Thursday, March 6, 2008

Beans, Beans the Musical Fruit.

I don't eat meat, so to get protein I consume lots of beans. We use beans for hummus, quesadillas and to add to mac and cheese, salads, stir fries and sooo much more. (FYI: The average American consumes 50% MORE protein than the RDA. So eating beans, grains, and veggies gets us enough protein without needing supplements.) Beans are a fantastic nutritional source - there's more calcium, less fat, and more potassium in black beans than in 95% fat free beef. As an added bonus, they are more affordable in comparison. Especially if you’re like me and decide to buy dried beans. It always seemed like such a pain to worry about rinsing, sorting, soaking, and cooking beans that you could just as easily pop open a can and dump into a bowl.

Then, as always, Crunchy mentioned something about beans and I gave it a try. I had never even so much as looked at the dried beans at the grocery store, but when I did. WOAH. Less than a dollar for THAT much beans!? Being Young, Fabulous, and Broke, I decided to quickly snatch up half a dozen bags of beans. What a steal! I could figure out how to cook them later.

I am lazy and therefore half read the instructions on the back of the package. Three cups water, one cup beans – boil until they’re soft. That’s my Cliff Notes version. There are all kinds of options like quick soaking and overnight and blah blah blah. My lazy girl method seems to work so far*. But if you’re cooking chickpeas (for yummy hummus; which is consequently the cornerstone of my husband’s diet. I swear that if I didn’t cook he’d eat cereal for every meal of the day. Not that I have anything against cereal. Mmm. Cereal.) you need to add fresh water a couple of times because it boils down. I learned the hard way last week when I set off the smoke detector and found a saucepan of blackened chickpeas. (Yes. I used them still. Blackened chickpea hummus is a delicacy in some places.)

So bottom line. Beans are delicious and nutritious. They’re REALLY cheap if you can handle a little more work and get some dried beans. Throw them in anything for a great meal. Uh, except for waffles. Or oatmeal. That could be weird. (Although authentic Chinese food does involve some interesting sweets with red beans.) Get creative though!

*If you prefer, you can be a lazy girl (or boy) with your slow cooker as well. I fully support that.

1 comment:

  1. I can think of few things I hate more than anything with red bean in it. Especially that red bean goop they give you at the end of a banquet.

    ANYWAY! Did you know that I had no idea you were still writing this blog because I did not have it in my feed reader? For some reason? And that is why I have been such a rotten nonexistent commenter? MY BAD!


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