Monday, April 1, 2013

Yet Another Pantry Staple: Beans


LEGUMES
!

Black Beans, rice and a dollop of sour cream

Beans, beans, beans. Why does it seem like beans are taboo to eat? Oh, I know the old adage...beans, beans the magical fruit and you can finish the rest but why do I often get the impression that many folks around these parts believe that consuming beans, outside of a Mexican restaurant or family barbecue, is a little beneath them?

I'm laughing to myself remembering this one evening my big brother came for dinner. A neighbor of ours grew up in Louisiana and had shared a few bean dish recipes with me. So I decided to try them. That night for dinner we had cornbread and beans.  When we all sat down to eat I couldn't help but notice the expression on my brother's face. "Um, guys. I, uh, realize that I have been eating with you quite a bit. Do you need me to help out some? I can give you some money if you need it."   I just laughed.  To this day he says that was his least favorite meal at the Rowdy house.

Some of you may be thinking, "no, I just don't like them". I understand, but there are so many varieties and so many ways to prepare them. To quote Dr. Suess, "Try them. Try them. You don't like them so you say. Try them. Try them and you may."They are full of vitamins, fiber, healthy carbs and protein.  Chock full of them. Changing over from canned to dry beans took me forever. This may be due to the fact that I have to plan ahead a bit more to use the dry ones. It has taken me even longer to begin consuming them regularly but I will share tasty recipes as I find them.

One last thought regarding beans...Many years ago my husband and I lived in Honduras for 2 years.  Beans, rice and tortillas were apart of just about every meal.  The further you went into the mountains or city slums, the poorer the people. The poorer the people meant mucho beans and very little meat.  Sometimes I just want to have a meal consisting of rice and beans to remind myself and the family of how good we have it.  How good indeed!!!!

We already know that beans are a lot cheaper than meat so they are definite budget helpers.

Since taking steps towards purchasing bulk, I have added 3 different legumes: black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans.  Surprisingly, I use kidney beans the least. I guess I just don't make as much chili as I thought I would.

I would call dry beans a staple for our household because I cook up a big batch every so often and then freeze them for future use. After soaking them overnight, I just put them in the slow cooker and cook them on low all day.  Rarely do I add much seasoning, as I prefer to determine taste on a per meal basis.

BLACK BEANS

Add to cold salads, enchiladas, flautas, soup, chili, straight up black beans and rice, refried beans etc. 

Black Beans rinsed and ready to soak

GARBANZO BEANS


Ready to go in the freezer
Garbanzo beans, a favorite!
Garbanzo (chickpeas) beans. Isn't that fun to say? Garbanzo.  These gems were never more than a hummus thought for me. However with a little experimenting, I am using them a great deal more. I add them to soups of all kinds, stews, house salads, and tomato salads. You can even roast them in the oven as a snack as well!






My recipe for hummus is not exact and I usually end up adding a dab of this or that, but here are the ingredients that I use: 

3 cups of garbanzo beans
1/2 of a lemon
a little water (to desired consistency)
paprika
1 to 2 t of cumin
1 to 2 T of olive oil
1 to 2 cloves of garlic or 1 t of garlic powder
Sesame seeds when I use my high powered blender (otherwise omit or use Tahini)
salt to taste

Mmmmmm....now where are my tortilla chips?

Do you have a favorite bean dish? Please share!! I am always looking to learn new recipes. 


4 comments:

  1. I tried making some curry chickpeas the other day. Didn't turn out super well. Will definitely be experimenting with them again!

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    1. Lol. I have had my fair share of that around here. Be sure to share when you find success. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. So tel me something to make wi the beans :).

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    1. Hey Debbie! What a fun surprise to find your comment today. :) Do you have a bean preference?

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