Friday, February 5, 2010

Midweek Meals: Healthy Delicious Lima Bean Spread with Olives and Yogurt OR How Lima Beans Are Like Christopher Walken

Ok, so I'm posting a midweek meal on a Friday, bu it's been quite a busy week with school and the like and I wasn't able to post photos until today... sure, I could've posted the recipe on Wednesday, but without photos, lima beans are boring in most people's opinions (though I hope you will be forever changed on that after this) and just imagine what they'd be like without the pictures?  I would be a food blog pariah overnight!

After all that bashing of poor Mr. Lima, I think I should be fair to him and tell you there's more to him then smelly, shrivel-y/mush side dish afterthoughts.  The words LIMA BEANS make children collectively shudder and dive under kitchen tables around the globe, I have no doubt.  But the Lima has a bad rep for what really is a pretty amazing little legume: healthy, easy to cook and most importantly quite tasty when properly handled.  Problem is I don't think most people know what to do with them.

Kind of like Christopher Walken.  Amazing actor, right?  I know if I were a Hollywood director, I would be looking at him and thinking "Wow, this dude is freakin' amazing... but how the heck do I cast him?"  He can't play a down and out single father or run around the screen with a gun searching for the kidnapped Declaration of Independence, now can he?  His lines would take 5x as long to say, for one thing.

Just like Mr Walken, the lima bean can't just be thrown into a dish willy-nilly and without taking into consideration its special set of talents. For one, limas have a very nice rich/butter flavor and texture if they're not overcooked.  This recipe takes the lowly lima and puts him in the role he deserves: as a healthy, tasty and even elegant spread that makes a great midweek guilt-free snack!

Oh, and limas are full of fiber, magnesium and iron.  They're said to reduce cholesterol and even have a property that is supposed to "detoxify" bad sulfite preservitives (like in red wine).  The recipe also has garlic, yogurt and olive oil for added health points!

Recipe: Lima Bean Spread with Olives and Yogurt

What you need to get...

1 pound fresh or frozen lima beans (if fresh, blanch first in boiling water for 5 minutes)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dry Greek herb mix (dill, oregano, mint, rosemary)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (thick or Greek-style preferred)
10 pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste (won't need much)

What to do with it all...
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium and add lima beans and herbs. 
  2. Saute until soft and very little color (about 5 mins)
  3. Add garlic and remove from heat - allow to cool slightly (don't let the garlic cook much, or it will get bitter)
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lima bean mixture to a food processor (leaving the olive oil to add back later)
  5. Add olive and blend - pouring olive oil in a steady stream to incorporate - until mixture is spreadable but still a little chunky
  6. Fold in yogurt and serve with whole wheat bread or pita, crudites, or heck, toss with pasta or layer in a veggie lasagna!


  1. oh wow where do you come up with these wonderful idea's what a lusicious spread!

  2. Great idea and thanks for the interesting paralels bt lima beans and Walken, too funny, I like when life resembles food or the other way around.
    I like my limas jazzed up too, garlic, toasted onions, cheese, its all good with a lima.

  3. Lol! I see what you mean... Great analogy :p Those beans look fantastic! The lil limas won me over when you said 'Greek herbs' and 'olives'. Drool.

  4. Lima beans are okay...but this spread is the post too :)

  5. Wow--sounds lovely. Thanks for de-mystifying the lima bean. It's kind of like hummus. So I wonder if any other chickpea dishes would work with lima beans?

  6. Yummy dip. I love dips......and forget midweek, friday, is enough that the weekend blends into the working week and I can't tell one day from another :-)

  7. @pegasus - I had some limas laying around, and I started a'Googlin and found something similar to this (of course I PLC'd this recipe up a bit, though!)

    @Brad - I only wish I'd had time to make a little Walken wig for a lima to wear for this shoot...

    @Sanjana - Greek herbs make my world go round! I just ran out, too. *gasp*

    @Jhonny - Thanks, miss! Always praise from you *proud smile*

    @Sarah - That's a great question. I did make a soup I normally make w/chicks using limas the other day and it was pretty nifty, I must say. So I'd lean towards "mostly, yes". :)

    @Butterfly - I'm so glad to hear someone say what's in my head all the time! I rarely know what day it is.

    Thanks All!

  8. Poor old lima beans. If only people had been doing this to them over the years, they might have stood a chance against sullen children.

  9. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe. In the Hindu community they make their own yogurt. And it's easy and delicious. But I understand that Greek yogurt is the healthiest choice for cooking and consuming.

    I am wondering do you ever make your own yogurt?

    Also Christopher Walken rules. Do you remember Madonna's 'Bad Girl' video? It's my favorite of hers to date.


Thanks for commenting - I'm always happy to hear from you!


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