Meatless Monday - A New Cooking Method for Beans

Variety of dried beans Somehow, beans are on everyone’s mind these days.  I do look to these gems as a great source of protein in my meatless cooking.   As I do so much cooking from scratch people automatically think...

Variety of dried beans
Variety of dried beans

Somehow, beans are on everyone’s mind these days.  I do look to these gems as a great source of protein in my meatless cooking.   As I do so much cooking from scratch people automatically think I start with dried legumes, but I must confess that a can-opener is often my friend and companion.  I rarely look to frozen beans.

Drained beans
Drained beans

In the case of most legumes, I am selecting the low-sodium options if available and I almost always will rinse them before using them in a dish.  The exception to this rule is the Seasoned Black Beans as the foundation for my original Black Bean Soup.  Here is the link to this favored soup.

I want the added flavors of the seasoned beans to create the base of my soup.  I am careful in this recipe not to include any added sodium to these seasoned beans.   My vegetable stock will be home-made to monitor this sodium.

This week I have learned a new trick to creating oven prepared legumes. Once again, Nancy Waldeck – Author and Chef of Taste and Savor has a new idea to share.  No soaking required! And this technique not just for black beans.  Any and all beans work just as well. The only difference is the time they will take to get creamy and luscious - the harder the legume - the longer it will take. For instance, black beans will take a couple of hours, garbanzos will take about four hours.

Dried Black Beans
Dried Black Beans

Creamy Baked Black Beans

– recipe shared from Nancy Waldeck – Author and Chef of Taste and Savor

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces dried beans, Black, Garbanzo, White Navy, any beans can take this cooking method
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 3 – 6 garlic cloves, peeled

*** I added two frozen halves of jalapeno peppers to this recipe too as I knew I wanted my beans to have a bit of a kick.

Directions:

  1. Rinse the legumes and place in a covered ceramic or enameled cast iron pot.
  2. Cover the legumes with two inches of water, (above the level of the beans.)
  3. Stir in the garlic and salt.
  4. Cover, and bake in a 350F oven for 2 - 3 hour until soft and cooked perfectly.
  5. I also will consider adding a few bay leaves next time as well.
  6. Remove the garlic, bay leaves and jalapeno and store in the refrigerator. I would suggest using these within 3 days.

 

This is a great recipe for a lazy afternoon of cooking.  Again, no pre-soaking needed to these legumes.  The rule of thumb remains, the older and harder the legume, the longer the “baking” time.   It was about 2 hours on my Black Beans and Nancy suggested about four hours on the Garbanzo beans. This baking method allows you to monitor the sodium even more than rinsing the beans.

Here’s to another healthy resolution for 2015!