Lean, filling beans help you behave during holiday parties

  • By MELISSA D'ARABIAN
  • Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:29pm
  • LifeFood

Parties can be tricky territory for the healthy eater. If you host, you want to serve guests something tasty enough to make the occasion feel special. And if you are a guest, you want to bring something delicious and impressive, but that won’t totally blow your diet. My solution? Tuck something nutritious and delicious on that hors d’oeuvres tray.

Enter the white bean

White beans are my favorite party trick. I include white beans in the first course of almost any party I host. Why? White beans are a compact burst of lean protein and fiber, and since they are among the cheapest proteins you can buy, serving them also is a great budget entertaining strategy.

All that the protein and fiber make beans filling. And by filling up a bit on white beans early in the party, I’m less likely to fall prey to endless visits to the chocolate fountain (once or twice will do nicely). But what to make with beans that would be party-worthy? While a white bean chili can make a fantastic appetizer (serve in cute espresso cups or plastic party shooter glasses), it’s also easy to think outside the chili pot!

Focus on either the meatiness of the bean (use them in baked taquitos, or swap out the crab and make tiny spicy bean cakes) or the creaminess of the bean (blend them with roasted garlic into a creamy dipping sauce for chicken skewers, use instead of chickpeas for hummus, or add to your favorite tapenade).

The appetizer options for white beans are endless, but to get you started try my winter white bean bruschetta, which pairs the flavors of the holiday season with a classic summertime dish.

Winter white bean bruschetta

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 8

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon sweet or smoky paprika

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

10- to 12-ounce baguette, cut into 24 thin slices

1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion

10 oil-packed sundried tomatoes, patted dry and finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oven to 400 F.

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the paprika and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Lightly brush the oil mixture over both sides of the baguette slices. Arrange the bread on a rimmed baking sheet then toast in the oven until just turning golden, about 8 minutes, turning halfway through.

In a large skillet over medium, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sundried tomatoes, rosemary, oregano and garlic, then cook for another minute. Increase heat to medium-high and add the wine, scraping the pan. Let the wine simmer for 1 minute, then stir in the beans. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.

To serve, spoon the bean mixture onto each slice of baguette and arrange on a platter.

 

Nutrition information per serving: 187 calories; 8 g fat (1 g saturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 5 g protein; 304 mg sodium.

More in Life

This artwork, as well as the story that accompanied it in the October 1953 issue of Master Detective magazine, sensationalized and fictionalized an actual murder in Anchorage in 1919. The terrified woman in the image is supposed to represent Marie Lavor.
A nexus of lives and lies: The William Dempsey story — Part 1

William Dempsey and two other men slipped away from the rest of the prison road gang on fog-enshrouded McNeil Island, Washington, on Jan. 30, 1940

File
Minister’s Message: Reorienting yourself to pray throughout the day

No doubt, one of the most remarkable gifts God gives to communicate with his creation is the gift of prayer

The Christ Lutheran Church is seen on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Musicians bring ‘golden age of guitar’ to Performing Arts Society

Armin Abdihodžic and Thomas Tallant to play concert Saturday

Storm Reid plays June Allen in “Missing,” a screenlife film that takes place entirely on the screens of multiple devices, including a laptop and an iPhone. (Photo courtesy Sony Pictures)
On The Screen: ‘Missing’ is twisty, modern, great

I knew “Missing” was something special early on

Puff pastry desserts are sprinkled with sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Puff pastry made simple

I often shop at thrift stores. Mostly for cost, but also out… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Would I do it again?

I ran across some 20-some year-old journal notes rambling on about a 268-foot dive I took

A copy of Prince Harry’s “Spare” sits on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion office on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Prince Harry gets candid about ‘gilded cage’ in new memoir

“Spare” undoubtedly succeeds in humanizing Harry

The cast of “Tarzan” rides the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Independence Day parade in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Triumvirate swings into the year with ‘Tarzan’, Dr. Seuss and fishy parody

The next local showing of the Triumvirate Theatre is fast approaching with a Feb. 10 premiere of “Seussical”

This vegan kimchi mandu uses crumbled extra-firm tofu as the protein. (Photo by Tressa Dale / Peninsula Clarion)
Meditating on the new year with kimchi mandu

Artfully folding dumplings evokes the peace and thoughtful calm of the Year of the Rabbit

Most Read