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Bean brilliant

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

There's not much chance of a hike this weekend. The weather has warmed up a bit, we now have a magnificent 8C (46.5F) but of course it's also got wetter. So I'm doing housework and advance cooking.

I've recently developed (much to the dismay of the cats) a bit of a thing about beans and lentils. An interesting point about beans is nearly all the beans we eat these days are new world beans, indigenous to the Americas. In Europe, the only indigenous bean was broad beans which you call fava beans in the States. They were a staple food and quite right cos they are yummy. Now they are a bit of a luxury veg.

Anyway, a few weeks ago in one of these SparkFits of enthusiasm for eating healthily and saving money that I'm sure you are all familiar with, I soaked and cooked an entire kilo (2.2lbs) of haricot beans. I started to realise there was a problem when I had to transfer the ever-expanding beans into my jam pan during the boiling process, this being the only thing apart from my bathtub big enough to restrain them.

Then, when they were cooked, what to do with them? Curried beans, I decided, throwing onions carrots garlic tomato puree the kitchen sink and celery into the pan, together with a couple of tablespoons of biryani spice mix and for reasons I can no longer explain because it was definitely of the moment, extra and far too much cinnamon.

Once it was cooked and cooled, I looked at the resulting concoction with reservation. There was enough for about eight very generous portions, and I've never felt very optimistic about beans. So I doled it out into cartons, shoved it in the freezer and said to myself I would eat it in the week before payday when I was hungry enough and there was nothing else available anyway. The week before payday is the one where you find out exactly what you ARE capable of eating, if pushed. (The cats keep out of my way, the week before payday, they develop a hunted look although I have reassured them that while there is Whiskas in the cupboard they have nothing to fear from me.)

So anyhow, a week later I came home from work late, hungry and fed up and wanted something quick to eat. Out came a tub of bean curry, straight into the microwave (I am not a fan of microwaves strictly speaking, but the blessed relief of being able to produce a hot meal in ten minutes is beyond measure when you've been at work all day and your stomach thinks your throat's cut).

I tipped the steaming mess on to a plate and prodded it cautiously with a fork. It didn't bite back so I took a forkful and tasted it.

Well, it was delicious although the cinnamon overtones were a bit pronounced. I've been eating the rest all month and there's just one portion still lurking in the freezer. So beans are on today's shopping list and I'll be boiling up tomorrow.

Since I'm single, there's nobody around to object if the duvet occasionally levitates a bit.

PS: Haricot beans are the ones in Heinz Baked Beanz.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your SO funny emoticon Beans are awesome and I love them- sometime its a good thing to be single when eating them lol emoticon
    1772 days ago
    I am glad it turned out you liked your "recipe" so well! I'm sure they stretched your money well too.
    1772 days ago
    Oh, I love beans! As a vegetarian, I do eat them quite regularly. Great protein source and they count as a vegetable.

    Hint for reducing the gaseous nature of beans:

    Bring them to a boil, turn off, and let them sit covered for 15-30 minutes (or 5 if you're using a pressure cooker). Drain, rinse, add fresh water and a small, thumb-sized piece of kombu (seaweed also known as kelp). Now you cook till done. If you cannot find kombu, you can use sea salt & a dash of apple cider vinegar, though kombu works a bit better and has little to no impact on the flavor.
    1772 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    As usual a funny blog and coincidently there is a lentil recipe today from Chef Meg. Will have to try that one.
    1772 days ago
    Duvet levitation may be accompanied by a triumphant blast. Don't scare the cats...
    1772 days ago
    Your last paragraph had me laughing and remembering an old rhyme that I use to say as a kid -

    Beans beans the musical food
    The more you eat the more your toot
    The more your toot the better you feel
    So lets eat beans at every meal

    Hope you have a great weekend!
    1772 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    Good For You!

    It was also funny and you made me laugh.

    I can see it now emoticon
    1772 days ago
  • JENAE954
    First I must say your writing style is warm, intelligent, humorous and an easy read.
    These are all the things I look for in a book.
    Have you written any? If not, you really should. The flair is very much alive.

    Love the bean story. I do that too and live alone. You know I can relate!

    Thanks emoticon
    1772 days ago
    Thanks for the smile.
    There is something to be said for living single.
    Have a great weekend. Keep dry.
    1772 days ago
    I love most beans and they are so low GI and GL its fabulous.
    1772 days ago
    beans and lentils make a great soup too, chuck in some peppers, leek and a few root veg and you are "sorted"!

    kite flying is always another option
    1772 days ago
  • ANDY_54
    I've heard of broadbeans and tended to get them confused with soybeans. It took until we started to grow soybeans (we have a few hobby acres of land) that the difference became clear! Love the blog and the humor, hope the cats are doing all right. emoticon
    1772 days ago
    I love beans. Here's a very simple and tasty Greek way to cook
    haricot beans. (lima beans are also nice. I put the beans to boil,
    change the water(less methane). Then I add fresh water, one
    tablespoon(or two) of olive oil, omato paste, a can of tomatoes,
    a bay leaf, celery, onions and carrot and let it all boil together till
    beans are cooked. I also add red capsicum and some black pepper
    and if you want it spicier, add some cayenne pepper to your taste.
    Only add salt 5 minutes before turning off otherwise they will not cook.
    This is a staple in Greece called Fasolada. If you don't have celery
    stalks and leaves, you can put in silverbeet or swiss chard. I hope you
    try it and enjoy it. It freezes well too.
    1772 days ago
    Did you remember to buy a bigger pot for the cooking this time? LOL
    1772 days ago
    I'm still chuckling about the levitating duvet. My cats hate it when they are UNDER said duvet with me when it levitates.
    1772 days ago
    You never fail to make me see this whole "get healthy" journey as having the potential for humor! Have a great day!
    1772 days ago
    You are adventursome in the kitchen too! Glad it was a good adventure; that's a LOT of beans!
    1772 days ago
    I tried making my own beans once and they were horrible - but the recipe called for lots of mint. It was a very weird taste, I passed them off onto my boyfriend emoticon

    Your recipe sounds great though, I might have to thieve it!
    1772 days ago
    Don't forget that beans are good to help bring down high cholesterol.
    We love beans.
    1772 days ago
    Beans, beans, the magic fruit.....
    1772 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1772 days ago
    Sometimes it is fun to try something new. Good for you!
    1772 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1772 days ago
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