With the marathon safely in the rear view, it's time to get back to cooking, writing and staying up past 8:30 p.m. Yes!
We have two couples coming to visit for 10 days in December and that spells opportunity! This is a chance to let my veggie kitchen shine. The keys to success as I see them - quantity and ease. I'm not used to feeding six adults and I would be a fool to sacrifice island time with my friends and family just to hole up in the kitchen all day.
How many yummy, filling, and easy to prepare vegetarian meals/side dishes can I bang out for six adults? That question will be the focus of the next few posts.
My bean loyalties shift throughout the months but the pink bean has become a true favorite and a weekly staple. Plus, they're pink! How can you go wrong?
Some beans maintain their integrity when canned but not the pink bean. For any light colored bean (except garbanzos!) just remember - "Mushy and bland when placed in a can." Get the dried beans and soak for at least four hours on the kitchen counter. This recipe is not complicated (or even very original) but it is delicious and feeds a clan!
1 bag of dried pink beans
1 small or 1/2 medium finely diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon of dried cilantro
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (if you're a heat junkie like me - also toss in red pepper flakes and chili powder)
1 teaspoon of Complete Seasoning or Nature's Seasoning Salt
1 cup vegetable broth or 1 veggie bouillon cube disolved in 1 cup water
1 cup water
1 garlic clove - grated
Cover the beans with at least an inch of water and boil (lid on) for about 40 minutes - until the beans are al dente. Note: Pink beans don't create a lot of "foam" while boiling. Any of the foam you can remove will reduce the gas content of the dish.
Remove from heat, drain and rinse. You might wonder why we're dumping the thick juice that's been created at this point. Because it's full of gas and gas is not attractive.
Rehydrate a tablespoon of dried cilantro in two tablespoons of water - set aside. I never thought to use dehydrated cilantro but fresh is rare here and the dried version is surprisingly flavorful when rehydrated. Give it a sniff, you'll see.
Place the pan back onto the stove and sauté your onions in a tablespoon of olive oil until they're golden.
Dump the beans onto the onions and add the veggie broth, an extra cup of water, cayenne pepper and Complete Seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil (keep a lid on the pan or you'll just have to keep adding water) for around 30 minutes or until the beans are softened to your liking.
Turn off the heat and stir in the reconstituted cilantro and grate a clove of garlic into the pot. Pop the lid on the pan and walk away. The sauce that's created in the pan will thicken up within about 30 minutes.
These pink beans are perfect for taco night, served over rice or as a bed for your favorite veggie burger.