General chatter - Beans!

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10-11-2009, 12:28 AM
So I started a crockpot of black beans and chickpeas this afternoon, and seriously underestimated the post-cooking volume. I thought I was making maybe a dozen servings (planning to freeze some for future meals), and I suspect that I've ended up with maybe 3 times that.

Oh, and the chickpeas picked up a really funky purple-gray color from the black beans (I don't mind, but I bet hubby won't eat them).

Looks like I'll be eating a lot of beans for quite some time.

On the plus side, I cooked them with diced onion and a few broth cubes, and they're really tasty.

Thighs Be Gone
10-11-2009, 12:35 AM
Sounds totally yummy to me. The beautiful thing about beans is how versatile they are--and cheap--not to mention healthy.

I have beans soaking right now to cook tomorrow. Just pinto though. Any idea on the seasonings. Typically, I would use bacon or something--but, trying to go with the healthiest, lowest calorie option nowadays.

Have you ever cooked buckwheat groats? Sorry, I know a little off topic. I have groats in my crockpot right now and hoping they will turn out okay by morning. This is the first time I have used the whole groat. I just put them in with 2:1 ratio of water. I also added some organic cinnamon, crushed raw almonds, Splenda and chunks of apple.

I also have a ton of brown rice left from tonights dinner. What to do w/that?

10-11-2009, 01:08 AM
With the brown rice, here's what I make:

2-3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red bell pepper & 1 yellow bell pepper chopped up
2 bunches of green onion chopped up
5 cloves of garlic (May add less or more to taste) minced
Splash of EVOO

Cook the above together in a skillet over medium heat. After it is done, separate the chicken (I very rarely do this step but that's what the original recipe says). Add another small splash of EVOO and toss in the rice. Let it cook until the rice is heated, then add the chicken back. Add in low-sodium soy sauce (I use about 3-4 tbsp) and rice vinegar (1 tbsp) to taste and stir*. Voila!

*You can change the seasonings, and honestly there are times when I cook all of the above and don't bother with the soy sauce or rice vinegar!

10-11-2009, 01:08 AM
I cook pinto beans (sometimes half pinto/half Great Northern white) in chicken broth (instead of water) with maybe a 200 calorie chunk of salt pork or streak-o-lean for the whole big pot. They are delicious that way.

Beans and brown rice are excellent mixed together, and very healthy! We just need to watch the portions as I can add chopped fresh tomato and onion, maybe a dab of low-fat sour cream, and eat way too many if I'm not careful!

Thighs Be Gone
10-11-2009, 01:52 AM
Thank you ladies... I love these the chicken idea--YUMMO--mm..salt, do I dare? :) that sounds perfectly PAULA DEAN!

10-11-2009, 01:57 AM
must be what's for dinner this weekend. A fall thing?
I cooked up some brown rice with a low-sodium chicken broth cube, and a chipotle seasoning cube - then tossed in a can of black beans and a drained can of tomatoes that were cooked w/ garlic. i put it into some tortillas and baked for like 10 min at 400 degrees. Burritos? that's what i called 'em.

10-11-2009, 01:10 PM
I haven't tried buckwheat groats, sounds good. Right now, I'm trying to go grain-free for a while, as an experiment. For weight loss, fairly low-carb works well for me, but my main concern is that it seems to me (need to keep my food journal more consistently to be sure) that wheat and/or table sugar triggers flares of my autoimmune disease. It's hard though, especially eliminating wheat, because it's hidden in so many products.

As for beans, I do love them. It's just that with me being the only one to eat them (hubby will eat them in a few select dishes, but he'll only eat them as a side dish, not as the main protein), a couple quarts of beans is going to last me a very long time (luckily I have freezer containers handy, but we only have a tiny freezer - we're going to be purchasing a chest freezer soon though).

I cook beans in a lot of different seasonings. I only ever saw my mom and grandmother cook beans with pork, but I use a lot of different seasonings. I try to cook them in a fairly neutral seasonings though, so that I can use them in a wide variety of recipes. When cooking only a small amount, say for one meal, I'll use a wider array of seasonings. For example, they're really good with oriental seasonings (such as chopped onions and a Pho Cube). Pho is a Southeast asian noodle soup, and is available in chicken and beef flavor in many asian groceries and even sometimes in the oriental section of large chain grocery stores.

Generically, my seasoning blend is chopped onions and a broth cube of some variety. Sometimes I'll add other chopped vegetables (usually a fairly small dice so that the veggies are all about the same size or smaller than the beans), such as carrot, celery, bell pepper.

For the soup cube, I don't use the hard, tiny cubes very often anymore, except for the Chipotle (those are awesome, and are worth looking for), instead I go for the larger cubes (that are softer, so they usually crumble easier, though the do contain some fat). Knorr is the most common brand around here. Flavors like chicken, chicken and tomato, shrimp, and a wide variety of oriental cubes.

I usually add enough cubes that the cooking liquid can be used as a soup. Not so salty that the cooking liquid isn't edible, or so dilute that it doesn't pass along any flavor to the beans.

I always make a huge batch (just never quite this huge, it nearly fills my crockpot, which I believe holds 4 quarts)

Thighs Be Gone
10-11-2009, 01:24 PM

I wanted to ask you where you found the Chipotle cubes. I have never seen them.

Also, I wanted to mention that buckwheat isn't actually a grain--it's a seed related to rhubarb. It is low on GI scale (54) and has no protein glutens in it.

They turned out good actually--they didn't take nearly as long as I thought they would and needed probably triple the water.

I think you are the one that told me about the possiblity of freezing beans. I loved that idea. Soon enough, when you get your big freezer I am sure you will finding all sorts of things to freeze. It sure makes things easier. And yes, of course I prefer fresh. But the freezer has proven to be a real time saver for me and a money saver too.

10-11-2009, 02:52 PM
I stumbled upon the chipotle cubes in an over-run store (like Big Lots) - which means once mine are gone, I may not be able to find them again. They are a Knorr product, so I think one of our grocery store managers would order them for me (I've had really great luck with a small, privately owned grocery store. The owner has ordered items for me, before, and I've never even had to buy the whole case). If not, I guess I'll have to buy them online.

10-11-2009, 04:11 PM
Mmm, beans. I cooked up a bunch of black beans recently to freeze... unfortunately they got a little overcooked (my crock pot runs hot). I freeze about 1.5 cups of beans in a bag (what you get from a can) and some of the cooking liquid (which I'll sometimes use, other times just drain them).

I'm using some of them in a vegetable soup today (with the cooking liquid - it looks very pretty!). If they turn out to be too mushy, I'll probably use the rest in meals where it won't matter, like taco filling.