Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Beans, Beans...

5 New Ways of Preparing Beans



  1. Roast ‘Em Garbanzos
    Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) can be tossed in a bit of olive oil and roasted in the oven until crispy, making them an easy, tasty, and nutritious snack. They taste best if coated in some spices before roasting. Try curry powder for an Asian twist, or cumin and chili powder for a Southwestern flair. If you are using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain the liquid away before cooking. Use a hot oven (400F), spread the seasoned chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet, and set the timer to 25 minutes. Depending on the oven, you may need to add more time. Let the roasted beans cool slightly before eating

  1. Make Black Bean Balls and Patties
    Black beans are popular in chilies, stews, and soups because of their lovely flavor. Have you ever considered using them in place of ground meat to make bean loaf, bean balls, or bean patties? Use your original recipe and replace all of the meat with cooked beans (make sure you rinse off canned ones before grinding them up in the food processor). If you are not sure about switching to an all-bean "meat" base, use half bean mixture and half ground meat of your choice.

  2. Bake Kidney Bean Bread
    Although it may seem unusual, baking beans right into bread is an easy way to increase your intake of legumes. The beans are cooked until soft, mashed, and added right into the bread dough. Think about it: You have carbs and protein already "packed" into one edible item! This is great for the kids' snack on the go or the school/office lunchbox.

  3. Mash That Fava
    Next time you need a tasty side dish, try mashed fava beans in place of mashed potatoes. (If you can't part with your potatoes, you can do a half potato/half fava mixture.) To cut down on cooking time, you can buy split fava beans in Middle Eastern grocery stores. Note that how you process the cooked beans will determine the end texture: Pureeing the beans in the food processor will yield a gummier texture. If you want a fluffy texture, use a potato masher or run them through a food mill.

  4. Serve Red Lentil Pancakes
    We tend to think of pancakes as a breakfast item, but there is no reason why we can't have pancakes at other times. South Asian cuisine, in particular, makes extensive use of lentils, and one of the most common ways to use them is in thin, crepe-like savory pancakes to enjoy as a snack or as part of a meal. Many traditional recipes call for lentil flour, but you can definitely find recipes that use soaked or cooked lentils.

Thank you,