#ndn-video-player-1.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px;
#ndn-video-player-2.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px;
Beans have received a bad rap in the past. While it’s true that beans may give you gas, the benefits should outweigh the unwanted side effects of eating them.
Unlike animal protein, beans are a good addition to anyone’s diet, said Sharon Stroud, a local healthy eating coach.
“Beans are super good for you — they have protein, and they have nutrients,” said Stroud, owner of Sharon’s Nourishing Kitchen.
Beans cover a wide spectrum of flavors and textures, as well as cuisines.
Black-eyed peas have a hearty flavor and are believed to bring good luck at the new year. Pinto beans are a popular ingredient used at your favorite Mexican restaurant for refried, borracho or charro beans. Lentils are common in vegetarian dishes and at area Indian food restaurants. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are used to make hummus for dipping or as a spread for sandwiches. Edamame has emerged on menus beyond those at our favorite sushi restaurants and have been incorporated into salads or can be baked for a crispy snack.
Stroud points out that beans are a great addition to soups and can easily be added to any dish in their various forms: dried, frozen, fresh or canned.
Especially during the winter season, she likes to cook a big batch of beans on the stove to stockpile it for other meals. Whatever beans don’t get used right away can be frozen to use later in another soup or other dishes.
“Canned beans are a great convenience for people. You can put them on salad or add them to a soup,” she said.
Keeping a variety of canned beans in the pantry can help in a pinch when there isn’t enough time to soak and cook them yourself.
CHICKPEA, SWEET POTATO & CHORIZO SOUP
Makes 4 servings; wheat free, gluten free (depending on the sausages, and dairy free)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 7 ounces cooking chorizo, diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 14 ounces sweet potatoes, about 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 4¼ cups good-quality hot chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 1? cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon sweet or hot smoked paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh cilantro leaves, to serve
1. Place a large heavy saucepan with a lid over medium heat. Add the oil and the diced cooking chorizo and sauté until the sausage is browned. Lift the meat out of the pan and set aside, leaving the red oil behind.
2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pan, along with a pinch of salt, then turn the heat to low and sweat the vegetables gently for about 10 minutes, stirring often. As they begin to brown, add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the diced sweet potatoes. Add the hot broth and a good grinding of black pepper, bring to a simmer, and then cover. Turn the heat right down and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy, 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Tip the chickpeas into the pan along with the smoked paprika, stir, and simmer for a couple of minutes to heat through. Use a ladle to scoop out half the mixture and blend until smooth, then return to the pan. Taste and add a little more salt, pepper, or paprika, if necessary.
4. To serve, heat through the reserved chorizo and sprinkle a quarter of it over each bowl, along with the cilantro leaves.
— Recipe from “Leon Happy Soups” by Rebecca Seal & John Vincent (Conran)
BLACK-EYED PEAS AND GREENS
Makes 6-8 servings
- 6 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 1 pound collard greens, stemmed and chopped
- 2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
1. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel–lined plate; set aside.
2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, pepper, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add tomatoes and their juice. Stir in broth and bring to boil. Add greens, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until greens are tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Add black-eyed peas to pot and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until greens are silky and completely tender, about 15 minutes. Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until liquid is reduced by one-fourth, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and sugar. Top with reserved bacon. Serve.
— Recipe from “Cooking at home with Bridget and Julia” by America’s Test Kitchen.
TUSCAN KALE AND WHITE BEAN RIBOLLITA
Makes 4 servings
- 3 large shallots, finely chopped
- 3 medium-size carrots, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for serving
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving 1 medium-size zucchini, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 28-ounces can chopped tomatoes with juices
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 6 cups Tuscan kale (lacinato kale), tough stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
- 6 cups roughly torn rustic bread Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for serving, optional
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the shallots, carrots, celery, bell pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl and toss to combine. Turn the mixture out onto a rimmed sheet pan (reserve the bowl for Step 5) and roast until the shallots lose their raw look and the carrots start to become tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the zucchini, garlic, and rosemary and roast until the zucchini starts to become tender, about 10 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and 2 cups vegetable broth. Wearing oven mitts, cover the sheet pan loosely with aluminum foil and cook for 15 minutes.
4. Carefully uncover the pan. Stir in the kale and ½ teaspoon salt. Add another cup of broth if the pan looks dry, re-cover the pan, and cook until the kale is wilted, about 10 minutes.
5. Add the bread to the large bowl and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine, then scatter the bread over the ribollita. Turn the broiler to high and broil until the bread turns golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes (watch the bread closely as broiler intensities vary).
6. Divide the ribolitta among 4 bowls. Serve with extra olive oil, pepper, and fresh shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, if using. Or let the ribollita cool and serve at room temperature.
— Excerpted from “Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless: 100 Surprising Vegetarian Meals Straight from the Oven” by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017
- 1 12-ounce package frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the edamame into a colander and rinse under cold water to thaw. Drain.
2. Spread the edamame beans into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle cheese over the top and season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is crispy and golden, about 15 minutes.
Beans are available in several forms: fresh, canned, dried or frozen. Depending on which beans you’re looking to eat, there are some shortcuts you can take to hasten the process from pantry to dinner table.
If you forgot to soak your beans before cooking them, don’t fret. Just rinse them and toss the broken bits and stones, then drop them into your Crockpot. Add any of your extra ingredients and cooking liquid then let it cook while you run errands, work or put your feet up.
If you’re looking to put dinner on the table in under an hour, pull out the pressure cooker. Add all your fix-in’s to the pressure cooker along with your rinsed and cleaned dried beans and let the pressure cook the beans.
Beans that are flash frozen work in the clutch for soups or stir-fry recipes. They also don’t typically have any added salt or other ingredients, but it’s worth mentioning that sometimes a frozen bean may not hold up as well as the dried or fresh versions.
When using canned beans for cooking or serving immediately, don’t forget to give them a quick rinse with cold water. This will help wash away some of the added salt used to preserve the beans. Unless of course, they’re flavored beans.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America will host a healthy cooking classes focusing on “Winter Legumes” from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in the dining room inside the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, 10109 E. 79th St. The class will focus on seasonal and healthy approach to cooking with winter legumes. The class is free and open to the public.
The cooking classes are part of the medical center’s mission to help everyone eat healthier, including patients, caregivers, employees and neighbors to the hospital.
#ndn-video-player-3.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px;