Flavorful Peas and Lima Beans and Meatloaf to Enjoy

Peas and lima beans. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

Spring vegetables add a lovely freshness to meals this time of year. Whether enjoyed as a side dish with your favorite grilled or roasted meats, or as a vegetarian main course, vegetables are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and fiber that help keep the body at optimum health. A very good source of vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus, and folate, green peas are also a good source of vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin B2, zinc, protein, magnesium, iron, and potassium among other nutrients. Lima beans are high in fiber and a good source of protein.

They also contain potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron. The following recipe for peas and lima beans can be enjoyed as a side dish or served with rice or pasta on its own as a main dish. They make a fine accompaniment to meatloaf, an often unsung hero of weeknight meals. The recipe below calls for cumin which adds an interesting spicy element to many dishes made with ground meat.

Peas and Lima Beans

1 large onion, chopped

3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas

1 package (16 oz.) frozen lima beans

1 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high until it shimmers, add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add the peas and lima beans, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of water. Stir and cook over medium heat until the peas and lima beans are cooked through. Serve as a side with chicken, pork, or meatloaf, and as a main course with cooked bulgur, rice, or pasta. If preferred, the onion can be grated, so it cooks even faster. A rustic chop also works if no one minds large pieces of onion.

Greek Meatloaf

2 pounds ground beef, sirloin

1 large onion, grated

2 beaten eggs

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 cup bread crumbs, plain or flavored, as preferred

1/2 cup water

Greek extra virgin olive oil

3-4 hardboiled eggs, eggshells removed

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, beaten eggs, cumin, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and water. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and mix. If the mixture seems too wet, add a little more bread crumbs. Mix thoroughly, with hands, if preferred, careful not to overwork the mixture. Place the mixture in a baking pan and form the shape of a meatloaf, making a space down the center for the boiled eggs. Place the eggs in a line down the center and cover with the meat mixture to form the meatloaf shape. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the strength of the oven. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy with your favorite vegetable recipes, a side salad, and a glass of red wine.

Meatloaf with peas and lima beans. Photo by Eleni Sakellis