The white kidney bean. It's been getting a lot of attention in the media lately because of a report on The Doctor Oz Show. I really just love it because it's a versatile plant-food that takes on the flavour of whatever you introduce it to. Especially for people living a plant-based lifestyle, it's a great source of protein, high in fibre, and helps regulate blood sugar after a meal. Also, it's high in folate, manganese, B vitamins, and iron -- all things that vegetarians and vegans need to be aware of balancing.
The tricky thing about beans is their long cook-time, particularly if you buy them dried in bulk.
A couple of tips for anyone looking to up bean intake and lower the bean-intimidation factor:
i. soak your beans overnight! not only does it activate all of their awesome phytonutrients and good-for-you enzymes, it reduces cook-time by about half.
(you can also soak them in hot water for 20 minutes right before cooking... you can leave the room and not worry about the stove. score.)
ii. cover entirely with water and cook over medium heat in a pot; vent the lid to prevent the water from boiling over. set a timer and be nearby: 25-30 minutes should be enough to get those little guys to cook all the way through. you definitely don't need to watch the process the whole time (what else can you accomplish in that half hour?)... but do remember to check on them every 5-10 minutes to ensure the water level remains high enough to cover the beans, but not so much that it's boiling over.
iii. drain and rinse right away to stop the cooking process and remove any bean-slime. it's harmless, but kind of gross.
I decided today was a recipe exploration day, but when I explored the contents of the cupboard, realized I'd be relying on more invention than testing an online-find. The results were actually quite terrific! Husband-approved and everything. 15 minutes, 11 ingredients (including 7 spices). Not too bad for a Monday night! If you're partaking in Meatless Mondays, this could be a goodie for next week -- definitely a safe bet for the omnivores and plantarians in your life!
- 2 cups cooked white kidney beans
- 1/2 white onion
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tsbp for cooking
- 2 tbsp each: dried basil, dried parsley, dried poultry seasoning, dried thyme, dried sage
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Follow cooking directions above for white beans. Drain, rinse, and pour into large mixing bowl.
- 2. Sautee onions for 5 minutes over medium heat until softened.
- 3. Add onions, cornmeal, oil, and spices to beans in bowl. Mash until smooth.
- 4. In a skillet over medium heat, heat extra olive oil. Form the bean mixture into burger patties and cook until browned, 2-3 minutes per side.
- Serve over steamed kale with your favourite tomato sauce (watch for sugar content! We get ours from Samascott Farms in Kinderhook, NY — it’s easily the best tomato sauce we’ve ever had.)
- Prep time: 5 minutes (when beans are soaked overnight and precooked for 30 minutes — you can do this days in advance if you want!)
I am always looking for new, inventive things to make with the 700000 types of beans out there. I'd love to recipe swap with anyone who has some inventive ideas!
To a warm, cozy, hey-it's-almost-spring-right? night,