When we think of hearty, healthy, down-home cooking, we think of beans—and so does Canadian chef Renée Lavallée, who is creating delicious and nutritious bean-based recipes to help spread the word about the new Pulse Canada Love Canadian Beans campaign.
Chef Renée was a contestant on season seven of Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada and is a regular judge on Wall of Chefs. She runs and owns the award-winning The Canteen restaurant in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and posts regularly on her The Canteen Cooks YouTube channel. Now, she’s excited to “spill the beans” on one of her favourite ingredients, including the fact that the majority of dry beans found on store shelves are grown sustainably in Canada by local Canadian farmers, including white beans, black beans, Romano beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and great northern beans. Just look for a Product of Canada label on beans when at your local grocery store.
Not only that, Canadian beans are nutritious and healthy—they’re high-protein, high-fibre and low in saturated and trans fats. Adding just a half-cup of beans to a dish can add 9 more grams of protein and fibre to your plate! High fibre diets have been associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. They also have high levels of iron, zinc, folate, magnesium, and potassium; basically, beans are the superfood Canadians need to be eating more of in 2022.
Below, find two of chef Renée’s best bean recipes—in other words, two more reasons to #LoveCDNBeans. For more information about the Love Canadian Beans campaign, head to lovecanadianbeans.ca or Instagram @pulsecanada. —Vita Daily
White Bean, Halloumi & Roasted Tomato Toast (Serves 2)
1 pkg of halloumi; sliced into 6
2 slices thick cut sourdough
2 cups canned white kidney beans; drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
3 cloves of garlic
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lemon; zest
Pre-heat oven to 425. Place tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in a pan and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Pull out and set aside. Toast sourdough in a toaster, or for added flavour butter both sides of the bread and place in a skillet; toasting on both sides until golden brown. Place beans in a bowl and add ½ of the roasted tomatoes, garlic and parsley, mashing gently with a fork. Add lemon zest and check for seasoning. Sear halloumi in a hot pan until golden on each side. Assembly: Place toasted bread on a plate and top with seared halloumi. Add on top the bean and tomato mix, and a few more of the roasted tomatoes. Finish with some of the oil from the roasted tomatoes.
Pinto Bean, Banana, Almond Smoothie (Serves 2)
1 medium banana
4 tbsp canned pinto beans; drained
2 tbsp almond butter
2 cups milk
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp hemp hearts
Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!