Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Beans?? How do you make yours?

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03-24-2008, 02:28 PM
Ok - so I like beans. And I know being Insulin Resistant - I need to incorporate more beans into my diet. They're yummy and healthy...however - my biggest issue is how to prepare them.

I bought some garbanzo beans and plan on using these this week (really wish I'd have brought them today!) baking them with different spices and maybe drizzling a tbsp of low fat dressing over them...
The garbanzo beans I bought though, are canned.

I also bought some dry cranberry beans - which are right now soaking in water at home...I would really like to start buying dry beans instead of canned - but it does seem like a thing is - I like making small portions...and for this reason i'm not a huge fan of canned beans - because I'll use say 1/2 to 1 cup of canned beans - put the rest of the can in a plastic container in the fridge and end up tossing it because I only wanted that first serving the one day that week...

I would GREATLY appreciate any preparation tips for dry beans. Also - anything EASY and tasty as a bean side dish for lunch.

I'm hoping for some great ideas! Thanks ya'll in advance!!!!!

03-24-2008, 02:51 PM
My favorite beans are black beans. I buy canned...I am just to lazy for the soak and cook process. I make single (occasionaly double) serving of chili using black beans. I make a southwest salad using black beans, corn, lettuce, avocado, chilis, onion, instead of regular salad dressing I use salsa. Sometimes I mush them up a little bit add some salas and eat it on a toasted pita. I am sure you could use these same ideas with any other type of bean too.

03-24-2008, 02:51 PM
Oh, I love beans - I eat them every day.
I buy canned and dried. When I buy the canned, I look for the ones without any added sugar - can you believe they even add sugar to BEANS!?
I either soak and cook the dried ones on the stovetop or in my pressure cooker to save time. Then I portion them into small containers and freeze them.
Some of my favorite things to do with them:
Soup - google bean soup or do a search on this forum, you'll find tons of recipes. Bean Salad - Canned Green Beans, Wax Beans, Pintos, chopped onion and a vinegar/olive oil dressing, served chilled
Refried Beans - canned or make your own by smooshing pintos in a pan with seasonings. I love to have these for breakfast warmed up with salsa and some lowfat cheese on top. Or use a whole wheat tortilla and make a burrito.

good luck with your bean experiments!

Marathon Mom
03-24-2008, 03:16 PM
Garbanzo beans are great. I use them to make hummus. However I don't add the tahini sauce. I put them in a food processer or a chopper - and add a drizzle of olive oil and some roasted garlic/lemon juice/salt and pepper.

I eat it on a wheat tortilla/pita/as a dip for carrots or celery.

They keep me full!!!! Enjoy!

03-24-2008, 04:24 PM
I do the same thing as MarathonMom for hummus only I add a drizzle of sesame oil for the taste.

I'm sure it's not recommended, but you can probably freeze the remaining canned beans. At least try it one time to see what happens. It might make them mushy or otherwise unappealing, but as long as you do it right after opening the can, it should be safe. That way, when you want to make the same thing again, you will have the right ammount of beans available.

03-24-2008, 07:36 PM
There is a large school of thought that does not advocate soaking beans. Except for garbonzo, I just toss them in the crock pot well covered with water and let them go till almost tender. If I am going to flavor them I toss in seasoning when they are just getting soft.

You may also want to explore lentils and mung beans. They need no soaking and cook quickly. Tons of recipes on the internet.

03-24-2008, 09:36 PM
I'm lazy and I don't care about sodium, so I prepare my beans by opening the can, rinsing them, and heating them up! I've tried dried beans and they just never seems to come out as good as the canned ones. If I have recipe that calls for dried beans, I'll substitute canned beans. Also, dried beans have to cook for a long time, so I don't think you want to try to cook them one serving at a time.

I use beans in a lot of soup and chili recipes and the recipes almost always call for a whole can. If the recipe makes more than I can or want to eat in a few days, I freeze the extra servings for an easy meal later.

You could also look for other ways to use the rest of the beans. Do you eat salads--maybe toss a handful into your salad. Or make wraps with scrambled egg beaters and beans.

Here is a simple recipe for chickpeas that makes a great snack or side dish:

Yogurt Chickpea Salad
1 cup chickpeas
10 oz diced cucumber (about 2 cups)
6 oz halved cherry tomatoes (about 1 cup)
1 tbsp minced mint or basil leaves
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 tbsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything up together and enjoy. This makes 4 servings at about 85 calories each.

03-24-2008, 10:19 PM
I bought a microwave pressure cooker that does a nice job on most smaller beans. You still need to soak them, but they can be cooked in about a half hour or so. I have had it for about 15 years, and there may be even better models out there right now.

03-24-2008, 10:47 PM
I like to have control of the salt in what I cook, so I always buy dried beans. I cook 1-2 lbs at a time in my crockpot (I soak first.) Then I freeze them in 2 cup increments. Cooked beans freeze beautifully!

If you can get a copy of More With Less Cookbook it has a lot of great bean recipes. Otherwise I would google bean recipes and see what comes up. I honestly love them in most recipes and can't pick a favorite!

03-25-2008, 12:10 AM
I make a white chicken chili with two cans of navy beans, diced cooked chicken, a can of Ro-Tel mild chilis and tomatoes, a chicken bouillion cube, a can of white or yellow corn (you can leave this out), and a bit of cheese to sprinkle on the top. Really good, whole family likes it!