Hello! So despite the crazy, indecisive weather we’ve been having, our garden is putting out. We did it right this year by getting our tomatoes planted a little on the early side before the brutal summer heat fries them up into dust. I guess that’s the secret here in Texas…plant em’ early, and pray for the best.

Having some delicious garden tomatoes around inspires me to get creative with side-dishes. Sorry beloved grocery store, but there is just no comparison between a store tomato and one from your garden. The smell and flavor is so much more vibrant-heck even my husband who normally hates tomatoes will eat these.

So, I know a lot of my recipes are entrée recipes, but I thought it’d be fun to focus on sides for a change. It’s easy to get in a rut on what sides to serve with ______, but there are lots of delicious and easy ways to jazz things up -maybe even pack a little more nutrition into them. That lead’s me to one of my favorite nutritious old-timey dishes – Succotash. (Yes, as in “sufferin’ succotash” infamously quoted by Sylvester the Cat. Do kids these days know who that is still? I hope so..)

I did a little read-up on succotash history (because who DOESN’T want to know more about succotash…) and it is a Native-American dish that became pretty popular during the Great Depression because of its relatively inexpensive ingredients. There are many variations, but it mostly consists of lima beans, corn, and other shell beans. While it may be cheap to make, it is still rich in several essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin C, and manganese. Succotash (I just like saying it as I type) is also awesome in heart-healthy fiber and essential fatty acids from the olive oil you cook it in.

OK…I will stop saying it and get on to the recipe. You can definitely use fresh lima beans and corn if you are feeling fancy, but I used frozen and it still came out delicious. (Remember, you actually do not lose out on nutrition with most frozen produce, since it’s frozen at peak ripeness and peak nutrient content.)

Succotash                                                Serves about 8
-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
-1 small yellow onion
-1 16 oz package frozen lima beans, cooked
-1 16 oz package frozen sweet white or yellow corn, cooked
-1 garlic clove, minced
-2-3 Tablespoons fresh basil, minced.
-2 medium tomatoes, diced
-Dash of sea salt

  1. Cook frozen lima beans and corn according to package instructions (I just cooked them in boiling water)
  2. In a deep pan, heat olive oil on medium heat and add onion. Sauté until translucent, then add garlic. Stir together for a couple minutes.
  3. Add fresh (or cooked frozen) lima beans, corn, and tomatoes.
  4. Reduce-heat to medium-low and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft.
  5. Season to taste with sea salt (less is more..) and add minced fresh basil. If you don’t have fresh basil, you can try dried but half the amount.
  6. Mix well and serve!

Again, my picture doesn’t do it justice.

Now you have a vibrant, colorful side dish sure to jazz up any meal. It is super easy and a convenient way to sneak in some extra nutrition when your family isn’t looking. As with with all the recipes I blog about, it is also toddler-approved.

For those who are carb counting, 1/2 cup would be approximately 1 carb count. If you are interested in learning more about carb counting (an excellent and easy way to manage diabetes or weight), reserve a spot for my upcoming class: Carbohydrate Counting Made Easy on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:30pm. Check out www.food4success.com for office location and more information. You can also like my Facebook page for updates and health tips.

Try out–ok, just one more time–SUCCOTASH and let me know what you think! Until next time!