Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Beans, Beans, They're Good For Your Heart...

Yesterday I cooked up a big bean mix.
Possibly my least favourite texture in the world - aside from some slimey Okra I once ate during my time in Africa - beans were extremely low on my shopping list during my pre-vegan times.
But, they are protein and WHAT great protein they give!
(Kidney beans offer ~ 13g of protein/ 1 cup... I need 27-49g a day)

So, like the glass slipper left on a staircase, one good recipe can change your life. Or, at least, your attitude towards beans.
In an effort to avoid pre-mixed anything, I grabbed a bunch of spices from the shops and jumped into the world of legume cuisine feet first.
Garlic & Onion
Cumin - ("don't leave yet, I'm cumin!"... hahaha best food joke ever)
Ground Coriander
Fry them up, add beans, tomato paste and chopped tomatoes.
If you add mushrooms, they'll absorb the flavour overnight and will be pretty amazing for that dish the next day.
Then add.... kidney beans! Yuck. But they aren't so bad. I get pretty lazy and buy them in a tin these days, although one day I'll get my act together and plan what I'm going to eat more then 6 seconds before I start...
Add borlotti beans for a runnier stew-like consistancy, or refried beans for a thicker paste. I think I like the texture of refried beans even less than kidney beans.
Add chilli flakes for hotness, and any patriotic Australians ought to add vegemite.
(actually, as a flavouring to meat sauces, vegemite is ridiculously effective. It replaces all salt and adds a depth of colour and flavour to the mix, creating an added cheesiness. I don't eat cheese, you know, cos of the whole vegan thing, so it's a life saver. Weird, but true.)

Okay, so suddenly beans are not the arch-enemy I once thought. Chuck it on tacos/enchiladas/wraps instead of minced meat... or thin it up the make the world's most delicious "chilli" - (that is, what Americans call a tomatoy meaty spicy saucy dip-like concoction. Not entirely sure of the Australian equivalent name. If you know, tell me!).

Serve with avocado and corn chips. De-light!

(P.S. dried herbs are amazing for everything so don't be afraid to add heaps.)
Boring details:

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
3 teaspoons Cumin
2 teaspoons Coriander ground
2 teaspoons Paprika
100g tomato paste
2 tomatoes, diced
4 button mushrooms, chopped
800g (combined) kidney beans, borlotti beans, 4 bean mix, refried beans...
2 tablespoons vegemite
1 teaspoon chilli paste (to taste... you can always add more, but never less!)

It's entirely possibly they this recipe will invoke farting.
Apologies to all the friends who sit close by and have to endure the smell.

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