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Like a bean out of water...



Today, for lunch, I am finishing the end of the worst pot of beans and rice I have ever manifested in my life. Really...they sucked. If eating the food that I buy were not a part of my food activism - the whole pot would have gone to compost.

Ironically, when I was an omnivore I considered myself good at cooking beans (which I would do for much of the winter...with cornbread of course) but have realized that as a vegetarian...I have no clue. For this particular batch I used veggie broth, garlic, thyme and marjoram (YUCK!).

I was born and raised in the south you see, where beans are often cooked in chicken/beef broth and with some type of meat. Back in the day, I used turkey bacon, but was raised to cook them with fat back (yes, such a thing exists...yes, it is horribly gross and unhealthy...yes, it makes beans taste good to some folk).

So what seasonings (which do not involve an animal in any way) do you like with beans? I'm hoping some of you yanks can give this dixieland expat a helpful hint or two.

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
blue_sky_48220
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
I use bacon. I know that's not very vegetarian helpful, but there it is. Maybe try using just garlic, onion, salt (plenty of salt), and liquid aminos?
blue_sky_48220
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
Oh! I just remembered, when I was a vegetarian, I used to cook beans with tomatoes. Maybe some summer veggies, like zucchini and tomatoes and basil?
jennlynn_green
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
Ooooh...now that sounds yummy. THANKS!
jennlynn_green
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
I use bacon

*LOL* So it's not a southern thing I guess...

Thanks for the suggestion. I like the idea of trying liquid aminos. I might try liquid smoke as well. My roomie hates salt and onions...that makes it more challenging.
auraseer
Aug. 7th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
You might try putting in just half (or less) the salt called for in the recipe, rather than eliminating it. With no salt at all, most things will taste flat and not very pleasant, and it's particularly noticeable for beans.
celaenos_aerie
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
I have a vegan recipe for black bean soup that I could dig up when I'm at home, if that would help. Whenever I made it, it always came out so thick as to almost not be soup anyway . . .
jennlynn_green
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Mmmm...that sounds good if you don't mind looking for it. Thanks!
catbirdgirl
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
I like a black bean and corn salad with diced tomatoes and garlic and salt and a little pepper.
morrigandaughtr
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
I have a recipe for a salad like that, from one of John Robbins' books. It's black beans, corn, red pepper, red onion, with lime juice. Super yummy!
jennlynn_green
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Hmmm - lime juice. I never would have thought about it. I'll give it a shot.

Thanks!
morrigandaughtr
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1-1/2 cups thawed frozen corn
1 avacado, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 green onions with tops, finely chopped
1 fresh hot chile pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the 1st set of ingredients in a small jar and shake to mix - this is the dressing.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately.

Note about the avacado - do not add until serving time. So if you're making this to eat for several meals, keep the avacado separate until chow time.
jennlynn_green
Aug. 6th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
WOW - you are a goddess. Thanks so much. Love ya ~ J
morrigandaughtr
Aug. 6th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
I'd be a goddess if only I'd managed to put the beans in with the 2nd set of ingredients. ;-) Anyway, you get the idea.
jennlynn_green
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
That sounds awesome. I'm seeing a trend here. Tomatoes and other veggies appear to be the way to go. Thanks!
catbirdgirl
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
Beans absorb salt. They are almost hyper-boring. You need to add salt and spices to bring them UP to boring.

Also, what about vegetarian chorizo (it exists) or sausage added for flavor.

Also life is too short to eat bad food. Compost is not waste.
jennlynn_green
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
I had not thought about meat subs...that's a good point.

I hear you about bad food - and I wouldn't eat things that are spoiled. With food costs and world hunger - I do eat things that I buy though, even if I actually want to order pizza instead ;>)
morrigandaughtr
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Red beans and rice
For veggie red beans and rice, this recipe seems to have received high marks.

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/02/real-louisiana-red-beans-and-rice.html

(I thought of veggie red beans and rice since I just had some at Treebeard's not too long ago.)
jennlynn_green
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Red beans and rice
Thanks so much - this sounds great. Nice blog source too...now I'm going to have to go diggin' for other fun recipes.

Have a great day darlin' - Love, Jen
catbirdgirl
Aug. 6th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
I did a salad with rice pasta, tomatoes, black beans, corn (trader joes canned is the best ever), cottage cheese, mustard, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, a teensy bit of mayo (but yogurt would have been just as good). this would have been good with peppers, too.
gayshaman
Aug. 6th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Yumm-O
Most of these recipes sound so good that even my wholly omnivore self will have to try some.
jennlynn_green
Aug. 7th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Re: Yumm-O
It is my secret, evil plan to lure unsuspecting omnivores into eating veggie meals more often so as to undermine industrialized meat processing. ;>)

MMMMMMWWWWWWAHAHA!
auraseer
Aug. 7th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Most of my bean recipes include some combination of: onions, garlic, bell peppers, chili powder, tomatoes.

The first recipe that comes to mind is Black Bean Sloppy Joes, which I make fairly often. I can post that if you like.
jennlynn_green
Aug. 7th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
The first recipe that comes to mind is Black Bean Sloppy Joes, which I make fairly often. I can post that if you like.

That would be delightful if you have time. Thanks for offering!
auraseer
Aug. 7th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
Black Bean Sloppy Joes

1 onion, chopped fine
1/2 green pepper, chopped fine
1 lb. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup tomato puree
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried basil

Saute the onion and pepper for about 3 or 4 minutes.
Add the beans, then mash them with a potato masher until most of them are coarsely squashed.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together.
Simmer loosely covered for 5-7 minutes, stirring every so often. Serve on burger rolls.
solvingmypuzzle
Aug. 7th, 2008 02:00 pm (UTC)
I would spring for some Garam Masala - a Mediterranean spice blend. I first bought it for a lentil soup recipe and now I use it in everything - it's my standby. Depending on the brand of the blend you get, it will have warm spicy, even cinnamony notes. I love it!

For all things spice-related, I can't yell "www.thespicehouse.com" loud enough. :)

xoxo
jennlynn_green
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
spices
Thank you darlin'. I have not used Garam Masala, though I've eyed it. There are lots of little ethnic groceries in the city, so I can find that without going on line...though The Spice House is to die for (we have one here).

Have you tried Penzeys? All of their spices are excellent. Splurging on their sweet spices near the holidays was an expense I was glad for...their cinnamons are orgasmic and all my gingerbreads and cookies were so much better because of it.
firebirdgrrl
Aug. 18th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Beer can add some fabulous flavor, and there's always hot sauce to be added to taste...
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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