Healthier choice recipe: White beans with chorizo and prawns

PHOTO: Healthier choice recipe: White beans with chorizo and prawns

There may be an entire sausage and several prawns found in this bean dish, but it can still be part of a healthy diet, as long as you do not overdo it.

You can probably tell that I am not a fan of abstemious eating that leaves the diner with strong and unfulfilled cravings.

Instead, I believe that you should enjoy the flavours you yearn for, but in a restrained manner.

For example, when it comes to ice cream, I will restrict my intake by cutting the cones or bars into half or limit myself to only a few spoonfuls of the frozen concoction.

Similarly, my soups may have meat in them, but there will probably be more vegetables found in the pot.

In the same way, my chap chye, or cabbage stew, contains more cabbage and soya bean products than pork and prawns.

But I do make sure that I rely on a good soup stock that is made from prawn shells and meat bones.

Likewise, these white beans are absolutely healthy in their own right.

Full of protein and fibre, what is there to fault in a dish that uses white beans tossed in a spicy tomato or arrabiata sauce?

In line with Spanish and Portuguese recipes, the beans are perked up with spicy sausage (chorizo, which is made from pork and paprika and is found in several European countries) and prawns - but only enough to add flavour.

The more disciplined eater can forgo these additions, but then again, we are talking about food for the less disciplined among us.

Even so, both groups of eaters will love the seared scallions (spring onions) that garnish the dish.

They give both an appetising flourish and sweetness to the beans.

And this is something that you can apply to many recipes: To up the health quotient, increase the amount of beans and vegetables found in the dish and cut down on the less healthy ingredients.

In this dish, I add only half a chorizo sausage, diced. And I also allow each person only one prawn.

You need not worry about a lack of flavour as the beans are delicious on their own.

Furthermore, you can prepare this dish easily and quickly, as most of the ingredients are available canned.

Of course, you can boil your own beans (and keep the water for soup stock) and make your own arrabiata sauce (which is nothing more than chopped tomatoes cooked with garlic and spiced with chilli flakes) - if you have the energy to do it.

I did mine from scratch as I do not like my beans too soft and am always finding ways to use up my fresh tomatoes.

However, between doing all that work and not having a homecooked meal, I'd open a can anytime.

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