Posted by: Hil | April 8, 2009

I Love Legumes

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While I prefer to maintain an omnivorous diet for a variety of reasons, I will never understand those who think that vegetarian food is boring or doesn’t taste as good as meat-based food.  As I was looking through my photos from the past few days, I realized that while I haven’t eaten meat for a few days, my meals have been very varied and delicious.  Beans and bean products have been a recurring theme, but beans are incredibly versatile and are right at home in any number of preparations.  For lunches, I have been enjoying the last of my cannelini bean salad with spinach, feta and sundried tomatoes.

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For last night’s dinner, the Lemonator was craving tofu (go figure).  We prepared it our new favorite way:  by draining the block of tofu by standing it upright in its box for a few hours, cubing it, marinating it with soy, sesame oil and garlic, and baking it at around 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until it gets a nice crust on the outside.  On the side, we had some sauteed spinach with garlic.  (If I had had more time and energy, I would have made some nice peanut noodles to go with it, but I was tired and hungry, so I ate a whole wheat tortilla spread with peanut butter as an appetizer.) This tofu stuff tastes great leftover, but there were no leftovers by the time the Lemonator got a hold of them.  When the Lemonator gets a craving for a tofu dish, you know that its a keeper.

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Monday night dinner was a kitchen sink chickpea and vegetable soup, served with whole wheat quesadilla and a juicy orange.  If I recall correctly, the soup contained carrot, celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, spinach, canned tomatoes, canned chickpeas, vegetable broth, water, Italian seasoning, cayenne, and salt and pepper.  I find that Monday is a great night to make soup because then its on hand for the rest of the week.  I packed some for my lunch yesterday to go with a simple bell pepper and avocado wrap.  It was delicious.  A little bit of hot soup on the side can really make a sandwich seem more like a meal.

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My Sunday night dinner was the simplest of the lot, but still delicious:  black beans sauteed with chili powder, cumin, garlic, and a spoonful of salsa, topped with a spoonful of guacamole.  The rising steam made this picture a bit fuzzy, but made the eating particularly enjoyable. 

I really love the fact that if I have a vegetable or two in my fridge and a can of beans in my pantry, I know I can have a tasty dinner on the table in a relatively short period of time.  What is your favorite way to prepare beans?

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Responses

  1. I love to make bean burgers. I made a boat load of them and freeze for super fast week night meals. I also like making taco salad with beans instead of meat.

  2. I agree that beans are versatile and exciting. I like them on salads, with pasta and lately, I’ve been enjoying making bean dips/hummus.

  3. I eat beans almost everyday – great source of protein and other nutrients!!

  4. Depends on the season :). When it’s cold I adore beans in all kinds of soups, as for warmer weather I love mixing them in salad. I’m obviously a big legume-fan myself!

  5. As passover is quickly approaching, I’m realizing that this year it will be easier for me to give up the breads that caused me the most grief in the past. Beans and soy will definitely be harder for me to go without for the next week! Your meals look delicious!

  6. I love beans so much it hurts. Shoot. For prep, I go quick and easy. I know I should cook my own, but I usually go canned – and then make a bean salad with red wine vinegar, olive oil and sometimes lime or lemon and various spices. Mum.

  7. I am a huge fan of beans as well 🙂 Great post!

  8. Oh my gosh, totally love it! And oh yes to tofu!

  9. To be honest, I don’t really like beans very much. I love chickpeas and lentils and such, but I don’t like kidney beans and all. Usually. I’ll eat them, but I wouldn’t prepare them for myself. I gotta work on weaning myself into them 🙂

  10. All those bean dishes look great. As does your tofu, I’ve never pepared tofu myself but I think I’m going to give it a try soon.

  11. I love beans!!! I like making black bean dip for tortilla chips, serving beans atop a bed of lettuce, layered in a whole wheat tortilla…..etc etc etc!! 😀


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