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Healthy Living Recipes

Deb Morgan: Spring is springing! It’s the time of year when we can begin to lighten up our diets and cleanse some of the heaviness from winter. This month John shares his favorite detox smoothie and I offer a great white bean dish with lots of beneficial greens as well as garlic, thyme, oregano, and some smooth olive oil. It’s easy, and great served hot or as a cold salad. We especially love it over polenta.

White Bean Italiano

Serves four.

²⁄3 cup cannellini beans, soaked overnight, or 2 15-ounce cans precooked beans
4 cups water or stock
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2–3 cloves garlic
½ cup fresh grape tomatoes
1 small red onion, sliced
4–6 cups sliced fresh greens of your choice—include kale, chard, and, if available, lots of spring greens such as mustard greens and dandelion
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon oregano
Pepper to taste

Drain soaking water from beans, and start with fresh water or stock. Add bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer until beans are 80 percent done. Depending on soaking time of beans, you may need to add more water occasionally. Add salt and simmer until soft. When beans are ready, heat olive oil in a sauté pan, and then add onions and garlic, and sauté until onions begin to soften. Add your greens and ¼ cup water, cover pan, and steam until greens are tender and water is gone. Add tomatoes and sauté one minute. Then add cooked or canned beans and fresh herbs and continue to simmer until flavors meld together and beans are warm. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy.

Read John Bagnulo’s nutritional commentary: Beans and Greens Detox Qualities

This beans-and-greens dish is ideal for helping the body eliminate toxins. First, the most important component of any detox-assisting food or meal is soluble fiber. Cannellini beans offer considerable soluble fiber, and the greens, depending on the variety, can offer even more. Next, the mineral magnesium, found in significant amounts in both the greens and beans, also helps the body to detox. Lastly, brassica greens—kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and bok choy—all contain the phytonutrient sulfurophane. This molecule helps neutralize toxins in the liver in a process called phase II detoxification, the final step necessary in preparing toxins for elimination. (Broccoli, broccoli rabe, and brussels sprouts also contain large amounts of this great phytonutrient.)

John’s Breakfast Smoothie

1 apple, cut into pieces
1 pear, cut into pieces
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons hemp protein
4–6 tablespoons raw almond butter

Blend together all ingredients.

John Bagnulo: This is the foundation to my family’s favorite start to the day. It is simple, extremely nutrient dense, can be made with local fruits as well as bananas when we want to include them—and it tastes great! I recommend different versions of this raw breakfast for individuals who need to avoid various types of gluten or are simply not interested in having cereals/grains as part of their breakfast. It offers the body a significant amount of soluble fiber, heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, alpha linolenic acid (omega-3 type), magnesium, potassium, plant protein, and alkalinity. Enjoy!

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.