Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Make Ahead Beans, Peas and Lentils

Pink lentils,  shown above, cook in only 10 minutes, and are beautiful summer salad when gently tossed with nastursiams, marigolds and rose petals, and lightly dressed with a drizzle of hazelnut or almond oil and lemon juice

Lentils are an excellent source of protein, ultra easy to cook, 
and are delicious warmed up and dressed with fresh herbs or curry, 
or as a simple but perfect compliment to cooked whole grains such as brown rice...
..for the more carnivorous appetite serve lentils with grilled salmon or a broiled lamb kabob

Lentils come in a variety of colors and sizes,
they have an affinity for rice partly
due to the similar cooking times.
Shown here is a green unpeeled lentil available at
your local market with a cooking time of 30 minutes.

Herbs and spices to play up your lentils include, but are not limited to:
bay leaf, black pepper, black or green cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry pwder, fresh ginger, mint, parsley, oregano, thyme, and turmeric

 Turtle beans, aka black beans are ultra easy, cooking in just 2-3 hours they are the perfect bean for Mexican inspired meals. Cook with one or two carrots, a little chopped onion and during the last hour of cooking add generous dash of cumin and sea salt. Serve hot with fresh salsa and a cooked whole grain (shown with brown Basmati rice ), and/or fresh hot corn tortillas with shredded beans pair well with beef, pork or chicken

Herbs and spices for black beans: assorted frsh/dried or ground chile peppers, bay leaf, cilantro, coriander, cumin, epazote, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, savory, thyme

The mighty mung bean may not be pretty, but it's amazingly yummy and gentle to even the most
sensitive tummys.  
Shown here are split mung beans cooked with curry.  
Also available whole, these require a longer cooking time, 
and the whole mung (or moong) bean 
can also be sprouted  for your next stir fry calling for bean sprouts. 

Mung beans luv ginger, cumin, cilantro, and whole or ground coriander
btw: Mung beans are really a pea 

Dried black eyed peas cook in 90 minutes with nothing more than a little sea salt.

Black eyed peas luv the following herbs and spices: bay leaf, cayenne, chile peppers, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, and turmeric.

Cooked black eyed peas are delicious straight from the fridge 
topped with avocado and roasted tomato, as shown, or warm up the peas and serve with any whole grain. For the more carnivorous appetite, serve the peas as a side to meat, black eyed peas pair especially well with pork.  

Why cook your own beans? Variety, flavor, choice of organic,  much less sodium, and for some the number one reason,  the dreaded 'gas'...home cooked beans are not nearly as gassy as store bought canned. 

 Cooked beans, peas and lentils can be stored 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

Storage containers shown are heavy glass by Pyrex. Glass containers are superior to the various plastic containers available as you have no worries about chemicals from the plastic leaching into the food. Pyrex glass containers are also very convenient, going from refrigerator to the oven or microwave with equal ease. 


moonrat said...


Thanks for posting the many wonderful ways to prepare beans. I love bean dishes and I've read that many bean varieties contain as much (if not more) protein than beef and other meats, as well as being easier on the digestive system. Great blog!


dev said...

Hi Moonrat,
great to see you here!
Beans, peas and lentils are great sources of protein, soybeans are the highest protein content with 3 grams per cup (cooked), Fava 22 grams, and Lentils 17 grams per cup. Beef, on the other hand, has 7grams per ounce!
Beans and other plant sources of protein are much easier on the environment, far less violent, much easier to store, simple to prepare, way less likely to be contaminated, and offer a broader range of flavor and taste.
Commercially processed meat is all beginning to taste the same, be it beef, chicken or lamb, and this is most likely due to these animals all being fed the same (Purina) chow..