Recently, I decided it was time to reign in my appetite and focus on eating healthier, leaner, fresher food. I’ll be honest. I even signed up for the web-based version of Weight Watchers. As a lifetime member, I know the program, but paying a monthly fee again and tracking foods using the webtools have helped me shift my cooking energy in the right direction. I think the WW approach actually helps one adopt habits that are in line with what Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan advocate. In the first sentence of Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes, Bittman poses the question, “Could improved health for people and planet be as simple as eating fewer animals, less junk food and super-refined carbohydrates?” and in the first sentence of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, Pollan writes simply, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Either of these statements could be licensed by Weight Watchers as taglines, and so I’m using the WW framework and tools to help me do what Pollan and Bittman advise.
With that in mind, I returned from the market today with bags full of produce and set about making a low-point, satisfying lunch quickly. I like vegetables best when they are sautéed slightly – still crunchy, but the raw edge taken off. And most of the time, something warm just feels more filling. So for this dish, I did what is my favorite preparation of cabbage – chopped it and sautéed it in a little olive oil with salt and pepper. I topped the cabbage with a preparation of garlic and cannellini beans that had also been warmed and then garnished the dish with a few heirloom tomato chunks and chives. It was so easy and quick (and pretty cheap too), it just might become a staple.
Warm Cabbage and Cannellini Bean “Salad”
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, drained
1/4 cup 99% fat free chicken broth
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tomato, chopped into small cubes
chopped chives to garnish
1. Heat oil in large, heavy bottomed frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and sautée until softened, about 3 minutes. Add cabbage and toss. Continue to sautée gently for about 8 minutes In the meantime, heat oil in a small saucepan. Add garlic and sautée gently for 1 minute. Add beans and stir thoroughly. Add chicken broth and Bay leaf and bring to a near boiling simmer. Allow to simmer until cabbage is ready.
2. Spoon cabbage onto plate. Top with beans and sprinkle with chives. Add tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy immediately.
Tools used today available at Amazon: