New to Beans - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-09-2014, 02:40 AM
 
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New to Beans

Believe it or not I never really had any beans (re-fried beans, green beans of course) but the world of beans is very new to me.

I made red beans for the first time (had a big bag of it figured might as well start my bean adventure). It was a bit bland though....

My question is, what can I use to season the beans? What's your favorite beans? What can I do with them?
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#2 Old 07-09-2014, 03:54 AM
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I love beans and rely on them daily for a variety of nutrients. There are so many things you can do with them! Here are just a few ideas:

chickpeas (garbanzo beans): mash them in a bowl (cooked ones or canned) and add some chopped celery and onion. Now add vegan mayonnaise (I make my own almond based mayonnaise and there are tons of recipes on eggless mayo on the internet if you can't find vegan mayo in the stores) and mix well. put this mixture in a sandwich as an "egg" salad or add to a garden salad or pasta salad. Chickpeas by themselves are good in garden salads or in chow mein vegetables and noodles over rice. They also go well in a recipe called "chana masala". For a snack, roast them in the oven in a cast iron skillet with oil or in a roaster with oil and add chili powder, garlic, cumin, or paprika.

white beans: I like to have them over toast or with leafy greens and add molasses mixed into them for breakfast. They also work mashed into red potatoes for a high protein mashed potato. Google "white bean mashed potato" for a few good vegan recipes there. another one is white beans added to homemade carrot soup and then blended for a creamy soup. I simply saute some onion, garlic and chopped carrot in a large pot. Add the beans and some ginger powder or fresh ginger. Cover with water or vegetable broth and simmer for twenty minutes until everything is soft (the beans I add are already pre cooked). Add the soup to a blender for a thick creamy soup or eat as is from the pot. White beans also work in spreads. I like this one:
http://www.treehugger.com/easy-veget...est-vegan.html

Sometimes I just add some kidney beans to a bowl and add cumin, chili powder, and salsa and have it with corn bread and a salad on the side. Kidney beans go well in crockpot vegan chili with black beans, peppers, garlic, zuchini, stewed tomatoes, mushrooms, etc

I just made homemade baked beans last night with pintos. Really I just added the precooked pintos to a pot and added chopped green pepper and onion. Then I made a bbq sauce: mixed molasses, organic catsup, lime juice, and a pinch of turbinado sugar (maple syrup or other sweetener would work) and added that to the pot and mixed it all together and simmered it for fifteen minutes and it was soooo good!

This is my favorite bean burger (and there are so many bean burger recipes, I highly recommend googling bean burgers to get some ideas): http://plantpoweredkitchen.com/medit...burgers-vegan/

Lentils are good by themselves seasoned with lemon pepper or lemon juice and ground black pepper and added to brown rice with some mushrooms. Red lentils work well in tomato sauce and vegetables over spaghetti to add texture and a boost of protein. Brown lentils can be seasoned with taco seasoning and added to hard shell tacos. Split pea soup is awesome too made simple with split peas, carrots, onion, vegetable broth, lemon juice, paprika and simmered until the peas are soft, then blended in a blender or food processor for a thick rich creamy split pea soup. Four cups of water added to one cup of split peas will yield four to six cups of soup.

I like black beans with chopped and steamed sweet potato and steamed kale and shredded coconut with curry powder, garlic, and cinnamon. This can be added to a flour tortilla and wrapped as a burrito too.

Hope those ideas help! I could go on and on. Oh, and don't forget homemade hummus with chickpeas, tahini, garlic and a few other ingredients. For a lower fat version, use soft cooked carrots instead of tahini and add ginger to the mix. Homemade hummus is VERY addicting so be forewarned lol.

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#3 Old 07-09-2014, 04:08 AM
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I forgot to mention I will often buy a big bag of dried beans and soak them and then cook them on a Sunday and use them in various dishes for the week, as opposed to buying cans of them. It saves money (though I can find canned beans at the dollar store too). When I cook them I add a piece of kombu to the pot to help them become more digestible. I can store them in the freezer or in the refrigerator in a tight fitting container up to a week cooked.
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#4 Old 07-09-2014, 05:51 AM
 
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I love beans, if you have them prepared (i.e. canned or pre-soaked and cooked as suggested above) they can make really quick and easy meals.

Sometimes for a side/starter I'll just have white beans with some garlic, black pepper and any other spice or herb I fancy.

Bean salads are great - you can put mixed beans with the above seasonings plus paprika, to make it smokey. I sometimes put beans (any kind, but white work well) with roasted sweet potato, lentils, bell peppers and sweetcorn and make an easy dressing out of oil, vinegar, mustard and other seasonings (you'll find loads of inspiration online or in cook books).

Also chili! Fry onion and garlic then add tinned tomatoes or sieved tomatoes, whatever - then beans (red kidney, white, experiment) and any vegetables you like. Add chilli powder to taste, I throw in some oregano…anything you like to season with.

Also I've been making barbecue sauce lately for tofu and I think that would work really well with beans too. A quick google of 'simple barbecue sauce' will give you a few good options you can choose from.

Hope that helps!
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#5 Old 07-09-2014, 08:23 AM
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I eat hummus like it's going out of style. I get flats of chickpeas in cans and make it at home, it takes under 5 minutes. My favorite right now is cilantro jalepeno.

This is a great vegan red beans and rice recipe that's full of flavor plus info that helps you navigate what to look for if you're buying canned beans:
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/11...-and-rice.html
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#6 Old 07-09-2014, 09:58 AM
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If you have your own kitchen, a pressure cooker is an awesome tool for making beans. It takes about 20 minutes to cook beans from a dry state instead of soaking them and or crock potting them all day.

Spices? I love salsa. Chick peas mashed with onions, & salsa over red Quinoa is my new favorite meal. I love to make hummus too. Hummus is an awesome sandwich spread! Try a Hummus sub with veggies piles high! If you don't want to bother with making hummus, then mashed chick peas with onions, peppers and so on is a good replacement.

Pinto beans are great for vegetarian chili. Just make like you would regular chili, and don't add the meat.

Bean and vegetable soup is wonderful.

Bean salad (cold) kind of like 3 bean salad.

Beans and rice. The great vegetarian standard. Also beans and any other grain.

Beans and toast.

Black bean burgers (you need to learn how to stick them together in a burger shape, but these are good)
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#7 Old 07-09-2014, 12:51 PM
 
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So much info! thanks so much everyone! I thought about get a can of each bean I want to try so I know what I like and don't like and then getting dried beans of what I like. So far I like black bean. Can't wait to try more!
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#8 Old 07-09-2014, 01:56 PM
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I usually buy canned beans because they are so fast, but I've been playing around with dried beans and little more and they are pretty cool because you can add spices and herbs as they are cooking and they end up with a lot of flavor that way. I mostly use dried beans to make soups with.

My favorite beans are black beans. I use them to make black bean burgers (seasoned with chili powder), refried beans (seasoned with garlic and onion), tacos (seasoned with cumin and chili powder), black bean soup (with carrots, onions, celery, and thyme), and chili (I also add kidney beans, tomatoes, and season with a homemade chili spice blend).

I use kidney beans primarily in chili, but I also like them tossed with rice, bell pepper, and onion. I use white kidney beans, or regular if I don't have white, to add protein to broth based soups like minestrone.

I eat chick peas straight, or roasted in the oven with my chili seasoning blend as a snack. They also go really well as a protein source in a lot of Indian dishes, and make a great mock tuna salad (mash them first). Oh, and they are always good as hummus, or as falafels (which are small fried balls or patties made from heavily seasoned chick peas, or sometimes from split peas).

I really under-use lentils. The only way I ever cook them is in a Spanish-style lentil soup. I'm not personally a fan of the texture of lentils, but I had that soup a lot when I lived in Spain and it's something of a comfort food for me now. I add carrots and potatoes to them, and season with smoked paprika and bay leaf, stirring in olive oil and spinach right before serving.
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#9 Old 07-09-2014, 05:05 PM
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LOTS of good ideas!

When I make chili out of red, pinto, or kidney beans, I often add some lemon or lime juice to taste AFTER the chili is cooked. (Adding something acidic to beans before they're cooked completely can prevent them from softening properly- I think they're supposed to be harder to digest then). You could try it with a bit of your chili, and if you like it that way, you will not have ruined a whole batch.

I prefer dried beans to canned because dry beans are cheaper and have no salt to start with- you can add only as much as you like. I do like salt, but canned beans (most canned foods, actually) have too much to suit me. The downside is that dry beans take a long time to cook, although I've never used a pressure cooker on them as someone mentioned above. I usually cook a large batch on the weekend and freeze several portions to use later. Lentils and split peas cook fast though.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned pastafazool (or pasta e fagioli), a classic Italian dish of beans and macaroni which is made in a jillion different ways- some of them vegetarian, some even vegan.
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#10 Old 07-09-2014, 05:22 PM
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What they said

http://www.treehugger.com/easy-veget...ood-meals.html


http://www.foodsubs.com/Lentils.html

I do keep a can of Joan of Arc chili beans on hand 'cause they make a good and quick rice and beans, or ease into a cornbread and greens dish, or spice a bean burger. I always wing it with bean burgers
Yesterday I make some killer ones:
Cooked brown rice
can of chili beans
oats
cornmeal
Just enough oats and cornmeal to thicken. Let it set for a while, lightly sauteed about 5 min each side.
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#11 Old 07-09-2014, 05:23 PM
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If you have a good blender or food processor you can make your own bean flour. May need to sift some bigger pieces out, but it works great for me.
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#12 Old 07-09-2014, 07:38 PM
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The greatest food-related purchase I've ever made by far was my electric (as opposed to stove top) pressure cooker. Perhaps this is just because I'm bad at cooking dry beans and rice when there is any sort of skill involved. The model I have is called "EZ Bean Cooker" and it has a timer you can use to manually set a time or choose from one of the presets they have suggested for various types of beans. I use it for beans, lentils, rice and sometimes greens.

I like a mix of beans or lentils, rice, tomatoes, greens (especially collards or cabbage) and tofu. Then a little salt and tabasco sauce. Nothing fancy and super easy to make, which suits me.

For flour tortilla burritos, I like pinto beans, rice, enchillada sauce (I make it using flour, cocoa powder, chili powder, oregano, canned tomatoes and tomato paste), mushed up avocado or guac, romaine, diced fresh tomatoes and cholula hot sauce.
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#13 Old 07-09-2014, 11:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
The greatest food-related purchase I've ever made by far was my electric (as opposed to stove top) pressure cooker. Perhaps this is just because I'm bad at cooking dry beans and rice when there is any sort of skill involved. The model I have is called "EZ Bean Cooker" and it has a timer you can use to manually set a time or choose from one of the presets they have suggested for various types of beans. I use it for beans, lentils, rice and sometimes greens.
..... I NEED this in my life

So much great info on here! I'm glad I found this forum now lol
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#14 Old 07-10-2014, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
If you have a good blender or food processor you can make your own bean flour. May need to sift some bigger pieces out, but it works great for me.
I actually tried this in my Blendtec with dried chickpeas (to make besan flour) and it made a nice flour, but I became ill from consuming it. Did a number on my digestion. I was literally on the floor with gas pain and nausea. Maybe there is some trick to it I am missing? I blend flours from whole grains (rice, buckwheat groats, millet, oat groats, quinoa) all the time with no problem, but with uncooked beans it's another story.

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