Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

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When I have the itch to try a new recipe, on a hot and muggy day, I turn to my pressure pot. Not only is my meal ready in minutes, the kitchen stays cool. I thumbed through one of my vegan pressure cooker books for inspiration. The one that caught my interest, Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale, was easily adapted to meet my dietary needs. I also had most of the ingredients on hand.

Navy Beans Brown Rice & Kale Title Meme

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

I chose this recipe because I love the combination of beans and rice. Throw in some greens…kale in this case…and some onion, garlic and seasonings and it’s the perfect quick meal for me.

After an afternoon busy with real estate, it was a joy to come home and prepare a fast and nutritious meal in the pressure cooker.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

This delicious recipe comes together quickly in the pressure cooker.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Navy Beans Brown Rice Kale

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried navy beans
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chopped kale, loosely packed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Rinse and drain navy beans
  • In uncovered pressure cooker, heat coconut oil. I set the pressure cooker to the "fish" setting to saute. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, until onion softens. Cancel setting,
  • Add navy beans, brown rice, kale, bay leaf, thyme and vegetable broth. Stir and cover. Cook for 25. Allow for a natural release.
  • Carefully remove lid. Discard bay leaf. Add lemon juice and sea salt. Makes four servings.
  • *Collard greens or spinach may be substituted for kale, if desired. Water may be substituted for vegetable broth.
Navy Bean Brown Rice & Kale
The start of something good. Remove stems from kale and tear leaves into bite sized pieces.
Onions in Pressure Cooker
Onions and garlic in pressure cooker.

The Start of Something Good

As I tidied up the kitchen, the tantalizing aroma of dinner cooking filled the room. If the navy beans, brown rice & kale tasted as good as it smelled, I’d count this recipe a success.

I didn’t have to wait long to find out! Twenty five minutes later, the timer went off. I allowed the steam to release naturally, which means I didn’t turn the knob on top of the pressure cooker to manually release the steam. Instead, I let it seep out, which took another 10 minutes or so.

At last I carefully lifted the lid. After removing the bay leaf, I added freshly squeezed lemon juice and a teaspoon of sea salt.

Into the pressure cooker
Into the pressure pot.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale Taste Test

After ladling up a bowl of this quick and hearty meal, and taking a photo of course, I sampled a spoonful.

This easy to prepare meal was SO GOOD! The flavors of the beans, rice and kale blended perfectly. And the thyme and bay leaf added just the right amount of seasoning.

I carried my steaming bowl into the living room and savored my meal, sitting in my favorite chair. I’ll definitely be making this recipe often. As summer gives way to the cooler temps of fall, navy beans, brown rice & kale will go into my meal rotation, to be enjoyed often.

Navy Beans Brown Rice & Kale

Check out this pressure cooker recipe as well:

Lentils & Brown Rice

Order one of these plant based pressure pot cookbooks!

 

Health Benefits of Fennel

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In past years, I’ve enjoyed creating tea blends using dried fennel seeds. This year, for the first time, I’m growing fennel in my garden. The bulbs and seeds are far from harvest ready. However, the frilly green fronds, reminiscent of dill, inspired me to create another first this evening…fennel leaf tea.

Like most herbs, the health benefits of fennel are many and the plant has been used since ancient times.

Health Benefits of Fennel

What is Fennel?

Fennel, a member of the carrot and celery family, originated in the Mediterranean region. It’s now grown around the world. This ancient herb produces a white bulb. From the bulb long green stalks appear. And on those stalks grow feathery green leaves that resemble dill.

The entire plant is edible…bulb, stalks, leaves and even the seeds that appear after flowering. Fennel is aromatic, smelling a bit like anise, while the flavor is distinctly licorice-like.

The herb is rich in bioflavonoids and antioxidants and high in fiber. Other nutrients include vitamins A, C and K, potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin and copper.

While it’s a popular vegetable for culinary purposes, fennel is valuable for its healing properties as well.

Health Benefits of Fennel Plant

Health Benefits of Fennel

The health benefits of fennel include:

Aids Digestion

Fennel supports a healthy digestive system. The fiber prevents constipation and cleanses toxins and debris from the large intestine. Chewing the seeds after a meal eliminates bad breath and stimulates the secretion of digestive juices. Fennel relieves acid reflux, gas, cramping and bloating and balances pH levels within the stomach.

Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease

High fiber foods such as fennel reduce cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The herb’s vitamin C protects the cardio system as well.

Eases Menopausal Symptoms

Early trials, giving post menopausal women fennel, found that symptoms such as sleeping issues, night sweats, flushing and hot flashes were relieved.

Improves Eye Health

Fennel’s antioxidants help to reduce inflammation, leading to improved vision. Fennel also appears to slow the progression of macular degeneration, a common cause of vision loss in the elderly.

Fresh Fennel Leaves
Fresh fennel leaves from my garden.

Helps to Prevent Cancer

The herb’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. Fennel contains an oil called anethole which acts as a natural remedy against breast cancer cells.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Another one of the health benefits of fennel is the ability to lower blood pressure. The herb’s high potassium levels and low sodium combine to lower systolic blood pressure, helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Maintains Healthy Bones

Because of its high calcium content, fennel strengthens and maintains healthy bones. The plant’s magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K all contribute toward bone health as well.

Improves Skin

Fennel’s vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It works to reduce free radicals that can damage skin cells, leading to premature aging. Vitamin C is necessary in the formation of collagen, another vital component for youthful skin.

Fennel Leaf Tea

Enjoying Fennel

Fennel can be enjoyed many ways. Sliced, the bulb adds crunch and sweetness to salads. Or the slices add flavor to stir fries and sautéed vegetables.

The stalks can replace celery in recipes while the tender fennel leaves are great added to salads or steamed with other veggies. Use the leaves to create pesto or to top baked potatoes. Steep the seeds or leaves in hot water for 15 minutes, to create a soothing and healing tea.

Using herbs for tea is one of my favorite health practices. I often enjoy a delicious blend of lemon balm, fennel seeds and thyme tea. This evening I decided to try something different.

I snipped several fennel fronds from my plants in the garden and prepared a fresh fennel tea. After adding hot water to a cup containing the leaves, I covered it and let the tea steep for 15 minutes.

The resulting tea had a delicate, subtle licorice flavor combined with the earthiness of a green tea. I enjoyed it very much.

Herbs contain such amazing properties. I’m grateful for the health benefits of fennel…and the other medicinal plants in my garden.

Freshly Brewed Fennel Tea

Order dried fennel seeds by clicking photo below.

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