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Recipe of the Month: Spanish White Beans with Spinach & Polenta
This colorful dish is rich in protective carotenoids and fiber. It's a perfect potluck dish for your vegan and gluten-intolerant friends. For those using milk products, the addition of a tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan cheese onto each serving adds flavor and a bit more of calcium.
1 18-oz. pkg. prepared polenta 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp. olive oil (consider using oil drained from dried tomatoes) 1/2 to 1 cup water
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (2 cups) 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, chopped (about 1 cup) 1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground
4 lg. garlic cloves, minced 1 bag fresh spinach, tough stems removed (about 6 cups uncooked)
1 tbsp. paprika (preferably smoked sweet paprika)
Turn broiler onto high to heat your oven. Coat a large shallow oven-proof pan (about 8x12 inches) lightly with some of the olive oil. Cut the polenta into 1/4-inch slabs lengthwise and cover the bottom of the pan. Rub a little more of the olive oil onto the top surface of the polenta. Broil on high while you prepare the bean and vegetable mixture, checking occasionally to make sure the polenta doesn't burn.
Cook onion and sun-dried tomatoes in a 5- to 6-qt. pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and paprika. Cook, stiriring, another minute.
Stir in beans, water, salt, pepper, and spinach. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning and pour the bean and vegetable mixture over the polenta. Serve.
Serves 6. Each serving provides about 320 calories, 13g protein, 10g fat (1g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 46g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 570mg sodium, 1080mg potassium, 150mg calcium.