Saturday, September 20, 2008


This may seem weird, but we've never eaten beans in our house. I decided a few weeks ago that we needed to start incorporating beans into our diet. So, I checked out multiple bean cookbooks from the library and started reading recipes. My goal is to make a new dish involving beans each week for at least the next month.

I've made 2 recipes so far. The first one involved dried pinto beans, ground beef and rice. It was ok but a little bland. Apparently pinto beans need a lot of spice. It was the first time I'd ever made dried beans and that part turned out good.

Tonight I made a southwestern style pasta with black beans. This time the beans were canned. This dish was awesome! We all really liked it. It had a lot of spice in it. I'm not sure how practical this dish would be in a situation where we would be using our food stores, but it could serve as a special dish to make things more bearable.

Since beans and rice are supposed to be a complete meal, and beans and rice are both easy to store, I want to experiment with different types of beans with rice using different spices.
Since I am trying to build up food stores it seemed important for us to learn to use and eat beans before we were forced to. Beans are cheap and easy to store for long periods of time. What I did discover is that I also need to plan on storing different spices to make the beans more palatable.

If anyone has any favorite bean recipes they'd like to share, I'm all eyes!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I love your 'Bean Goals' Christy and will read any recipes with interest. I'm not crazy about beans and my family makes faces when beans end up on their plate.

So, I sure hope we are never forced to eat them. :P


CeeCee said...

Don't forget to buy Beano for the gas that will come to all family members whose stomachs aren't used to bean fiber. It really works!

That said. Here's my latest bean recipe.

2 or 3 cups cooked pasta-rinsed.
1 can white ( aka: navy or cannoleni) beans-rinsed very well.
1 cup fresh green beans or asparagus-blanched and cooled.
Pesto sauce
Extra Parmesan cheese-sprink
Diced mint leaves (optional)
This is really just a 'toss it all together' recipe. The amounts of pasta, veggies and Pesto sauce are all up to your taste. I like to add mint for a little something different. The parmesan cheese gets added right before you eat it. Just make sure all the ingredients are cool before combining them. Especially the blanched veggies.
My family will eat the white beans more readily than the other bean members because they have such a mild taste.

Christy said...

Lisa - I'm not crazy about beans either, hence the goals. I'm trying to find ways that I like them.

Ceecee - So far the beans have only bean a small part of the dish so no need for Beano yet. But I'll keep it in mind. Logan didn't like the black beans but was ok with pinto beans so I'll try the white beans and see what he thinks.

linda m said...

Here's a good bean recipe. I'm not fond of using pork & beans but it sure is good:
Calico Beans

1 large can Pork & Beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can butter beans 1/4 to 1/2 lb bacon
1 lb ground beef
1 med. onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 T vinegar
1/2 teas salt
drain kidney and butter beans - saving liquid; add saved liquid to sugar, ketchup, vinegar and salt; brown ground beef and onion; mix all ingredients together and put in a baking dish; bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour

CeeCee said...

We grew up calling Linda's recipe, Cowboy Beans. We used baby lima beans instead of butter beans---it was a mouth texture thing with us. The recipe is yummy though.

Pamela said...

Beans?!!!?? I LOVE beans--and when you say beans to someone from the South, there's only one kind. Call 'em Brown Beans or Pinto Beans or Soup Beans, they are The Best.

The way we eat them is simple and delicious--especially on a cold winter day.

Make a BIG pot of beans with some hunks of fat back or other smoked, fatty pork. You can even use the left-overs from a ham along with the bone.

Cook them all day.

Make a big skillet of cornbreak (Try to find some stoneground cornmeal if you can...makes all the difference.)

Dip out a bowl of beans. Crumble the top half of a slice of cornbread into it. Butter up the bottom half (the bottom half is lovely and crunchy)

Slice a mild onion.

Take a bite of the beans. Then a bite of the onion. Then the cornbread. Repeat until you are about to pop.

Maren said...

We love red beans and rice over here, even tho we are westerners, not from the south. Very easy, soak and cook the beans (i use 1 lb dried), the mix with tomato (sauce, or stewed, whichever you like best, 2,15 oz cans) and add onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Add sliced sausage (1 lb), like kielbasa. simmer for a bit and serve over white rice. Just put in the amounts you like to have it the way you like.

Christy said...

Thanks for the bean recipes. They all sound great and I'll have to try them. We do like red beans and rice but I'll admit that we use the Zatarans mix. I know, shameful! I'll have to try making my own.

Anonymous said...

I have always bought dried beans. They are so economical.
On dried beans you can bring them to a boil for about a minute then turn the heat off. Let the beans sit for a couple of hours. Pour the water off(that will get rid of most of your gas problem) fill with new water. If you don't want to season with meat you can use bouillon cubes. It spices the beans well.
On the left over pinto and kidney beans you can use for a great chilli. I brown ground beef, add tomatoes, corn, the beans,onion, peppers, and corn if you like.Plus whatever chilli spices. My boys always loved the chilli.
And dried black eyed peas, we have those regular. They don't take as much time to cook as pintos.
We have saved so much money over the years using dried beans.
Good luck with your bean goal.

Adventure girl wanna be said...

New here!
I love your blog and adding it to my blog roll.

I used to live in NE Georgia, loved it and miss it AND I desparatly want to move to a farm!

I think you will like my piece about corporate confinements on my blog;)

Christy said...

Adventure girl, thank you for the nice comments! I'll check out your blog soon.

Deanne said...

My DH taught me how to make "beans and pasta", although sometime we substitute rice.

First saute a little garlic in olive oil. Then add salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary (as much as you think you would like). Mix in the beans with enough broth to cover them (we use beef broth) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid becomes thicker, like a sauce. Serve over ditalini pasta or rice. Easy peasy and really yummy too!

Christy said...

Deanne - that does sound good. And easy, just what I'm looking for. We are going to try lentils this week.

Chile said...

Beans are great. Have you tried lentils yet? They cook more quickly and tend to be a little less gassy.

Oh, and I wanted to let you know there is no need to worry about combining beans and grains at the same meal. That's actually a myth. As long as you eat a well-balanced diet, including those foods, you'll be fine. Oatmeal for brekkie and beans for dinner would take care of your needs. :)

Christy said...

Chile - Lentils will be our bean this week. Probably tomorrow night.

Anonymous said...

We grow beans---lots of red pinto beans. You can see them on my blog withthe above link.

Here is how to cook beans so you don't have AS MUCH gas----

Soak your beans over night (unless fresh and then you only have to soak a short time).

Once they have soaked over night drain ALL the water off and fill the pot again. Swish around and drain off, repeat three times.

Fill the fourth time with cold water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and scope off the nasty foam. The gas is in the foam and the water. Then rinse the beans a couple of time with cold water, fill the pot again and bring to a boil. Repeat this for three times. (Three times the charm, they say).

On the fourth filling of cold water you will see a difference in the beans. This time cook the beans until tender.

Yummm! I even like them cold the next morning on bread. Like a sandwich.


Chile said...

Interesting, Linda, but wow. That's a lot of work and water for the beans! I'm so bad at planning, I usually quick soak in water in the solar oven while it's preheating, drain the water, rinse, add new water, and cook 'em. Since they're in the solar oven, I don't want to open and close it a lot to lose the heat so no skimming goin' on.

The good news is that, generally, your body will get used to the beans and produce less gas. If not, and you work in close quarters with others in an office, just eat beans on weekends. The family that farts together stays together... ;-)