some questions about cooking beans and tofu - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-26-2006, 07:04 PM
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Hi everyone



I am doing well with my new vegetarianism so far. I have a few questions though.



1) I love this bean dip the store has. It is refried beans, guacamole, hit sauce and soy cream cheese. Yummy! I want to make refried beans at home. Is it just cans beans, pureed? Or do I have to do something to them first?



2) I love hummus but it is expensive to buy/ What has stopped me from making it from canned chickpeas is the quantity. One can makes too much as I am a single person. I was hoping to use my new slow cooker to cook dry chickpeas in smaller amounts, to make hummus with. But I have no idea how to do this?



3) I am a bit scared of cooking dry beans, actually. I have used lentils in soup and really like them. But other beans, I am just really nervous about cooking them from dry, I am worried it is too complicated or the beans will not be soft. Can I use the slow cooker for this too? What is the easiest way to cook dry beans with a minimum of fuss? Can I cook dry beans and freeze them to use in soups and stir-fries, or will freezing ruin them?



4) What is your favourite tofu recipe that is easy and has only a few ingredients? Have you got any good recipes for slow cooker recipes using tofu, or for spreads or sandwich fillings using tofu?



Thanks in advance for any help!



Joanna
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#2 Old 09-26-2006, 08:04 PM
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ok well, basically chickpeas need to be soaked over night, the swell up and u probably need about 1/2 cup for a one person amount...altho if u are going to eat hummus everyday make abit more. so soak em in cold water then you have to boil (slowcook) for about 3 hours! it is apretty long process i would recommend using a can for how cheap the are, even if u have to put the rest in a curry or something? anyway u can get a good recipe for hummus of the Net, there are loads of variations and i think there are some threads on here for it too

My fave way to cook tofu is not the healthyist but soo good in almost anything!

you gotta have firm tofu, like the firmest available. cut into either small chunks, if going into a stirfry etc or into slices if in a sandwhich or burger. get a dinner plate or bowl and add in some flour, can be corn, white, wholemeal doesn't really matter, and add in some powdered vege stock& salt & pepper & alittle cajun powder if you like

coat your tofu bits in this mix then fry in a little oil until golden on all sides! drain on a paper towel then throw into your dinner!

this is how I get alot of my omni friends to try Tofu and they mostly LOVE it

yum!
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#3 Old 09-26-2006, 09:01 PM
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You can cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker (if you have one) and it makes GREAT hummus.



Also, once you cook your chickpeas (and for hummus, cook the death out of them), you can freeze them.
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#4 Old 09-27-2006, 04:35 AM
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So, if I had canned chickpeas, could I free those too? And then if I wanted to make hummus, I could just thaw some and blend them up?
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#5 Old 09-27-2006, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post

So, if I had canned chickpeas, could I free those too? And then if I wanted to make hummus, I could just thaw some and blend them up?

Yes! Also, you can cook dried beans in the crockpot. Just be sure to wash them first in a colander(pick out any bad looking beans) and soak them for 8 hrs in enough water to cover them about 2". After soaking, I don't drain the soak water, even though lots of people do. I just add more water and a small quantity of vegetable or olive oil, some sliced onions, a bay leaf(in most all beans), and some black pepper. Turn the crockpot on high to start with(about 30-60 minutes) and then turn it on low and let the beans cook till they are tender. The time varies lots from bean to bean! Also, I don't like to add salt to the beans until after the skins are softened. Adding salt at the beginning makes the skins tough to me!
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#6 Old 09-27-2006, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post

Hi everyone

1) I love this bean dip the store has. It is refried beans, guacamole, hit sauce and soy cream cheese. Yummy! I want to make refried beans at home. Is it just cans beans, pureed? Or do I have to do something to them first?



You can certainly just mash up cooked pinto beans. (I do them like I would mashed potatoes, rather than in a blender or food processor.) However, I can't resist the urge to make them a little more flavorful by browning onion and garlic in oil or cooking spray, then adding the beans and maybe a bit of green chile or chile powder.



Quote:
2) I love hummus but it is expensive to buy/ What has stopped me from making it from canned chickpeas is the quantity. One can makes too much as I am a single person. I was hoping to use my new slow cooker to cook dry chickpeas in smaller amounts, to make hummus with. But I have no idea how to do this?



Soak overnight, simmer for several hours (or all day on low in the crockpot). I love to make my own hummus because I can use fresh spices (cumin seeds toasted myself, fresh roasted garlic - yummm.)



Quote:
3) I am a bit scared of cooking dry beans, actually. I have used lentils in soup and really like them. But other beans, I am just really nervous about cooking them from dry, I am worried it is too complicated or the beans will not be soft. Can I use the slow cooker for this too? What is the easiest way to cook dry beans with a minimum of fuss? Can I cook dry beans and freeze them to use in soups and stir-fries, or will freezing ruin them?



They are easy and pretty trouble-free, although you do need to plan ahead and set them to soak the night before. In a crockpot or slow cooker, just let them simmer all day. On the stovetop, it will be 1-4 hours, depending on the type of bean, and you need to be around to check that they don't boild dry.



Freezing won't ruin them, but they will be nicer without being frozen first.
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