Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stuffed Yams with White Beans and Kale - The New Breakfast

We are making some changes in what we eat.  We attended a seminar by Dr. Linda Carney this weekend.  We learned some important things that seemed timely in our health journey.  My husband is searching for ways to reverse atherosclerosis.  We learned that leafy greens dilate blood vessels, and heal endothelial cells.  Endothelial cells are the lining for the blood vessels.  That is where the plaque builds up.  Oil and most other fats damage endothelial cells, yes, even olive oil.  But walnuts and flax seed don't harm the lining of the blood vessels.  They contain the essential fatty acids, Omega 3's that are important all through the body. 

Dr. Carney recommends that everyone eat greens, beans and squash or yams for breakfast.  Yes, I know that is a big switch in ideas about what makes a healthy breakfast, but for us, it was worth a try.  "Breakfast like a king," you know.  We are setting out on a month long journey to see what happens to our health if we eat this way.

For lunch eat more beans, and greens, and other veggies.  You can end with fruit if you would like a little sweetness to make the pleasure center of your brain happy.

For supper eat whole grains and fruit.  Oatmeal or oat groats are a good choice.  Brown rice is also a good choice for those who can't eat oats. 

Yesterday we started by eating yams, salad greens and freshly cooked garbonzo beans.  I found out that the garbonzo beans balanced out the super sweet taste of the yams.  I haven't like yams that much before, because they are so sweet, but it may be that I haven't eaten them with beans before.  I was surprised that I liked them plain, and they didn't even need salt. 

Yesterday I searched out some new recipes and found a couple that we are going to try this week.  I think that all the recipes will need tweaked, to get rid of oil or vinegar or other unnecessary, or even harmful ingredients.  As I adapt recipes I will be posting them here.  I hope they will be helpful in your search for good health also.

I cooked some Great Northern Beans in the crock pot overnight, so they were ready when I got up this morning around 6:30.   I rinsed the yams I bought yesterday, placed then a baking sheet, at 400 degrees.  While they were baking I had some quite time for Bible study and prayer.  About 7:40 my daughter got the asparagus ready, and I fixed the kale.  Breakfast was on the table at 8 am.  It wasn't as hard as thought it would be to do this.  It just takes a little thought and advance preparation.

After breakfast I heard these comments.

"This tasted much better then I thought it would."

"I didn't think I would like yams this way, but I now like it better then any other way I've eaten yams."

"This was really filling."

"I feel satisfied." 

"We are going to have to make this again."

And so we will. 

Stuffed Yams with White Beans and Kale

4 medium sized yams
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 bunches of kale, washed and chopped
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/4 tsp dried mild pepper flakes
3 cups of cooked Great Northern Beans, or other white beans
1/2 tsp salt

Wash the yams, and place on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When the yams are about finished, placed the onions and garlic in a dry skillet on medium heat.  Stir often so they do not stick.  If they start to stick, you can sprinkle water on them.  When they are beginning to soften add the damp kale.  If it is dry, sprinkle some more water on them.  Stir.  Then put on a lid to help them steam.  When they start to change the color of green add the Italian herbs, pepper flakes and salt.  Stir.  Add the beans, and gently stir, just enough to mix them in the green.  Heat until they are warm.  Be careful not to mash the beans. 

Place a yam on a plate.  Cut it almost in half, lengthwise, like it was a baked potato.  Squish it open just a little, and spoon in some of the kale and bean mixture.  Place some spears of asparagus on the side.  Do the same to the remaining 3 yams.  Serve with a happy heart. 

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