Healthy Greek Vegan / Vegetarian Baked Gigantes in Tomato Sauce

(Large Lima Beans Baked in Tomato Sauce)

This is another traditional Greek dish. It is delicious. A great vegan or vegetarian (if you add feta cheese) option full of protein, fibre, iron and vitamin C. I remember it well growing up. I also remember it being very oily, typically a lot more olive oil is used in traditional recipes, but I make it with less oil because although I am all for the benefits of olive oil, I also don't like my food drained in it. 


Ingredients


2 x 540 mL (19 flow oz) cans large Lima Beans, or you can make your own by soaking 1 pound of Lima Beans (Gigantes) in water overnight, at least 8 hours, drain, rinse and boil in a big pot of water for 1 hour or until they are soft.

1 onion chopped or grated (I grate the onion because my kiddos don’t like to see the onion in their food; this is my way of adding it into food and having them still eat it. They know I do this but thankfully they are happy knowing that it’s there but don't have to see it).

1 cup chopped carrots (I use organic, run under cold water to clean and leave skin on) *optional - I didn't use in this recipe but often do

1 cup chopped celery (I use organic) *optional - I didn't use in this recipe 

2 tomatoes chopped or grated (preferably fresh but can be canned), or you can use 1 cup tomato sauce or pasta sauce (whatever you have on hand)

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup water (I use filtered)

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes (you can add more if your tastebuds ask for it)

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper or paprika (kids like paprika better because it’s not as hot and has a sweeter flavour)

2-4 cloves garlic - crushed depending on your taste

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil for cooking onion

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling on top of beans just before they go into the oven

Little fresh chopped parsley for decoration at the end, if you have it


Instructions


-Open cans of Lima Beans, empty into a colander and rinse well with cold water. Leave on the side.

-Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. 

-Take out a pan (glass or ceramic) if the pot you are using can not go into the stove and leave on the side.

-In a large pot (I usually use stainless steel) add 1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil. 

-Put heat to medium and add onion. Stir and let it heat through for a couple of minutes. 

-At this point you can add a cup of chopped carrots and or a cup of chopped celery. Stir and cook for 5 minutes to soften. 

-Add in tomatoes or tomato/pasta sauce, tomato paste, water, parsley, salt, and pepper (or paprika). 

-Then add garlic at the end; I like to do this rather then putting in it with the oil at the beginning to prevent it from burning. (Garlic is amazing; it has natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, as well as antioxidant properties, and is great for your immune and cardiovascular system. If you are looking to benefit fully for its health properties it is best to eat it raw and chopped or crushed; but ofcourse we also love it in our food). Let it simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce thickens. 

-Then add in your lima beans and stir to coat with the sauce.

-Pour the mixture into a pan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil on-top.

-Bake for approximately 40 minutes until the beans are soft. (You may need to add a bit more water if the beans are not soft and let it bake a little longer, about 10 minutes.)

-Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. 


*It is typically served with bread and feta cheese, but if you want to keep the meal vegan then do not add the feta. 

**For vegetarians you can include some feta if you like on the side or crumble it on top of the beans. 

***I’m not a big bread fan but if you choose to have bread with it, I always recommend a whole grain bread (I love Ezekiel bread) or whole grain pita instead of the white bread with the fluffy white stuff inside which I know might taste good and remind you of sitting at the dinner table with mom, dad, even grandma and grandpa, but whole grain is just so much better for you! 

****I also always accompany a meal with greens- usually a mixed greens salad or romaine lettuce salad with cucumbers, but you can choose any greens you like. Some do a Greek Xoriatiki salad which is a tomato / cucumber salad with olive oil, oregano, sea salt, kalamata olives and feta on top (omit feta to keep it vegan). 


Sprinkle a little fresh chopped parsley on-top and...


That's it... Enjoy! Καλή όρεξη! Bon appetite, now you may eat 😊


Little Tips

*Do your cleanup while food is baking so you don’t have sticky hard sauce in your pot to clean up later.

*Don’t forget to recycle your cans properly: rinse well, place lids in cans and pinch closed, put in recycling.

*For any glass jars, rinse out well, secure lid and put in recycling.


-Please feel free to ask me any questions, or send comments below and I will respond within 24 hrs.-

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