinach leaves, and serve warm.

Lima Bean Succotash

Can also be used as a salsa or topping for grilled meat.
Yield: 3 cups
Ingredients:
  1. 1 cup cooked lima beans
  2. 4 large ears corn, husked, silked and kernels cut from the cobs
  3. 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  4. 1 small orange or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  5. 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
  6. 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  7. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  8. 3 tablespoons lime juice
  9. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  10. ½ teaspoon salt
  11. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  12. ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Instructions:
  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the beans, corn, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, onions, jalapenos and garlic. Drizzle with lime juice and oil, and sprinkle with the salt, black pepper and cumin. Toss gently to coat. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes. Stir again, and serve at room temperature.

Barley and Bean Soup

Select a rainy day and allow this soup to bubble away on the stove or in the oven. Then cool completely and package it into freezer containers. You’ll be glad you did when the holidays roll around and you need a quick meal that simply has to be defrosted!
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients:
  1. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  2. 1 pound beef stew meat
  3. 2 quarts chicken stock
  4. 1 ham bone
  5. 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  6. 4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  7. ¼ cup barley
  8. 2 cups fresh lima beans
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Place the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add the stew meat, and brown on all sides. Add the stock, and when it comes to a boil, add the soup bone, onions, carrots and barley. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour (or place in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour). Add the lima beans, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer another hour. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  2. Cool completely before packaging into freezer containers. Label, date and freeze. Use within six months for best quality.

Marinated Lima Beans

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  1. 3 cups cooked lima beans
  2. 1 green onion, chopped
  3. 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
  4. ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  5. ¼ cup sugar
  6. ¼ cup canola oil
  7. 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  8. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Place the beans, onions and bell peppers in a medium bowl, and toss gently to combine. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, sugar, oil, horseradish and pepper. Shake well to emulsify. Pour over the bean mixture, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Toss gently and bring to room temperature before serving.

Sugared Lima Beans

Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients:
  1. 1 pound shelled lima beans
  2. 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
  3. 1 cup chopped country ham
  4. ½ cup sorghum syrup
  5. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  6. 3½ cups water
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon half of the beans into a large Dutch oven. Top evenly with the onions, ham and the remaining beans. Pour the sorghum over the top layer of beans. Sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar. Pour the water over the sugar. Cover and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the beans are tender. Serve warm.

Lima Bean Hummus

Yield: 2¼ cups
Ingredients:
  1. 2 cups cooked lima beans
  2. ⅓ cup tahini
  3. ⅓ cup lemon juice
  4. 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  5. 2 teaspoons coriander
  6. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1 teaspoon onion or garlic salt
  9. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  10. ½ teaspoon cayenne
  11. ⅓ cup olive oil
  12. Pita chips
Instructions:
  1. Place the beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor, and puree until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil, and blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving with pita chips.

Do’s and Don’ts of Savvy Supermarket Shopping

Look at the supermarket advertisement. It’s hard to catch all the deals just by looking at signage in the store. The weekly ad is your best bet for making sure you don’t miss a bargain!

Purchase cheese at the deli rather than the dairy case. You’ll find a much larger selection and can purchase just the amount you need. Be adventurous, and try some varieties you don’t normally purchase. Most stores will let you taste before you purchase to make sure you like the product.

Make a list, plan your meals with some wiggle room and try to stick to it.

Check your pantry, freezer and refrigerator before you go shopping. Abide by the “first in, first out” rule, and don’t purchase unneeded items unless they are on sale and you have room in your budget and your kitchen.

Buy produce that is in season. The old adage about supply and demand works!


Fall for the endcap trap. Just because it has a lot of shelf space at the end of the aisle doesn’t mean it’s always a great buy.

Shop with anyone. A spouse or children can quickly blow your shopping list with impulse buys!

Overlook large meat items. Remember: The more it’s cut, the more it will cost. Those boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be pricey when compared to a whole chicken you can easily roast yourself. As much as possible, do your own chopping.

Shop when you are hungry. It’s been preached to you numerous times for a reason! It only serves as a way to bust your budget with impulse buys.

Forget to look at the unit price rather than just the actual purchase price. This can be listed on the shelf as a cost per unit weight or cost per serving.

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About Author

Tammy Algood

Originally from Starkville, Miss., Tammy Algood has a Bachelor’s of Science from Mississippi State University and a Master’s from Middle Tennessee State University. She writes about food for The Tennessean and monthly for The Tennessee Magazine. Broadcast appearances include Nashville’s local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates as well as statewide on PBS. Tammy can also be seen nationally on the HGTV and DIY networks.

1 Comment

  1. Monica Ashe on

    I don’t see any nutritional information on lima beans at all!! The title of the article is very misleading.

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