Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cheap, Easy, Quick, Delicious...Why Aren't You Eating Beans for Dinner Tonight?!

Beans are awesome, They are definitely one of the superheros of the food world. Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls them, "a powerhouse of superior nutrition, and the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source."

Are you eating beans yet? Full of fiber, protein, and good carbs for your body they can fill you up without breaking the bank. Also, most kids love beans making them a great meatless monday option for the whole family. Lately I have come to appreciate the ease, versatility, and economic advantages of beans as well.

image via           

 image via                                                                                                               
I will no longer under-utilize this miraculous nutrient-dense food and I have decided to stop with the complicated recipes and just make beans. The great thing about them is that you can make a whole batch once every week or two and get countless meals. I mean, you can actually just have a bowl of beans and you have a very nutritious meal. Add rice, quinoa, or another grain for an added dimension. Got veggies? Fabulous! Add them in. Got tortillas? Now you can make pretty much any mexican dish you like. Chili? Pretty easy when the beans are already cooked! Try different condiments with your beans. For example, beans, rice and veggies with
salsa and sour cream=mexican. The same combo with a teriyaki sauce=asian food. Add some curry and turmeric with a little chutney=indian food. Whip up a quick green curry or buy an already-made thai simmer sauce=thai food. Easy, right?

Here are my easy directions for making beans...

First of all, make a huge batch. That way you can use it over and over for the next few weeks (oh, and they freeze well). If you have cooked beans in your fridge, you have a quick and easy meal anytime! Here are the steps I use to cook my beans. I make a batch once a week now. I usually use pinto or black beans but these steps should work for most beans (except soybeans-those are a whole separate issue).

Step 1: Rinse beans and pick through removing any stones. Cover them with a couple inches of water and let them soak for at least 4-6 hours. This will release gas-causing enzymes into the water and help prevent flatulence for you later!

Step 2: Rinse those enzymes and debris off your beans.

Step 3: Put beans in slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours. Do not add salt yet! It is best to season after they have absorbed water. **You can also cook on the stovetop. Cover with a few inches of water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 60-90 minutes until they are tender. Check periodically to see if you need to add more water.

Step 4: When beans are done cooking, you can either season the whole batch one way or put them in the fridge/freezer and heat them up and season them as you need them.

Step 5: Enjoy your delicious, tasty beans!

Simple, Tasty, Affordable, Incredible, Fast Meal Ideas:

What's your favorite way to enjoy beans?