Gluten-Free White Beans Tuscan Style with Swiss Chard, Black Rice, Fresh Pineapple and Avocado
Fresh and easy!
- 1 1/2 cup dried white beans or, two 15 ounce cans of prepared white beans
- 8 quarts water
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon Mixed peppercorns or plain black peppercorns, put in a tea ball
- 2 bay leaves, broken up and put in another or same tea ball
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, fresh if possible ,if using dry cut in half
- 1 tablespoon basil, also fresh, if using dry use half the amount
- 1 tablespoon thyme, fresh if possible, cut in half if using dry
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced , set aside 2 cloves worth for Swiss Chard
- 5-6 tablespoons olive oil, 4 Tablespoons for the beans and 2 for the Swiss Chard
- 1 cup black rice
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, cut chiffonade style(see my swiss chard recipe for full details of unsure of how to prepare.)
- 1/4 cup Bragg's Amino Acids, or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water, mix with Bragg's or soy sauce
- a few pinches nutmeg, always a nice addition to greens
Tuscan White beans, Black rice, pineapple, swiss chard and avocado
- Soak white beans in the 8 quarts of water and salt overnight. In the morning, drain water and collect beans in a collander. Put another 6-8 quarts of fresh water in the crockpot. Put in tea balls with pepper and bay leaves. Turn crockpot on to low and set for 4 hours. If the beans are already prepared you obviously can skip this step and just go to the draining step.
- Just before the beans are ready, start the black rice as directed on package. I made one cup of rice to a one 1 3/4 cup of vegetable broth ratio. If the sodium in the broth is too high, dilute with water. Chop pineapple and refridgerate.
- As the rice cooks, chop all the garlic and then cut your Swiss chard. If you are unfamiliar with how I prepare chard, check out my blog on Swiss chard. For this recipe we did without the onion to save time. If time is not an issue for you go ahead and add the onions. Saute the garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, along with the nutmeg. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle and smell, add the chopped Swiss chard and then the Bragg's or soy sauce mixture and clamp down a lid. Let it go for about a minute stir, and then let it go for another minute. Pull it off the heat. You are going to want to time this so it's still hot when you heat up the beans.
- In a large saute pan add the rest of the oil and garlic and simmer 3-5 minutes until fragrant. You don't want to let the garlic brown as it can turn bitter. Now, add the beans and herbs and cook until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Go light on the salt.
- Once all the elements in your dish are hot and ready, slice the avocado and serve everything. Don't forget the pineapple!
Flavors thats taste great together!
Don't let the length of the ingredients intimidate you. The beans can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just store them in the cooking liquid. You,can of course, just buy them in the can, saving tons of time. I think they taste better when you start with dried beans and cook them yourself; hey, and it does save money. The pineapple can be cut the night before or you can buy that already cubed in the grocery. The Swiss chard can also be chopped the evening before or that morning and simply stored in a bowl in the fridge until you are ready. I know that Trader Joe's has a prepared green's mix that can be bought cleaned and chopped also.
The black rice turns purple when cooked and looks beautiful on the plate. It's also a natural source for antioxidants called anthocyanins. This is the same purple pigment found in blueberries and acai. It has been referred to as a "super food". It has an awesome chewy texture that I just love!
I imagine some of you foodies out there can't believe I add my salt to the soaking water for the dry beans. I had read a few years back that it did not affect the soaking process and that it added a nice salty flavor without a ton of salt, so I tried it and it works great. Also another note about cooking beans in a crockpot. I said 4 hours, but it may be 5 for you. You may have to experiment with time. It can vary with the age of beans since older beans can take longer.
Bragg's Amino Acids can be found almost anywhere now. It contains 16 amino acids. I like it in the spray bottle. If you are looking just to pump up the flavor of a dish you can just spray on a small amount. I buy the large bottle for cost savings and refill the spray bottle. It has a slightly different flavor than soy sauce.
Leftover tip: I found that I had more beans and rice leftover so I saved them for the next days lunch. I had some sprouted corn tortillas left over (still in the freezer) from my Black Beans Quesadilla recipe so I heated them in some foil in my little toaster oven. Then I heated the leftover beans and rice, put them in the tortillas, and sprinkled in a little cheese. You could also add avocado. A super fast and yummy lunch or dinner. I dont throw food out if it's still edible!.