Steamed (Seasonal) Vegetables w/ White Bean Sauce

Steamed–Seasonal–Vegetables w/ White Bean Sauce 

Hi and welcome back to Ria Lives Well!

The Chilean Flag,Valparaiso, Chile

I’m going to pretend that I have updated this blog in the last three months. Can you pretend, too?

At the start of September, I went away on a study abroad program in the skinny South American country, Chile. Well, the experience was a struggle. At times, it reminded me of a Rubix cube: I aligned all the colors on one face and thought, “Watson, I’ve cracked the enigma!”–only to turn the cube and find a jumble of mismatched colors on every–other–face.

Although it was a struggle, I came back with the desire to return to Chile-particularly to hike Torres Del Paine, Patagonia-a commitment to learn Spanish; a hope to live in Spain for a year; a B- in my Spanish class and lots of tasty Chilean recipes.

A Side Note About Travel

If this trip has taught me anything, it’s that travel is one of life’s few luxuries. Learning about another country through immersion; the excitement of meeting new people who are equally as excited to meet you; discovering a new culture and re-discovering yourself as the culture changes you- it’s not easy to put into words. You have to go out and see it for yourself.

For 3 Months, I Immersed Myself in Wonderful Attractions
For 3 Months, I Immersed Myself in Wonderful Attractions

If money is an issue, then pick a destination, plan your activities, and start saving today. For cheaper flights, check out STA Travel and if you want to work in your desired country in place of paying rent, then head over to WWOOF.

If time is an issue, remember this: you only live once. 

Chilean “Cuisine” 

Now about those Chilean recipes…I have to share my favorites, while explaining how Chileans “do” food. But not just yet. I’ll be honest with you: after spending three months indulging on fried and caloric Chilean grub, I returned to the states in desperate need of a cleanse. I wanted my first recipe back on RLW to be a Chilean dish-in a way, offering a taste of what I experienced. But my cleanse isn’t nearly over.

And so vegetables galore. Yumm!

steamed vegetables

I picked my favorites: broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. (If I thought about it, I would have thrown in some color. Purple carrots or red beets would boost the physical and nutritional appeal). Then I went to work strengthening their flavor. Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive oil {the best!} with fresh herbs  produced exactly what I was looking for. But I didn’t want to give my steamed vegetables too much kick. The real jolt of flavor comes from the white bean sauce.

I don’t typically use white beans {don’t ask me why}, so I didn’t realize they had such a neutral flavor. Much like tofu, white beans absorb flavors very well. So if you prepare a simple meal–like steamed vegetables–a white bean sauce will make a surprisingly flavorful addition.

white bean sauce

Steamed Vegetables  

  • 12 oz steamed vegetables {your choice; seasonal produces the best flavor, of course}
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Rub olive oil into your vegetables. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. In a microwaveable bowl, add your thoroughly vegetables with two tablespoons of water. Heat for 2-3 minutes until steamed {or tender}.

White Bean Sauce

  • 1 can white beans (15 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup water (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 of one large white onion (roughly chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Sautee fresh garlic and onions, then set aside. In a blender, add your can of beans and 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth. Pour in olive oil, blend until smooth. Add your sauteed onions and garlic, blend until smooth. Now add spices, seeds and salt and pepper to taste.

A dish like this can cost a lot. So I headed over to the seasonality chart for a list of in-season produce. Thankfully, February is a good month for produce. Perfect for a large plate of steamed vegetables! 

P.S. if you want to spice up the steamed vegetables, then a little granulated garlic powder and all-purpose seasoning should do the trick without jeopardizing their natural flavor.

~Live Well!

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4 thoughts on “Steamed (Seasonal) Vegetables w/ White Bean Sauce

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