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beans | Davey Wavey Fitness

Archive for the tag - beans

Which Beans Are the Healthiest?

Legumes to love!

Beans – perhaps because of their gassy reputation – don’t always get a lot of love.

The truth is, beans are healthy, delicious and incredible inexpensive. As a complex carbohydrate, beans fall into the “good carb” category. Moreover, they’re a great source of fiber, antioxidants and protein. They truly are a powerhouse food.

But it doesn’t stop there. Researchers at Michigan State University reviewed 25 years of bean research and found that beans help people fight a whole slew of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

It all begs the question: Which beans are the healthiest?

There’s no easy answer; each bean brings something different to the table. But, in general, nutrition experts agree that the following beans are among the best:

  1. Soybeans. These beans are a great source of protein and contain high levels of heart-healthy essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals and more. Soybeans are often used as a meat alternative or for soy milk and soy cheese.
  2. Lentils. These beans are high in dietary fiber, folate, manganese, iron, protein, potassium and more. As an added benefit, lentils have been shown to help your cardiovascular system by lowering bad cholesterol, increasing energy and stabilizing blood sugar levels. These hearty beans are often used for soups and stews.
  3. Black beans. I love black beans; they’re very popular in Mexican dishes. Beyond being delicious, they’re a good source of folate, protein, dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B1, iron and more. They may even help lower the risk of heart attack – and are very high in antioxidants.
  4. Kidney beans. Rich in flavor, kidney beans contain lots of folate, protein, dietary fiber, manganese, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and more. Kidney beans may also lower your heart attack risk, increase energy, stabilize blood sugar levels – and even improve your memory!
  5. Navy beans. Navy beans got their name from being a staple food for the U.S. Navy. And, with tons of fiber, protein, folate, manganese, vitamin B1, iron and more, it’s easy to see why. They’re typically used to make baked beans but are also great in soups and chili.

Whether you opt for canned or dried beans, there isn’t a huge nutritional difference. However, pay attention to the amount of sodium in canned beans.

And, if you’re concerned about the “explosive” side effects of beans, try adding cilantro, turmeric, rosemary, fennel or anise to your beans. These spices may help curb the unwanted flatulence.

The bottom line: Beans, beans in a pot. The more you eat, the more you… start eating a balanced, nutritional diet. Beans are a great and inexpensive way to improve your diet.

Healthy End of Summer Salad! [Recipe]

I’m excited to bring another post in a continuing series by my good friend and fellow Underwear Yogi, Nick Kindrick. Enjoy!

Hello friends in fitness. I sometimes help out at the Union Square Greenmarket here in New York City, as I did this past week. Being obsessed with food, it’s truly one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. Right now is really my favorite time at the market. The pumpkins, apples and cauliflower begin to appear and gently remind us that fall has in fact, arrived, yet the tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers of summer are still fighting their way to the market. Who knows when the first frost will arrive? We just sense it will be soon.

In honor of summer’s last stand, I present you with a beautiful, nutritious and delicious salad. I know what you’re thinking… salad is salad. But, salad can be a great, light and satisfying meal. I LOVE “entree salads,” which are essentially salads substantial enough to be a one-plate-meal. With the addition of some wholewheat bread and some leftover pesto, this was an awesome ode to summer, on a plate. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients. If you don’t have something, it’s okay. I did this in less than 30 minutes. Hint: a large bowl (of any sort – even a pasta pot would do in a pinch) is essential to mix this salad.

Serves 2.

For the salad:

  • 3/4 lb fresh tuna or 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 large tomato, cut into  wedges
  • 1/2 lb green and/or yellow string beans, trimmed of stems
  • 1/2 lb of potatoes of any variety, washed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 1 small red or yellow (or even green or purple!!) bell pepper, stems, seeds and veins removed, sliced thinly into strips
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (cook in a gentle boil of water for 7-8 minutes, let cool and then peel), cut in half
  • any mixture of hearty lettuces, washed and dried, to serve as a bed for all of these ingredients (I used red leaf and mature arugula)

For the vinaigrette:

  • the juice of 1 freshly, squeezed lemon
  • 1 T of Dijon mustard
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small purple onion, sliced paper thin
  • a couple of leaves of fresh parsley and basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste (kosher salt is preferred)

Make the vinaigrette first. This will allow all of the flavors to mingle longer, which will produce a more tasty dressing.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and the mustard. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, and herbs. Whisk a little more and set aside.

To compose the salad, place the greens at the bottom of your bowl. Fill a medium pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add some salt and when it begins to boil again, use a spoon to taste it (after it cools a moment, unless your a Masochist). If it tastes like the sea, then it’s sufficiently salty. If not, add some more. Add the potatoes and boil until tender (can you easily pierce the potatoes with a knife?). Approximately 10-12 minutes. Remove the potatoes, most easily with a slotted spoon. Place in a separate bowl, and while hot, pour some of the vinaigrette over the warm potatoes. When the water returns to a boil, add the beans. Boil for another 4-5 minutes, till the beans are tender (I prefer the beans al dente, with a little crunch). Remove the beans from the bowl and let cool, a minute or so, and add to the greens in the salad bowl. Add the slices of cucumber and bell pepper to the greens. Add the tomatoes to the bowl as well.

To cook the tuna, add 1 T extra virgin olive oil in a pan and turn to high. Sprinkle the tuna steak with salt. Just before the pan begins to smoke (but is NOT), when the oil is very, very hot, turn down the heat to medium, add the tuna steak and sear on 1 side for 1 minute, then the other side for a second minute. This will give you tuna that is rare to medium rare, depending on the size of your steak. If you like it more done than less, cook slightly longer.  If you prefer tuna that is cooked through well, use canned tuna. Remove the tuna from the pan, and pour the hot oil and juices over your salad. Slice the tuna.

Add a pinch of salt to the salad and then the remaining vinaigrette. Mix well with your hands. Yes, I wrote hands. Just wash your hands before you do this step. This is the best way to properly dress a salad. Be certain to dress each square inch of every vegetable is dressed and it will be delicious. Then add the potatoes and give one more gentle toss, just be careful with the potatoes. Taste the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste, if you like. Serve the salad on plates, and place the halves of hard boiled egg on the plates and the slices of tuna on top.