Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No Time to Cook

The Texan here, and for the past two weeks, I've either had no time to cook, or been unable to cook. Travel first, then bogged down with awards business. Boy, did  I pick a wrong time to travel. Not really, just my time perception was a bit skewed.

Whatever the case, like Missy, I'm not doing much (make that any) cooking lately. So I'm going to back-track a bit and give y'all my recipe for the yummiest beans you've ever had.

Growing up in Michigan, the only beans I had were the green, baked, or kidney (in chili) varieties. Then I moved to Texas. Wow! These folks know all about beans. And my favorite is the pinto. Okay, I'll do the black-eyed pea at New Year's....

A couple of weeks ago I showed you the how-to of Texas brisket. Today I'll show you how to make the best low/no fat beans you've ever had. Our vegetarian friends can even like this one.

I used to think you had to soak your beans overnight. Then I learned the quick-soak method, and I've never turned back.

Dump one pound of beans into a dutch oven. Add water to cover, plus one inch. Bring to a boil and cook five minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Put beans back into dutch oven (I rinse my dutch oven first), add one onion, chopped, two cloves of garlic, minced (that's a teaspoon+ of the jarred, minced garlic), 3-4 cans of chicken (or vegetable) broth, 1 can of Del-Monte diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion, 2 teaspoons of salt (you can add more later, if you wish), 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and a dash or two of cayenne pepper.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer four to six hours, until beans are tender.

Talk about easy. And they smell so good a cookin'.

Once upon a time, beans were a staple because they were so cheap. They're still cheap, but so good for you--protein, fiber, low-fat.... And without the fat of a ham hock, what's not to like.

Happy Tuesday, y'all. And happy eating.


  1. Tex, I've never heard of a bean recipe like this! What's the consistency when they're done? Is it thick like bean soup? Or beanie- like baked beans?

    Beans are such a good food for us! I love that the South and Texas in particular have their own spin on foods. That regional flare is huge, Mindy-cakes.

    And I'm still lusting after the chocolate shop in Ouray. I even looked it up...

    And drooled.

    Most unbecoming!

  2. Ruthy, I hope you wiped that drool off of your keyboard. That kind of moisture isn't good for it, you know.

    The consistency of the beans really depends on how much liquid you add. Hubby likes his soupier, so I usually add four cans of chicken broth. He likes to put his over rice and wants the extra juice. Typically, they're not as thick as baked beans, but to each his own :-)

  3. Yaaayyyyy!!! A vegetarian recipe that sounds yummy. I have but one question. What is a dutch oven? Is it like a crockpot?

    1. Kav, a dutch oven is just a big pot. In a typical set of pots and pans, it's the big one with two handles.

    2. I always think of a dutch oven as heavier than a soup pot. And they usually have a heavy lid.

  4. Looks great, Mindy! I love pintos but usually make canned beans. I'll have to take another shot at dried with the quick "soak" method.

    Thanks! I hope you had a great trip!

    1. Trip was wonderfully relaxing, thanks, Missy. And I guarantee these beans will be better than canned:-)

  5. Thanks for the low-down on the beans, Mindy! The one time I tried the quick-soak method, it was a disaster - but it didn't look anything like your demo. I'll have to try it again!

    And for those of us who have problems with the...ahem...gassiness of beans, adding a tablespoon of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar) to the first soaking water, and then rinsing the beans before the next step, will help eliminate that.

    And, oh my, are beans ever good for you! I did a lot of research when writing several lessons for "The HomeMaker's Mentor" last fall, and I was astounded at the wonders of beans. I now try to make sure they're part of our menu at least once a week. Twice is better!

    Nutritional value? Dry beans are often referred to as a “nutritional powerhouse”. They are a great source of protein (although incomplete - be sure to eat them with a grain for a complete protein source), complex carbohydrates (providing energy for your muscles and brain), fiber (both soluble and insoluble), calcium (as much as 8% of the RDA), potassium, and folate (beans are the best source of this essential vitamin that plays an important role in cell development).

    No wonder beans are used in so many different cuisines!

    1. Wow! You are loaded with info, Jan. I knew about the protein and fiber, but you just solidified things for me.

      You know what they say, "Beans, beans, the musical fruit...."

    2. Great tips Jan to help cut down the side effects. :)