Beans – Perfectly Cooked

Perfect Pulses JPG“Mom, how do you cook beans?” She’d chuckle and tell me three different ways. I NEVER could get my beans to turn out like Mom’s. Since she died a few years ago I crave beans the way she made them. (I also long to eat them sitting across from her at her southern Carolina home.) So I began to experiment.

In my opinion, the perfect bean holds its shape on the outside but is tender on the inside. Oh, the occasional one might split but mostly they look like before they are cooked – only fatter. For me, beans must be soaked in a weak saline solution for eight hours. The rest is easy. A gentle simmer with seasonings of your choice.

Then the real fun begins as beans make great sandwich spreads, dips, side dishes, soups, fake potatoes, salads, sauces, bean loafs, bean breads, entire meals. Try cold white beans with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh parsley. The saline soak helps with the fartability and so does a bit of basil. Check out the next THREE-DAY FRESH! for more tasty pulse ideas.

 

3 Day Fresh: Spring Confetti

IMG_7309Celebrate with my 3-Day Fresh recipe that’s nourishing and versatile. Start with it as a salad or a salsa on its own. Maybe as a base for your favorite grilled fish or a decoration for a few shrimp. Then the next day add a squirt of lemon juice and make it a main course by serving over your favorite grains or greens. The third day, it’s soup. Sauté the balance in a saucepan. Add vege or chicken broth and lots of fresh vegetables from your fridge. Serve with a grate of your favorite cheese or a float of sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds. After 3 days it will still be safe to eat but the nutrient content fades, so I recommend EAT IT ALL WITHIN 3 DAYS. Hey – you could even stir fry a bit for your omelette or puree it and have it as a sandwich spread or dip. Oh and how about as a topping for spaghetti squash. HAVE FUN!

ORGANIC everything if you can — This is enough for 4 servings, so triple if you want to do  3-Day Fresh for four people and have a main course, a salad, a soup.

  • 1/2 c frozen roasted corn thawed
  • 12 fresh asparagus spears, reserve tips, cut spears into 1/4″ slices Steam the slices for 2 minutes then add tips and steam for 1 minute.
  • 2 T minced purple onion12 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 c diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 c minced celery
  • 1 large clove of garlic mashed and minced very finely
  • 1/2 c cooked baby lima beans
  • 1/2 t Greek Seasoning (You can make your own or buy one but read the ingredients and make sure it’s wholesome.)
  • 1/2 t dry oregano or 1 t fresh
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c EVO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 T red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients. Serve at room temperature or warmed as a salad or salsa. Serve warmed a bit over baby spinach leaves or a pilaf as a main course. You might want to brighten it a bit with a touch of lemon juice. Be sure to add some crunch for the soup version. Enjoy!

Love, Belynda