I made some tasty beans for dinner last week – sweet and salty and earthy, they’ve got a sort of teriyaki flavour. Add some greens and a grain and you’re set.
This “recipe” was inspired by one in the fabulous Tassajara Cookbook, which is no so much a what-to-cook as a how-to-cook-book. It’s about taste, technique and approach more than it is about amounts and it reads almost like poetry. Tassajara is a Zen monastery in California and reading the cookbook really makes me want to run off to the mountains and be a monk-cook, but that’s another story.
oil, garlic, cooked pinto beans*, water, pitted honey dates, tamari.
Heat a little oil in your pan and saute some garlic til it smells nice. Add a few cups of cooked beans and water to cover them. Dice or smash up a handful of dates and add them to your simmering beans and cook this all together on low heat til the dates completely disintegrate. Now add tamari until it tastes right to you. Yum.
* Here’s a tip: Rather than relying on canned beans, C and I buy bulk organic dry beans and cook up a big pot every 6 weeks or so. We freeze the cooked beans in resealable bags, flattened out so that the layer of beans is less than an inch thick. When we want beans for dinner its easy to break off a chunk from the bean cake in the freezer. We usually have 2 or 3 different kinds of beans ready to go in the freezer at a time. It saves tons of time to cook a big pot of beans at once (rather than a cup or two at a time as you want to use them), it has all the convenience of canned beans (don’t have to think about soaking beans the day before you want to make chili – we usually just throw them in frozen to whatever we’re making, no need to pre-thaw), and it saves tons of money! You might not think so since canned beans aren’t exactly expensive, but at 1$ a can (or more for organic) that adds up quickly when you’re eating vegetarian regularly. Dry beans are so cheap they’re almost free, and organic dry beans cost only pennies more a pound.
There you go, a tasty recipe and some time-an-money-saving tips. You have no excuses now.
Eat more beans!