Butter bean grain bowls

Veggie bowls with butter bean hummus and crispy fried butter beans

Veggie bowls with butter bean hummus and crispy fried butter beans

We've had a wonderful Christmas break with so much delicious food, I think I could probably continue eating leftover cheese for a long time. But in the same way Christmas is the much needed distraction from the cold and dark of mid-winter, January and the new year is just the kick up the *** I need to pull me out of that cheese induced coma. Who care's about being virtuous - I just want some different flavours to all the rich food we've been eating for the past couple of weeks. 

This veggie bowl was JUST what we needed - super fresh, so many colours and flavours but so rich and creamy you don't feel you are missing out (never a good thing, January or not). Butter bean hummus is a welcome change to traditional chickpea hummus, more creamy and less nutty in flavour than the original. Frying some extra butter beans with chilli flakes until the are crips and popping out the pan creates another texture entirely - and all from the same bean, who knew?

You can really mix-up any of the other elements of the veggie bowl depending on what you have to hand (e.g. whatever grains you prefer, winter salad greens or steamed spinach instead of the kale etc.) but I really wouldn't skip the pomegranate seeds - pomegranates are juicy and in season right now and their tartness is just perfect with the creamy butter beans.

Happy New Year!

Butter bean hummus and crispy fried butter bean grain bowls

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tins of butter beans

4 heaped tbs tahini

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1 lemon 

Chilli flakes (Pul Biber if possible)

Half a red cabbage

200 ml cider vinegar

1 tsp mustard seeds

Pomegranate seeds

Pumpkin seeds

To serve - Cooked grains (millet, quinoa etc.), steamed greens/kale

Method

Drain the butterbeans reserving the water from the cans. Separate 1/4 of the butterbeans and keep separately in a colander to drain thoroughly. 

If you are pickling the red cabbage chop the cabbage into fine shreds, add to a colander and massage in a tsp of salt with your hands. Leave to drain for around 15 minutes then rinse off the salt and squeeze out all the water and place in a bowl. Heat the cider vinegar in a small saucepan with the mustard seeds then pour over the red cabbage - leave to pickle whilst you get on with the rest.

Empty the rest of the butterbeans into a food processor with the garlic, blend until the beans are broken down and the mix gets too sticky to process down much more. Add the tahini and juice of half the lemon along with a splash of the reserved bean water. Blend again for about 3-4 minutes, stopping every now and again to scrape down the sides and adding a bit more bean water if the mixture is too thick to blend - don't add too much though otherwise it will become too loose. Stop blending once the hummus is super smooth, soft and airy. Taste and add salt, lemon juice or tahini if it needs it.

Empty the reserved butterbeans onto some kitchen roll and pat dry. Heat up a splash of olive oil in a small frying pan until hot, add the butterbeans and a pinch of chilli flakes and salt and fry, moving around only occasionally until they are blackened, blistered and popped. Remove from the heat.

If serving as a grain bowl, cook or reheat your grains and steam your greens, then add to the bowl and top with hummus, crispy butterbeans, red cabbage, pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy xxx