After a year of cooking portioned controlled meals for one or two I have come to accept that it is very easy to cook Vegan and Vegetarian meals for one or two that have great taste and are filling if you just stop looking for vegan recipes and follow your heart while modifying traditional family recipes and searching for a little more knowledge. This has now become important to me as the people I am most likely to cook for on a regular basis are either vegetarians or former vegetarians who now also eat chicken and fish. It seems that most of them have settled for fairly bland foods from vegetarian restaurants which were attempting to cut costs while using fresh vegetables by eliminating the spices.
This meal of Cannelloni beans and Tomatoes is already Vegan and was traditionally served over white rice which is actually a shame. I probably would have made in a traditional manner with fresh fennel and white rice but couldn’t find any fennel locally so this caused me to explore the web and find out how healthy the combination was and what I could do to improve the healthiness of the meal.
I found out that Tomatoes and Cannelloni beans are both excellent for a diabetic diet which none of my close friends have in addition to the beans having a positive impact on cholesterol which I have had problems with in the past. I chose four spices from the 10 herbs for health list in addition to the traditional parsley which also has incredible health benefits.
Parsley is good for a healthy heart and to protect against cancer. Basil and thyme prevent colds and coughs, garlic also reduces cholesterol and I almost forgot to mention that rosemary improves memory which is important at my age. Now to make this meal perfectly healthy and to maintain full flavor I decided to check the white rice.
Seems rice is a no-no for potential diabetics as those who eat it 5 times a week have an increased chance of diabetes. Brown rice as a substitute reduces the risk by 16% and Barley was associated with an incredible 36% reduction of the incidence of Diabetes. Since I like all three and had already come to accept this as a diabetic friendly healthy meal, I decided to serve it over barley and everything worked together for a very flavorful meal.
1 T. Olive Oil
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic (2T minced)
1 thin slice scotch bonnet or other hot pepper. (¼ tsp red pepper)
1 T basil
1 T Parsley
1 tsp rosemary
½ tsp thyme
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can Cannelloni Beans (14.5 oz)
1 cup cooked Barley
- Add oil, garlic, hot pepper and onion to the pot and sautee until glazed about ½ hour in coffeepot
- Remove from heat add spices, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and mix
- Simmer for 1 hour or more
- Add beans and bring up to temperature about hour in coffee pot
- Serve over cooked hot barley
Do You Really Have to Sacrifice and Suffer Just to Eat Healthy?
No!!! This was a powerfully delicious meal and as discussed above, it would be hard to make something healthier for you that I would still want to eat.