T White Beans and Spinach

Beans are part of the standard diet of almost every culture, and the Italians are no exception. Heather Dismore contributed this recipe that uses the cannellini beans, an Italian staple, paired with nutritious vitamin-A-rich spinach. Use canned beans and pre-washed spinach to make this nutritious powerhouse as easy to make as it is to enjoy.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil V2 cup diced onions

3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms V* cup white wine 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Half a 10-ounce bag of triple-washed spinach

1 can (15 ounces) white beans (like navy, cannellini, or great Northern), rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons fresh minced oregano Salt and pepper

1 Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook until just fragrant. Add the white wine and mustard. Scrape up any browned bits that may be stuck to the skillet.

2 Add the spinach and cover. Steam the spinach for 3 to 4 minutes, or until wilted but still bright green. Add the white beans. Continue to cook until heated through. Add the oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings as necessary.

Per serving: Kcalories 122 (From Fat 37); Fat 4g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 385mg; Carbohydrate !8g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 5g.

You can find many canned legumes in your grocery store. They're a bit more expensive than the dried variety, but they can help you create a well-balanced nutritious meal quickly. Keep a few cans in your cupboard for quick and satisfying meals, like this Black Bean Pie, that will keep you full and keep your blood sugar stable.

When using canned anything, like beans or veggies, whenever possible, drain and rinse the food before cooking to get rid of excess sodium. But before you toss out the liquid, remember to double-check the recipe. Some recipes, like the one for Black Bean Pie here, use the liquid in the recipe.

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