A Menu with Lima Beans

Discovering Lima Beans

Here’s the key to the food reformation:  When you eat healthy food, your tastes begin to change—for the better.  The sugary, salty treats you used to enjoy become almost repulsive.  Ditto for the stuff from the deep fat fryer.  In the grocery store you hurry past the aisles of packaged food but linger longingly in the produce section. 

Saturday night the beautiful wife and I joined friends at Taco Rosa in fashionable Newport Beach.  Rosa offers really good food, mostly tacos, Mexico City style.  I was short on seafood for the week so had a lobster taco and a salmon taco.  The BW had the portabello mushroom taco.  On the way out I inspected the hot line, the part of the kitchen where the cooking and heating is done.  I recoiled at the sight of a deep fat fryer—was my crispy lobster taco cooked in that?  You’ve got to be careful when you eat out—the modern restaurant is the no man’s land of nutrition.

On Sunday I wanted to use some dried lima beans, long time residents of our pantry.  Lima beans are a real nutrition bargain, rich in fiber, folate (protective of birth defects), tryptophan (the essential amino acid that improves your mood, regulates appetite, and helps you sleep better), and the essential trace element, molybdenum. 

The BW wife wasn’t excited but I found a N. Y. Times article, “Who Says You Can’t Love Lima Beans?”  The article suggested five recipes and I realized that a Greek style recipe could use the spinach and feta cheese aging in our fridge. A recipe that cleans out leftovers soon to be throwaways—who could resist?

Later, as the BW took her second helping of my concoction, I wondered whether the dish was good enough to post as a recipe.  At first we were doubtful—“Would a child eat this?” she wondered—but the more I ate, the more I liked it.  This led to a discussion of how your taste changes as you eat healthier food and how you write recipes to catch this moving target.  “Look,” I said, “this is a good way to use spinach too wilted for salad (a common problem for us); you can slip in a little squash (I added an aging chayote squash); plus it has lima beans, a great nutrition value. 

All this caused us to realize that our tastes have been in transition and a recipe we wouldn’t have liked a year ago is okay now, and might even be tasty next year.  Perhaps we should have different versions of recipes, depending where you are in the taste transition.  Anyway, I think we’ll post Skip’s Greek Lima Bean Recipe after a little more tinkering.  Would it help to add some eggplant?  Does it need more spinach?  How about some olives?  Stay tuned.

Menu for Week #30


  • Skip’s Turkey Rice Pilaf (we had smoked turkey in the freezer and some wild rice to use)
  • Green salad
  • Dessert:  Watermelon.  (So tasty, and so easy.)


  • Pasta salad (leftover from last week, made from whole grain pasta, grapes, pineapple, cashews, and the last of the BBQ chicken)
  • Sliced tomatoes (we actually forgot the tomatoes and just enjoyed the salad)

Wednesday—this was a surprisingly tasty mix of very healthy vegetables and less healthy hot dogs.

  • Roasted vegetables (sweet potato and russet potato fries, sweet onion, red pepper)
  • Roasted hot dogs (left over from the 4th of July barbecue)

Thursday  (We took care of very young grandchildren and had breakfast cereal for dinner—don't frown, the grandkids loved it.)

Friday  (Watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics and snacked.)

Saturday (Ate out at Rosa’s Tacos.)


  • Skip’s Greek Lima Beans (with spinach, chayote squash, leftover pork tenderloin, and feta cheese—super healthy)
  • Watermelon

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Reader Comments (4)

I've been pretty quiet over the last year and a half but I want you to know that I do read these blog posts. Sometimes a little too much info gets posted about my likes and dislikes but that is because I am the only one that will say "It's not my favorite". After having bread pudding for two weeks straight while Skip tries different ways to improve it, so you'll understand why I'm not excited when he announces he'll make it again for guests this week.

I do have to say I'm grateful that he is cooking more, our tastes have changed and we have learned a lot about healthy fresh food. But....I still LOVE my dark chocolate chips! Thanks for the birthday wishes.

July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClare Hellewell

This is my favorite lima bean recipe. It is really good and quick.

July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSiah

It is so true how your tastes change. I used to love a treat or two every day, but since I read your post on sugar over a year ago, I have cut back soooo much, not just with dessert, but with my whole diet. Lately I've been wondering why desserts don't appeal to me like they used to, but now I realized my body doesn't need it or crave it. So thanks for changing my life and helping me be healthier!

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

I've been really into probiotics lately (a really great book on the subject is Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-Mcbride). Last week I made lacto-fermented pickles (delicious) and I have been making homemade sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt for a while. Lacto-fermented food is an obscure and interesting component of traditional diets that I try to incorporate into our diet. I'd love to hear your take on probiotics in food versus supplements.

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

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