Fasoulieh

by Amylee Amos MS, RDN, IFMCPRecipes

Fasoulieh is a middle eastern white bean dish that’s traditionally served during the colder months. As beans are a primary ingredient, this warming savory meal is not one that will help you get into ketosis, but the incredible nutrient density makes it a great addition to the diet if you are metabolically flexible and insulin sensitive. As with many middle eastern dishes, the huge benefits of fasoulieh come from the spices used. Spices and herbs have incredible health benefits and are especially dense in their nutritional content. Below we have highlighted the main spices included in fasoulieh and a brief description of their benefits. 

Coriander:

Coriander is truly an under appreciated superfood (or super spice). We’ve mentioned in previous recipes that coriander is anti-mold, and thus is a great spice to increase in the diet if you suffer from or are at risk of mold toxicity. But coriander also touts anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, anticancer, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, hypolipidemic, and hypoglycemic properties (1). Through its potent antioxidative capacity it provides protective effects against neurodegenerative disease, cancer, and metabolic syndrome. 

Allspice:

Allspice is a very versatile spice with a warming quality. It has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been used as a digestive, reducing bloating and modulating digestive function (2). Like coriander, allspice has potent antioxidative capacity. It has multiple anticancer mechanisms, including anti-tumor and antiproliferative properties. 

Garlic:

Though not a spice, we decided to include a shout out to this amazing allium. The health benefits of garlic are so vast that we have dedicated an entire blog post to the subject. Stated briefly, garlic has been studied for its benefit to heart health, its role in metabolic health, and its strong antimicrobial properties to name a few (3). Remember to chop your garlic for your dish and then allow it to sit out for about 10 minutes prior to cooking it. This allows you to reap garlic’s incredible DNA protecting benefits. 

Fasouieh traditionally includes a small amount of meat, normally ground beef. We have omitted it to keep the dish plant based and low in saturated fat, but you can add it back in if you wish. It is also normally served alongside rice. For a lower carbohydrate version, try serving it with cauliflower rice. Traditionally fasoulieh is also served with raw radishes and green onions, which not only provide a wonderful crunch, but also pack a great nutrient punch! 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound dried northern beans
  • 10 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1 tsp allspice 
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups water

Directions: 

  1. Soak the beans for 4 hours then boil for 30 minutes or until tender. 
  2. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes on medium low heat. 
  3. Add the coriander and saute for another 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Add the allspice and saute 1 more minute. 
  5. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Saute for another 2 minutes. 
  6. Add the boiled and drained beans and mix well. 
  7. Add the water, stir well, and increase the temperature to medium. 
  8. Cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
  9. Add salt to taste and serve warm. 

References:

  1. Prachayasittikul, V., Prachayasittikul, S., Ruchirawat, S., & Prachayasittikul, V. (2018). Coriander (Coriandrum sativum): A promising functional food toward the well-being. Food Research International, 105: 305-323. 
  2. Zhang, L., & Lokeshwar, B. L. (2012). Medicinal properties of the Jamaican pepper plant Pimenta dioica and Allspice. Current drug targets, 13(14), 1900–1906. https://doi.org/10.2174/138945012804545641
  3. Natural Medicines Garlic (2020). Retrieved from: https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=300