beans

As I looked through the recipes I’ve posted throughout the life of this blog, I am amazed how many of them contain BEANS!

Therefore, it goes without saying I LOVE BEANS!

Thank goodness for that because I think it would be truly hard for me to be a healthy vegan without them!

Beans are like the perfect food to me – especially when combined with say brown rice or some corn or maybe even wheat tortillas which, when combined, gives you a more complete protein.

They’re kinda like the healthy vegan/vegetarian person’s meat – though being much better for you than meat is gives them a bonus. Eating beans can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and can even help reduce your risk at getting some cancers. They’re high in fiber which can help keep everything running smoothly – if you know what I mean. With so many types of beans, I’d be surprised to find someone who doesn’t like some variety of them.

Whether they’re in a soup or in a chili or just cooked along with a few spices, I love having a big pot of them in the fridge ready to add to almost any meal.

You can keep it simple and be what I like to call a “lazy” vegan and just heat up a can of beans at mealtime. I am this way quite often, but this week, I decided to soak a 16 ounce bag of pinto beans and make myself s simple pot of them tossing in some veggies I had sitting in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces of beans (I used pinto) – rinse and discard any misfits
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 14 ounces of chopped tomatoes – I used canned for this recipe
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower diced
  • 3 sticks celery diced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil chopped

Instructions:

1. Soak beans in 6 cups of water for 6-8 hours – until they double in size and seem wrinkle free (oh, if only it was that easy to be wrinkle free I’d live in the tub!).

2. Drain and rinse the beans.

3. Put the beans in a large pot and cover the beans with just enough water.

4. Bring the beans to a boil and boil for 10 minutes – skimming and discarding the foam that appears on top.

5. While the beans are boiling, heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion cooking over medium-high heat until translucent.

6. Add the chopped vegetables, (using whatever you have around – as above I used carrots, celery and cauliflower) and sauté. I sautéed them until the 10 minutes of boiling-the-beans above was complete.

veggies I tossed into the beans

7. Add this mixture to the beans, also adding the spices and chopped tomatoes.

some spices I tossed into the beans

beans with veggies added

8. Make sure there is enough water to just cover the beans and then cover the pot and simmer for 1-2 hours.

Occasionally stir the pot and test the bean tenderness being sure to cook them until they are as tender as you would like them to be. Remember, you want them to create a “sauce” around the beans (unless you feel like more soupy beans) so add water only if you feel it is necessary. I’ve found if I air on the side of not overcooking the beans, they hold up much better all week when I re-heat them to add to my meals.

This week I had these beans as a the side for most meals, but I also heated them in tortillas to make burritos, put them atop salads as a bonus, sauteed them with some vegan sausage for breakfast and munched them as a dip with tortilla chips….and there were plenty from this 1 pot for both myself and Pops to enjoy!

Next bean experiment…finding the ultimate vegan baked bean recipe for summer bar-b-ques! I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Meatless Monday,

 

Lita

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