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Spiritwood's fantabulous bean feast of delight and enchantment...
Member Name: spiritwood
Advantages: Healthy, cheap, low fat, high protein and fibre
OK, maybe the title is a bit over the top but I have decided to post this in response to the comments left on one of my Le Creuset reviews. This is something that I made up as I went along although I am sure that you will find similar in cookery books. I just do not bother with being organised when cooking, never have. I like to make it up as I go along and somehow it all seems to work. This recipe is actually Vegan up until the finishing touches but many people would prefer to lob some grated cheese and a big homemade crouton on top so if you are Vegan ignore that bit or use that 'orrible vegan "cheese" stuff that smells like socks...
This recipe is for a very flavoursome bean stew/casserole or a very thick soup. For omnivores you can add sausages or bacon. Veggies can add quorn sausages. It needs neither as it is delicious as it is.
DISCLAIMER IN THE INTERESTS OF KEEPING MARRIAGES ALIVE:
This WILL make you fart unless you are used to eating lots of beans. Just warning you...
Ok, the main ingredients will be beans. Preferably a mixture of beans including at least one dark skinned one (kidney, aduki etc) to increase the iron content. I usually have bags of dried beans that I will soak overnight as this is the most economical way to cook. Tinned work ok too though. I vary what type of beans that I use for this but generally use about 5-7 types, my favourite being butter, pinto, black eyed, haricot and kidney.
ALL ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS:
Beans are legumes, a class of vegetable which also includes peas and lentils. They are a super-food, an incredibly nutritious and versatile ingredient which are low in fat, high in fibre and are usually high in folate and other essential minerals. They are very high in protein which is great for veggies or vegans.
This recipe contains protein, large amounts of vitamins, minerals and lots of immune boosting ingredients. Lycopene from the passata and cooked tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant especially when combined with garlic and onions. This recipe is low fat. You can add whatever herbs and spices to taste. I tend to eat lots of this when there are colds about or to recover from one.
Soak the equivalent of 5 handfuls of uncooked mixed beans overnight in unsalted water. I use handfuls because as I said, I weigh nothing....a good handful of each type of bean will work. If you make too much then the finished product can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen. Soaking the beans will make them more digestible. It is best to wash the beans a few times too, you will be horrified at how grubby they can be. Just leave them overnight with a lid on and in the morning you can wash them off and drain them ready for cooking.
Two large bottles of passata (or 2 x litre bottles of tomato juice)
2 x tin tomatoes chopped
8 x fresh tomatoes ( or another tin if these are unavailable)
8 cloves of garlic ( in thin slivers or chopped small )
1 x large red onion (finely diced)
1 x large white onion (finely diced)
1 x pepper ( chopped-any colour will do)
Olive oil (you can use any oil or butter)
All to taste- black pepper (I like course ground), sea salt, chilli (I like fresh or seeds), chunk of fresh ginger, black mustard seeds. ( you can add tumeric, cumin or any spice that you wish)
Add your soaked and drained beans to a large pan of water. Add no salt. Bring these to the boil and then simmer until they are at your preferred texture. I like them non squishy but your mileage may vary. I generally cook mine for between 30-45 minutes dependent upon the beans that I have chosen.
Whilst the beans bubble away heat up some oil in another large pan. I say "some oil" - you need a good splosh to fry the onions and garlic etc. When the oil gets hot pop in a teaspoon of black mustard seeds (if you are using them) and watch them "pop" in an entertaining and loud fashion. When they have all popped you can add in your chopped onion and garlic. I turn the heat down at this point or they burn.
When your onions are slightly translucent, add in the spices, salt, herbs of your choice and cook them down a bit. Your kitchen should now smell amazing. Then simply add the chopped pepper, passata and tomatoes and cook on a low heat for 10 mins.
Now drain your cooked beans and add them to the sauce. Mix them well and chuck the lot in a big fat casserole/oven dish. Cook this for 20 mins until hot and bubbling. You can take this out and place slices of french bread and grated cheese on top if you wish, returning it to the oven until browned off. If not then it is ready to serve. You can pour a little good quality olive oil or balsamic vinegar on top, creme fraiche etc and use good bread to dip. This is a very versatile base for a lot of dishes and can be eaten as a thick soup, a main or as a dip etc.
100% healthy and delicious, also very economical for larger groups. Can be frozen. The above recipe will provide approx 6 large servings or 8 smaller in my experience and I often make more to batch freeze.
* Stuff in a pitta/ tortilla wrap with cheese and salad
* Good on toast
* As a casserole on its own or with added sausages/veggie sausages etc
* With rice if you have added lots of chilli
* As a soup, you can thin it with more tomato juice/ blend it
* Stuffed in steamed cabbage leaves and then rolled up and served with a cheese sauce
* With bread as a healthy dip
* As an alternative to a toasted sandwich filling with cheese added in.
I hope that this has inspired :)
Summary: Deliciously moreish and healthy versatile dish.