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by Gazette staff

Food Forum

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Doctored beans on a winter night

On cold nights like these, when what's for dinner is still a mystery as you walk into your kitchen, consider making Weeknight Beans.

The recipe is from Mark Andrew Gravel's "Kill the Recipe: A Cookbook and Visual Guidebook on the Basics of Radical Beanmaking and Plant-based Eating," with charming illustrations throughout by Lucy Engelman. (The book is an indie publication available from CreateSpace for $10 or from at various prices.)

Gravel writes, "When you don't have any cooked beans on hand to repurpose for a quick meal, Weeknight Beans offer a simple solution. Weeknight beans consist of boiling any can of beans you like in well-salted water with garlic, olive oil and crushed red pepper to significantly improve their flavor."

Plan on one can of beans serving two people or serving one person with leftovers. Here's what to do:

In a pot, combine a can of drained, well-rinsed beans with a clove of garlic, a generous splash of olive oil, a few pinches of salt and a dash of crushed red pepper. Add enough water to just cover the beans, then cover the pot with a lid, bring to a boil and continue cooking at a rolling boil for 5 to 10 minutes.

Drain liquid off and serve hot over cooked grains (like rice), accompanied by a salad. Or you can add the Weeknight Beans to any dish that calls for cooked beans.

The book is all about beans.

It demonstrates how to turn a simple pot of beans into other convenient and inexpensive meals throughout the week, and guides you through making a heady soup or stew, a casserole, a puree, a quick saute or a flavorful side, a salad, easy bean patties and crunchy roasted beans.

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