A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Why is My Slow Cooker “White” Bean Puree Green?

Meatless Monday is something that more of us should recognize. And it doesn’t have to be Monday, it just rolls off the tongue better; kinda like “Thirsty Thursday” (ahhh, the college days), and “Wheat-free Wednesday.” Oh, and how can I forget, What I Ate Wednesday!!! That’s a fun one for a lot of Foodie Bloggers; myself included.

As a supporter of blending, mixing, or processing foods into a rich and creamy mishmash of intense flavor, I tend to create a lot of purees for Meatless Monday Meals. Some of you may wonder why this “white” bean veggie fusion is green instead of, well, white. Or maybe you’re a frequent master o’blending too and know that adding healthy doses of green veggies will do the trick.

Was this just a dumb question? I don’t think so. Even though I did add broccoli to the cumin-intense melting pot of veggies, okra is the main culprit of the green. Yep, okra, a veggie I feel is often overlooked unless you’re a Cajun or eat recurrent amounts of gumbo. Next to Brussels sprouts and mushrooms, okra is one of my top favorite vegetables to eat alone, dehydrated, or added to any dish.

I posted the copious amount of benefits okra provides and a couple recipes that can be found here. Did you know another name for okra is “lady fingers”? Makes sense when you look at whole okra, but it sucks to be that lady!

The slippery mucilage in okra acts as a natural “binder” which, when added to purees creates a consistency worth dipping for. I savor thick soup purees that can double as a dip, and okra supplies what I need to make it happen!

Kelley, my dear wife, is repulsed by okra, but this puree is today’s lunch and she’ll be reading this too late….sorry, Kelley. Yay me if she says it’s good before she knows what’s in the mix! I added the goat cheese to help offset the possibility of a feud later.

That’s another advantage of serving pureed meals; you can add heaps of healthy foods not favored by others, and they may never know! Cooking for kids? Not a problem if you serve a healthy homemade blend of veggies and give it a fun name. I'd call this blend “Hulk Stew” for the little “Hulk(s)” in your life; they’ll love it!

Slow-Cooker “Green” White Bean Veggie Puree (a.k.a. Hulk Stew)

by RC Liley
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients (Serves 4 - 6)
  • 2 (15oz) cans drained and rinsed or 1 cup dried white beans; I used dried cannellini beans and soaked overnight, but any white bean will work.
  • 12oz bag of frozen cut okra
  • 10oz bag of frozen or fresh carrots
  • 12oz bag of frozen broccoli
  • 10oz bag of frozen diced green peppers, onions, and celery mix
  • 4 – 6 cloves fresh garlic; I love garlic, use less if you don’t
  • 1 T each of cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, dried parsley, and paprika
  • 2 t dried thyme
  • 1 t cayenne powder
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock; I used about 1/2 cup of Pacific Natural Foods French Onion Soup for extra flavor, but not too much as it’s high in sodium!
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • Optional: Creamy goat cheese to crumble on top or blend into potentially mad wife’s portion; or just because it’s good.
Add all ingredients to slow cooker (you may need more liquid, but I like to make sure it’s really thick) and cook on high for 4 hours.
Puree everything together with an immersion blender right in the pot, or scoop out into blender and puree in batches. Be careful if using a blender; heat expands and you’ll have a hot mess all over you and your kitchen!
Garnish with extra paprika, parsley, and crumbled goat cheese if desired
Serve with your favorite chip for dipping; try it hot or cold
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Thick soups/stews are easy to make and a lot of fun! Add a side crunchy chips or hearty whole grain crackers for dipping and skip using a spoon altogether!
Q: How do you your soups/stews/dips? Hot or cold; thick or thin?

I guess it depends on the type of soup (thick miso soup would be weird), but cold and thick soups are my favorite in the summer!


  1. i've never really been a creamy soup fan (and i HHHHHAAAATTTEEE dairy based soups) but i love a good vegetable soup and don't even get me started on pho - love it!

    1. I've never tried Pho before. Do you have a good recipe I could use? Thanks for the comment, oh, and, I'm more of a fan of broth based soups myself!