Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beans and Fake Sausage

The best news in food is this: what we eat has a lot to do with our health.  Enter the lowly bean.  Beans are a much derided carbohydrate. Well, let’s get finished with the jokes about beans and gas and deal with a positive thing about beans.

I discovered Dr. Joel Fuhrman on the Dr. Oz Show some time ago. He was there to tell us about resistant starch in healthy carbohydrates. We have heard about simple and complex carbs, and now here is something else. Dr. Fuhrman wrote a book called Simple Immunity, which is about strengthening the immune system, with, among other things, beans. The resistant starch in beans and other vegetables  including greens, fruits, nuts and seeds, gives us some benefits.  (1) these foods’ glycemic index and caloric density are low; (2) they are resistant to digestion, which means they do not break down into simple sugars in our systems, so we are less likely to become diabetic, unless we have a lot of dessert and other delicious bad foods in our meals; (3) these foods are full of fiber, which is good for what we do in the bathroom. Just remember to drink lots of water with the fiber. To sum it up, beans are good for us. Just read Dr. Fuhrman’s book. He also inhabits YouTube, where we can hear him talk. He backs his statements with some science.

I have discovered that I can have meatless sausage using beans. It is easy to make and tastes like sausage. It’s a good way to eat those resistant starches. I think this sausage is good for an imitation product. It won’t satisfy a determined meat eater, but has a place in the vegetable kingdom. It’s simple and plain, not elaborate and filled with layers of sophistication.  As some of you know, I am about simple foods.

Fake Sausage

This makes enough for one person.
1 cup cooked white beans
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon crumbled dry sage
1 egg, beaten slightly
1 tablespoon or more flour (I use brown rice flour)

Drain beans if they are in water from can or cooking. Mash them with a potato masher, or process in food processor until they are mashed. I don’t make them perfectly smooth textured. Add seasonings and stir all together. Then add egg and stir. Correct seasoning until it tastes like sausage. Stir in enough flour to firm the texture but still have it somewhat wet. With spoon, shape the mixture into about three patties, or more or fewer, depending on how big you want them. Saute the patties in a small amount of oil, at medium heat or lower, about five minutes, turning them once, until they are somewhat brown on both sides.