Mixadventures with more WW meals – beans!

As mentioned in the previous mixadventures post, I’ve been focusing on WW friendly meals this year. Which basically means healthy.

Initially it was all lentils and chicken breasts (and, of course, vegetables). This trend has continued, but over the past couple of months, I’ve expanded into beans.

Baked Beans

It started with baked beans. I’ve long been a fan, and always have some of the tiny cans on hand for a quick weekend meal. Beans on toast (topped with a poached egg) are just yum. I don’t care what time of the day it is.

I went looking online for a recipe. There are many in the Thermomix Recipe Community, but I ultimately settled on the Skinnymixers recipe for Smoky Baked Beans as my base. I followed this more or less, but left out the chorizo and maple syrup. I might have used less olive oil, but I can’t remember now…

Anyway, this type of recipe is perfect for the thermomix, and the outcome is delicious. It makes quite a lot, so I’ve frozen a bunch of it in single portions. I’ve eaten it on toast… as part of a baked egg combo… and on top of a microwaved potato. All good.

The best thing is that in WW terms, this is zero points — as opposed to the bought stuff which is 3 points for a tiny can (added sugar, baby!). Bring on the homemade baked beans!

Three bean chilli

There are a bunch of WW bean chilli recipes around, and they are super easy to adapt for the thermomix — although you need to make sure you limit the quantity, because some of the recipes feed 10 people. (That is, they will not fit in a thermomix!)

I used my friend’s recipe as a base, with the required adaptations. Basically I used one can each of cannellini beans, kidney beans and borlotti beans, a can of corn kernels, can of diced tomatoes, fresh coriander (cilantro) and other vegetables, spices, pastes, sauces to make it tasty (and not too hot).

In terms of process, it’s very similar to baked beans and super simple. And the end result is another zero point WW meal, which I’ve eaten mainly with toast (because I can be a bit lazy) or a microwaved potato, but is also ideal to have with rice. Like baked beans, it freezes really well.

It is particularly good with some fresh avocado and low fat natural yogurt (in lieu of sour cream). High fives all around.

Spiced vegetable stew

The WW recipe for spiced vegetable stew is my latest mixadventure. To adapt for the thermomix I simplified a bit and once again halved the quantities — 1) chopped the onion, garlic and ginger together then sauteed with 5g olive oil; 2) added the spices, chopped pumpkin, carrot (didn’t bother to parboil), tomatoes, stock paste, water then cooked on reverse for 30 mins (which was plenty of time); 3) added chopped kale and a chopped zucchini and cannellini beans (instead of chickpeas) then cooked on reverse for 5 mins.

There are a lot of spices in there — cinnamon, cumin, all spice, dried coriander, chilli powder, ground cloves… but they all combine with a tomato and pumpkin base into something quite delicious.

It must be said that, even cooked on reverse, the pumpkin all got a bit mushed up — but I don’t mind this. The cannellini beans worked a treat instead of chickpeas (which in my opinion should only ever be consumed in hommus). Cannellini beans are in fact my new favourite thing!

According to my calculations, the above stew is pretty much zero WW points, and I didn’t bother with the cauliflower rice. I ate this last night with toast (because that’s how I roll), but I may try tonight with a vegetable mash or rice or maybe cous cous.

Two different bean dips

To round this all out, on the weekend I tried out a couple of bean dips from the recipe community on my D&D crew. (I love experimenting on these guys.)

The first was a white bean dip that I will be making again. It was super quick and easy to make — basically I threw a bunch of fresh coriander, parsley, spring onions, opinion and garlic into the bowl and chopped. Then added a can of cannellini beans, lemon juice, sweet chilli sauce (I used 45g and it was about right) and processed further. Done and yum.

It’s about 5 WW points for the whole bowl (thanks to the sweet chilli sauce), so maybe a point or two, depending on how much you eat.

The second was a Mexican bean dip — involving chopped/sauteed onion, garlic, cumin; followed by a can of kidney beans, Tabasco sauce, tomato paste, cooked for 5m.

Once again, very easy. It tasted pretty good, but there is room for improvement — maybe a bit of extra Tabasco, or chilli, or something to give it a bit more kick. WW points-wise, it came to four points for the whole bowl.

On the whole, I was pretty happy with both of these recipes as WW-friendly alternatives to hommus. I’m pretty sure I’ll make them both again. (And they’re both also vegan, for when that’s an issue — yay.)

The red bean dip is particularly versatile, and I ate some of the leftovers smeared on toast with soup. It would go great with some avocado on top too.

So, there you have it. Beans. Mightiest of legumes and pulses.

It’s been great to expand my healthy meal repertoire over the past couple of months. In the past my experience of beans has been limited to canned baked beans (and the occasional bought Mexican food), and it’s like a whole new world has opened up!

They are so healthy for us to eat, and I feel as though this is only the tip of the iceberg…

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