Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice

Christmas Lima Bean Sauté with Basmati Rice

This lemony Basmati rice and lima bean saute is a tasty, gluten-free dinner that will change the way you think about rice and beans!

Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation and am eligible to win  prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time and I cook rice all the time for my family. 

It’s Christmas in March! Not really, it’s just a cool name for a lima bean. Have you ever cooked with these guys? I picked some up last week from the bulk food bins at Whole Foods just to make this recipe. I knew I was making a rice and bean saute for this contest, but I wanted to use a bean that I’d never eaten or cooked with before.  How can you resist a Christmas lima bean? Christmas limas are a beautiful white and purple-ly brown color and are quite a bit bigger than your normal lima bean. They turn a lighter, reddish brown color when cooked and have a sweet, hazelnut flavor.

Rice and beans are not something I grew up eating. I was a big pasta gal. My husband ate rice like it was his job. His family is Egyptian so rice is kind of like water for him. I don’t make it every night but when I do, he’s happy. He’s not a huge fan of brown rice; he prefers the sticky nuttiness of Jasmine rice. Norah will pretty much eat any rice I put in front of her. A favorite after-school snack for us is to heat up jasmine rice and then roll it up in those little seaweed snacks. We talk about her day while eating Nori rolls. It’s kind of cool.

I’m not huge fan of brown rice. It really doesn’t taste that great and why eat food that doesn’t taste good? We generally eat US California grown white rice in our house because it tends to have the lowest amount of unsavory chemicals on board. All US rice is a sustainable, locally-grown GMO-free food, which I appreciate. It’s also affordable, unlike a lot of other healthy food. When shopping, think “US Grown” and look for the words grown in the USA on the label, just to make sure. Rice is also naturally gluten-free and the least allergenic of all grains, making it a great option if you have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice 2

I actually prefer the less sticky Basmati style rice that I used in this recipe; the beans were already a bit mushy (mushy in a good way) and I didn’t want to have mush on mush. This recipe has so much flavor and it was so simple to make. I soaked the beans overnight and then boiled them for about 30 minutes. I sauteed some onions and garlic in olive oil and then added the beans. Once they had a nice caramelized look to them, I threw in some cooked Basmati rice and seasoned it up with lemon juice and zest, marjoram, and fresh dill. Even though it’s a cooked dish, it has a fresh taste to it thanks to the lemon.

Christmas Lima Bean and Basmati Rice Saute

I know this not the prettiest dish on the planet, but it is the most delicious! It’s even better the next few days as the flavors all meld together. Hany even mixed some into his scrambled eggs for breakfast. The next time you’re in the mood for a satisfying bowl of rice and beans, I’ve got you covered.  Here’s the recipe:

Christmas Lima Bean Sauté with Basmati Rice


  • 2 cups lima beans (I used the Christmas variety, but any will work)
  • 1 cup US grown Basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice + 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp marjoram, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper


  1. In a large pot, cover beans with water and soak overnight. The next day, rinse and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain.
  2. Cook rice according to package directions.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic until browned. Add lima beans and saute until browned and caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once browned, add rice, lemon juice and zest and herbs, again add salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, stir in fresh Feta cheese and garnish with fresh dill.

Asian Sesame Noodle Salad

This vegan, gluten-free version of Asian Sesame Noodle Salad with Almond Butter Dressing is the perfect dish to celebrate spring! 

This Asian Sesame Noodle Salad with Almond Butter Dressing is the perfect dish to celebrate spring! It's vegan and gluten-free made with black bean noodles, fresh asparagus and beautiful purple cabbage.

This lightened-up version of Asian Sesame Salad is dear to my heart. It played a starring role in my life during the summer of 2004…the summer when my husband and I started dating. We ate so much of this Asian Sesame Noodle Salad we had to break up with it, literally. You can read more about our love affair with this noodle salad and get the recipe hereI’ve been recreating it for years using different types of noodles but never found a good replacement. I think this recipe comes pretty close!

This Asian Sesame Noodle Salad with Almond Butter Dressing is the perfect dish to celebrate spring! It's vegan and gluten-free made with black bean noodles, fresh asparagus and beautiful purple cabbage.   #cleaneating

I’ve tried using kelp and zucchini noodles but these Explore Asian black bean noodles might just be the best iteration thus far. I love that they’re dense enough to hold up to the almond butter dressing, which really is the key. I created this version for my Inspired Vegetarian Column on Healthy Aperture, a site where you can search for healthy recipes (which also happen to be quite pretty). I modeled the recipe after a similar salad made with thick and delicious udon noodles. Udon is great, but it’s super dense and very high in calories. You can’t eat too much of it, as me and my husband found out the hard way.

This Asian Sesame Noodle Salad with Almond Butter Dressing is the perfect dish to celebrate spring! It's vegan and gluten-free made with black bean noodles, fresh asparagus and beautiful purple cabbage.   #clean #vegan @glutenfree

This salad is the perfect way to ring in the spring here in DC, but I’ve also brought it to many an outdoor summer potluck. I hope you’ll try it! Click here to Healthy Aperture for the recipe!

Formula Meals: Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are an easy to make, delicious side dish that will turn even the pickiest of eaters into instant veggie lovers!

how to roast vegetables

Formula meals are back this week with a cooking basic so many people forget about: roasted vegetables. If roasted veggies are not in your weekly repertoire, they should be. Not only are they super easy to make, they also make most vegetables taste even better.

When vegetables are combined with a little oil and some high heat an amazing thing happens…they become addictively delicious. But in a good way! Roasting is the difference between knowing you should eat your veggies to actually looking forward to eating them. If you have a picky eater in your midst, treat them to roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts or some butternut squash. I have been known to eat an entire head of just-roasted cauliflower standing at the stove. With my fingers. I don’t even bother with a fork. To me, there are few rivals to a hot, slightly charred roasted veg. And the best part? There’s a formula. Which is code for you really can’t screw these up…too badly.

I like mine a bit on the charred side so I tend to keep the heat up at 425°. If you like yours a little less toasty, you can lower to 400°. Remember that thinner veggies (think bell peppers) will need less time than a starchy potato or Brussels sprout so you’ll have to adjust the time and temp accordingly. I usually set the timer for 15 minutes, give them a quick toss with a long wooden spoon, and then roast 10-15 minutes more, depending on the veg. As with most things, practice makes perfect so keep doing it until you get the result you love.

What’s the Formula?

1 part vegetables: choose from Brussels sprouts, turnips, squash, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini,etc.

1 part seasoning: salt and pepper work just fine, but consider adding cumin, turmeric, chili pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, dill, garlic, thyme, salt, cinnamon…I think you get the idea. :)

1 part oil: I actually just drizzle olive or coconut oil over the veggies — no measuring necessary.

Always the same: salt, aluminum foil, baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or some other high-heat baking sheet protector. Or don’t, this part is personal preference. Personally, I don’t like to scrub the baking sheet so I line it. Dice up your vegetables into bite sized pieces (remember, the more surface area exposed to the heat, the more caramelized goodness you get). Place veggies into a large mixing bowl. Douse with oil of choice. Season with favorite seasonings. Shake the bowl or toss with a wooden spoon. Pour veggies onto baking sheet and bake for 12-25 minutes. Try not to eat all at once.