Gigantes plaki, also spelled Gigandes or Yigandes (Greek “γίγαντες πλακί”, pronounced [ˈʝiɣades plaˈci]) is a Greek dish known in English as giant baked beans. The name Gigantes comes from the Greek word for giant, hence giant beans. Gigandes plaki is a vegetarian meze dish that consists of large beans (gigantes) and vegetables cooked in a tomato-based sauce. It’s a rich source of anti-oxidants and fiber, and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Molybdenum – Butter beans/Lima beans are mind-bogglingly high in molybdenum. A single cup of cooked lima beans provides almost 141 mcg of the mineral — almost twice the recommended daily value, according to the George Mateljan Foundation. This trace mineral doesn’t get a lot of press, but it may be a great help to those who experience sulfite sensitivity. Sulfites are commonly found in wine, pickles, processed meats and dried fruit. A sensitivity to sulfites can result when a person does not have enough sulfite oxidase enzyme in his body. This enzyme is essential for detoxifying sulfites. Molybdenum is an essential component of this enzyme. When sulfites are not properly broken down in the body, a person may experience rapid heart rate, headache and confusion.
Fiber – Lima beans are full of belly-filling, colon-clearing fiber. The UC Davis Vegetable Research and Information Center reports that a half cup of boiled lima beans contains 6.8 grams of dietary fiber. That’s about 33 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber.Dietary fiber is an aid to those with disorders such as diabetes and hypoglycemia, which are related to glucose metabolism. Fiber slows the spike in blood sugar that occurs after eating by absorbing stomach fluids and forming a metabolism-slowing gel. Fiber is also a crucial element in the ability of beans to lower cholesterol, and it helps to prevent irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
Iron – Iron deficiency is one of the more commonly reported nutrient deficits in western society. Though iron is a plentiful on earth, those on certain strict diets, or who have increased daily iron needs due to blood loss, growth, gender or pregnancy may need to supplement their diets in order to consume an adequate supply. Lima beans can help such persons fight the nutritional good fight by packing 2.2 mcg of iron into every cup, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I don’t use actual measurements, just work with the size baking dish that you have and the number of people, you can add herbs & spices, and other vegetable ingredients to your liking…
- giant white butter beans – a small half bag around 1 lbs/500g
- 2 cloves of garlic mined
- 1 red onion chopped
- 1 large carrot sliced
- 2 celery sticks diced
- 1/2 red pepper diced
- 1/2 green pepper diced
- 1 small can of organic tomato paste – you may use half or the whole paste
- 1/3 cup olive oil – 1st press, cold-pressed, extra virgin – be generous!
- 1 – 2 small bay leaves
- fresh chopped parsley – a hand full
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- fresh ground pepper & sea salt to taste
- purified water
- (optional) mizithra cheese as a topping
- Soak your beans over night, the following day drain, rinse and place beans in a pot of water. Cook until full boil, add a little more time so it’s easier to bake.
- Drain beans and rinse with warm water, place then in a baking dish lined with some olive oil.
- Pre-heat your oven to 155 Celsius (about 300 -325 Fahrenheit)
- Add all the vegetables, spices and herbs mix well, also add the tomato paste and more olive oil! Mix again and then add water enough to cover the beans.
- Cover using your baking dish lid/foil paper.
- Bake on low setting to cook for several hours (a slow cook is best), about 3 hours. Check midway during the baking process to be sure water is absorb slowly making the giant beans tender and juicy.
- Around the last 1/2 hour or so, uncover the baking dish so the beans can get nice and brown on top.
- Finally when they are ready all the water is absorbed, they should be very tender and have a brown crisp topping. Remove from oven and let it cool for at least 15 mins.
- Serve on a plate and top with a little mizithra cheese.
Serves about 4 pp (This is a great side dish or can be your main dish).
καλή όρεξη – Kali Orexi (Good appetite aka bon appetit) 😉
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