Lima bean shakshuka just means all mixed-up; and that's about it. Along with hummus, made from chickpeas and falafel from favas, it is one of the favourite dishes of the people of the Mediterranean.
I'm sure you noticed that all three have legumes as the main ingredient. It is no coincidence that in the five Blue Zone countries, where ten-times as many people live to vibrant old age, that peas and beans are staples. Fresh from the garden they are a treat.
Dried and canned lima beans are much less exciting.
From a can, known as butter beans, they are a distinct second-best but then you don't have to wait months for the pods to mature.
Today we are going to make our shakshuka with red peppers, cumin and garlic; perhaps half a teaspoon of turmeric, young green-coriander and rocket too. Then we'll poach a fresh egg on top.
Personalise the shakshuka for your own family. You could add spinach, a shallot and even feta-cheese.
And of course we have made it with lima-beans because they are prolific right now in our garden, but you could equally easily use chickpeas or favas. The sky's the limit.
Growing lima beans is eminently worthwhile because you are unlikely to find these beauties in the shops. Like all vegetables they need to be freshly-harvested, brought to the kitchen and prepared immediately.
After just half a day they lose that glistening, fresh-appearance as they begin to dehydrate and the sugars turn to starch. We love them young and tender, straight from the garden.
They are a treat that only gardeners, their close friends and family can enjoy. It does mean strictly limiting television and browsing the social-media; I prefer having fun myself to watching others on the playground.
Simply one lima-bean plant will give you literally hundreds of seeds. They need a very strong trellis on which to grow as strong winds will knock them over.
Growing lima beans is not difficult; they just have a very long season but then go on bearing for ages. We have enjoyed this shakshuka for at least six weeks, literally most days; and have at least another month to go, perhaps longer.
This lima bean shakshuka is our standard breakfast in autumn and early winter; once they are over we change to favas, an even better source of the feel-good hormones.
Notice the shine on the beans below; they soon lose that after harvesting, with both flavour and nutrition I suspect decreasing.
Limas do have a small amount of L-dopa by the way; there is far more in fava beans. It is extremely important for our wellness, being the precursor of a vital neurotransmitter produced in the gut and a nucleus in the brain.
I am talking about dopamine of course, also known as the feel-good hormone. The prevalence of Parkinson's Disease is rising in leaps and bounds, far beyond the predicted rate. A toxic herbicide used to kill off the potato haulm just before harvesting leads the charge.
A lima bean shakshuka can be cooked in a jiffy using the seeds from a can but it's a poor shadow of the real-deal.
From a can they are called butter beans; lots of salt, even sugar and preservatives are usually added.
We believe that we should enjoy what is in season, so right now it is limas but in high summer it was snap-beans and Scarlet Runners. Chickpeas are hard to grow and reap; I haven't found it worthwhile, so we have them dried in hummus.
We love peppadews because they are piquant like chilies but without the heat. The seeds and particularly the white placenta that holds them are a very rich source of an anti-inflammatory phytonutrient called capsaicin. Toss them into the shakshuka.
Those enjoying anti-inflammatory foods regularly have far less pain in their muscles and joints.
One in four adults will have a stroke; those with low-levels of inflammation in the body are ten times more likely to have a bad outcome. Peppers in your shakshuka are part of the solution.
Lima beans have quite a lot of carbohydrate but it is what's known as resistant-starch; much is fibre that is not digested producing sugars but passes through to the colon for the host of friendly bacteria to feed on.
So they are not fattening and do enhance the microbiome. The net carbs are low.
Learn more about net-carbs; it's an important topic.
However the obese who are trying to lose weight must forego even the friendly starches for a period to get their daily carbs below 50 grams; there is no other way. Forget diets because they never deliver on their promises; you already know that. Perhaps just two or three lima beans in your shakshuka; they supply "early satiety."
In fact this lima bean shakshuka is known for its "subsequent meal effect." At lunch you'll be satiated sooner after a breakfast like this.
Extra olive oil and avocados provide the added-fat that also gives satiety; and we are not afraid of butter either when enjoying dishes like this lima bean shakshuka regularly. You'll soon find that your cholesterol like mine will be dangerously low!
Butter is back thank goodness; it should never have been banished to Coventry. But that's assuming you are enjoying plenty of greens and beans daily.
It is so confusing for the average person. These food-fashions really throw us off; eggs are out, butter is back in and now it is carbs that are bad. Avoid bread and all beans. It's all a load of hogwash.
We do need to weigh these issues but the truth is that the scientists have often led us needless down garden paths and up cul de sacs. My advice is think for yourself, read a lot and get back to the food that your great-grandmother once ate. That would certainly have included lima beans; succotash was a great favourite.
In many ways it needs to be seen as a spiritual issue; caring for Brother Ass. If you don't look after him he is inclined to turn around and bite.
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