Monday, February 13, 2012

They Joy of Dried Beans

Dried Beans involve a little more planning than canned beans, but the savings and results are well with the extra planning time. Dried beans are cheaper, easier to store, and dont have any preservatives or scuzzy water to rinse off of them. Some of my favourite and newly discovered recipes using dried beans!

15 Bean Chili

1 Cup Bob's Red Mill 15 Bean (prepared – see Preparing Dried Beans)

1/2 can of hot enchillada sauce

3 chopped tomatoes (frozen from the end of the summer)

1 jar of salsa (2 cup jar - canned from summer)

1. Simmer all ingredients together until some of the liquid is evaporated and chili consistency.

2. Serve as is, over oven fries, mashed potatoes or rice!

Roasted Chickpeas
These chickpeas are the ultimate snack food. They can be flavoured any way you want and satisfy that crunchy craving like a chip. But with a TON of fibre, protein and iron.

Preheat oven to 450F
Place (prepared) chickpeas on a baking sheet and dry with a clean dish towel
Toss chickpeas in olive oil and spices of your choosing
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until brown and crispy. Stir the chickpeas around halfway through to ensure even cooking. Decrease cooking time if baking right after boiling. Keep a close eye on the chickpeas, especially in the last 5-10 minutes

Chana Masala (Curried Chickpeas)
One of my favourite kitchen tools is my slow cooker. It came in very handy for making these curried chickpeas. I used Shan's Chana Masala Mix to make these chickpeas and added some of my own madras curry and garam masala at the end of cooking.
I folllowed the directions on the package, however I used the starchy water from boiling the chickpeas to cover the prepared chickpeas in the slow cooker and let it simmer away fro 10 hours. I ended up with a warm spicy gravy and soft chickpeas. Which is delicious with warm naan or rice.

Refried Beans
Another great use for the slow cooker and dried beans is refried beans. This recipe is much healthier and free of preservatives than canned beans, or canned refried beans.

1 onion, peeled and halved
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
9 cups water

Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker.
Pour in the water and stir to combine.
Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. 
Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid.
Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.             

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