It’s Struggle Meal Time

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Rice and beans may be a struggle meal, but there’s a reason so many gravitate to this humble dish. It’s filling, it’s nutritious, and it’s cheap. Given the right preparation and a few seasonings, rice and beans can also be delicious and satisfying. Beans are basic, but also infinitely versatile.

Which Beans Have the Most Protein?https://vegnews.com/2022/8/bean-protein-guide

I’ve known for quite some time that beans are a poor person’s meal. But in all of my years on the planet this is the first time I’ve heard of beans referred to as a struggle meal. Well struggling or not everyone should be eating more beans for the health benefits.

WHAT? Another Website Devoted to Beans?

Yes there is. https://beaninstitute.com/

Here is another post in my world famous Beans for Breakfast AND Electronic Sticky Note series. Honestly, I’m just surfing the Internet looking for bean recipes to make when the temperature outside will be 106 degrees F and I don’t want HOT beans. Note for new visitors to this blog:

  • I do eat beans for breakfast on occasion and
  • An electronic sticky note is a Memo to Self with links to websites for recipes to try as I expand my bean recipe repertoire.

WOO HOO!

The other day I discovered 30 Recipes with a Can of Chickpeas at https://feelgoodfoodie.net/chickpeas-recipes/

I also found 15 Nutritious Vegan White Bean Recipes at https://www.thefullhelping.com/15-nutritious-vegan-white-bean-recipes/

Double WOO HOO!

My bean obsession began many years ago during my vegetarian years. I still have this cookbook as proof.

Copyright date is 1984.

In blue zones areas, we found that the longest-lived people eat a full cup of beans every day.

The World’s #1 Longevity Food — https://www.bluezones.com/2016/06/10-things-about-beans/#

Always remember what you don’t eat is as important if not more important to health and longevity than what you eat.

Is There a Website Devoted to Beans?

Yes there is. https://usdrybeans.com/

This is another post in my world famous Beans for Breakfast series.

I post links like this to remind readers no one can possibly teach you everything. There is a ton of information on the internet to research and read to improve your food and nutrition knowledge. But you have to take the time and be motivated to find solid, good information. Avoiding fad diets would be a good thing too.

And for the conspiracy theorists out there feel free to use this information to fight back against the World Economic Forum telling us to eat bugs. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/07/good-grub-why-we-might-be-eating-insects-soon/

Eat beans instead of bugs.

Postscript –

I posted then got this:

WOO HOO!

Beans for Breakfast – 03.18.22

Abstract

Given the emerging health benefits of regular legume consumption, we hypothesized that the historically low legume consumption levels in US adults increased. We evaluated legume consumption patterns in US adults using cross-sectional data from the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014-year cycles of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) and a 2017 cross-sectional, online survey of Oregon families named “Beans, Lentils, Peas (BLP) Survey”. We also compared legume consumption patterns between consumers below US dietary recommendations for mature legumes (<37.5 g/day, marginal), below levels showing nutritional and disease-prevention benefits (37.5-87.49 g/day, recommended); and levels demonstrating nutritional and disease prevention benefits (≥87.5 g/day; beneficial). In NHANES, legume consumption remained low in US adults and declined from 2011 to 2014 (mature legumes: 12.8 to 8.3%; dry beans: 10.0 to 6.5%). In BLP, less than 5% consumed legumes daily; approximately one-third did not consume legumes during the last month. Marginal mature-legume consumers ate a limited variety of legumes (dry beans and green legumes on a weekly to monthly basis). Beneficial amount consumers ate mature legumes daily or every other day and included chickpeas, lentils and dry peas to their legume mix. Our data suggest that legume consumption declined in US adults, warranting improved communication about the benefits of regular legume consumption.

Perera T, Russo C, Takata Y, Bobe G. Legume Consumption Patterns in US Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2014 and Beans, Lentils, Peas (BLP) 2017 Survey. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 27;12(5):1237. doi: 10.3390/nu12051237. PMID: 32349355; PMCID: PMC7281997.

Here’s a link to the study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32349355/

My love of beans began when I moved to Texas and discovered fast food bean burritos. I’ve pretty much stopped eating restaurant prepared bean burritos since discovering my favorite local version has nearly 1200 mg of sodium in one burrito.

Too much sodium in my food tends to keep me in my fat jeans.

You can control the amount of salt in home cooked beans. If you are cooking with canned beans try the low sodium versions. Or if you are cooking with the regular canned varieties, rinse and drain several times before adding to your dish. This will cut down on the sodium content. Believe it or not, someone actually did a lab analysis on this:

If you’re watching your sodium intake, we have good news. In each case, draining and rinsing beans lowered the sodium by about 100 milligrams per ½-cup serving—or 20.7 to 26.5 percent.

Does Rinsing Canned Beans Remove Sodium? https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/11227-does-rinsing-canned-beans-remove-sodium

Beans for Breakfast – 02.13.22

There is reliable research that suggests that older adults need slightly more protein than younger adults do. A somewhat higher protein intake, especially when combined with resistance training can build muscle in older adults. This increased muscle can help to offset the muscle loss that is a part of the aging process. Muscle loss can increase the risk of falls and keep older people from doing the tasks they’d like to do.

Protein for Older Adults
February 03, 2022 The VRG Blog Editor – https://www.vrg.org/blog/2022/02/03/protein-for-older-adults/

I’ve lost those extra stubborn muffin top pounds. A dental procedure has limited my diet to soft foods. Peanut butter and soft whole wheat bread has been my savior the past few days. Cooked smashed beans too.

Breakfast today was cold cereal soaked in soy milk for about 10 minutes. Soggy cereal never tasted better.

I might make some Vegetarian Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2022 to have for the next few days. Filling, nutritious and smashable.

While no one ever said “I love going to the dentist” the silver lining is I’m back in my skinny jeans.

Applesauce anyone?

Another Reason Why Black Eyed Peas are Badass

UCR plant pathologist Gabriel Ortiz wanted to understand whether black eyed peas — a hugely popular food in many parts of the world — maintain their ability to attract good bacteria even after being subjected to modern farming practices. In many cases, plants heavily impacted by humans do not benefit as much from relationships with bacteria compared to their wild relatives. However, Ortiz and his team found that the peas maintained their natural ability to form beneficial relationships with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

University of California – Riverside. “Black eyed peas could help eliminate need for fertilizer: Popular legume attracts beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/01/220120091144.htm (accessed January 20, 2022).

Totally Badass.

Vegetarian Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2022

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I make black eyed peas once a year for good luck and good leftovers.  This year will be different. One of my goals for the year is to make black eyed peas more than once a year.

“What’s all the chopping I hear?”

“I’m making a vegetarian version of my world famous Badass Black Eyed Peas.”

“Hmm…”

This recipe makes four servings as I suspect I’ll be the only one eating it.

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 carrots, scraped and diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 T Mexican oregano
1 tsp apiece cumin, paprika
1-2 cups vegetable broth
1 15 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 cup black eyed peas (dried)
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Place the dried beans into a bowl large enough to hold the beans when fully plumped up.  Rinse the beans with water several times.  Fill the bowl with fresh water and soak overnight.
  2. In the morning drain then rinse the beans. Drain again.
  3. In a medium size pot heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Saute the onion, and green pepper until softened about five minutes.  Add the garlic and saute another minute.
  5. Add your spices, carrots and saute another minute until aromatic.
  6. Pour the can of stewed tomatoes into the pot. Break up the tomatoes with your stirring spoon.
  7. Add the beans and enough broth to barely cover the beans.
  8. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Partially cover the pot with a lid and let ‘er go for a couple of hours.
  9. Check the pot and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Add more broth as the peas cook and the dish thickens.

Salt, pepper, and favorite hot sauce. Season to taste.

End Notes

Note the process starts the evening before if you’re using dried beans. You can always substitute two cans of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed. If you use canned beans, decrease the cooking time on the stove top to around 30 minutes.

I reduced the quantity of dried beans because I think I’ll be the only one eating these beans. There was sufficient salt in both the canned tomatoes and broth so I felt no need to add any more.

Texas Corn Bread or serve over rice.

This dish was inspired by Suzy at https://www.themediterraneandish.com/black-eyed-peas-recipe-greek/.

If you have celery hanging out in the fridge add some at the same step as the spices and carrots.

Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2021

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I make black eyed peas once a year for good luck and good leftovers.  Two years ago I finally captured the recipe in this blog format. Last year due to supply chain issues there was no ground turkey so I used cow. This year there was plenty of ground turkey but I used stewed tomatoes and beef broth. The beans should turn out tasty but the voice inside my head says,

“Self.  You need to document the changes in the recipe .”

So I did. Here are the links to the earlier Badass posts.

Badass Black Eyed Peas and Black Eyed Peas – Pandemic Version 2021

4 slices center cut bacon
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp each smoked paprika, chili powder
1 T Mexican oregano
1 T cumin
1 qt no sodium beef broth
2 T tomato paste and one 15 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/2 lb black eyed peas (dried)
1 lb ground turkey 85/15
Salt & pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

  1. Place the dried beans into a stock pot large enough to hold the beans when fully plumped up.  Rinse the beans with water several times.  Fill the pot with fresh water and soak overnight.
  2. In the morning drain then add fresh water to the beans. Change the soaking water at least twice.
  3. In a large stock pot fry the bacon in the olive oil until the strips are crisp and the fat is rendered.
  4. Saute the onion, celery, and green pepper until softened about five minutes.  Add the garlic and saute another minute.
  5. Add the turkey and brown, breaking up the clumps as you go.
  6. Toss everything else into the pool.  Spices, tomato paste, broth, and beans.
  7. The black eyed peas should be drained and the chicken broth needs to barely cover all of the ingredients.
  8. Bring to a boil then simmer for several hours with the pot partially covered.
  9. Check the pot and stir occasionally.  Add more broth as the peas cook and the dish thickens.
  10. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and your favorite hot sauce.
  11. Yum.  Makes about 6-8 servings.

Odd Notes

This dish will taste better on day two. At the two hour mark I tested for seasoning and amped the beans up a bit. The beef broth works well and now I’m glad I wrote this down because in a year I will have forgotten this substitution.

This year I reduced the quantity of dried beans because someone in the family once told me I put too much beans in my chili. So the 2021 version is meatier than in past versions.

Texas Corn Bread of course.

Happy New Year! I hope this dish brings you much good luck in 2022.

Three Bean Chili Super Bowl LV

chili madness

Before we get to this year’s chili recipe I’ve decided my Three Bean Chili Madness was a pain in the rump to make because I cooked the beans and meat/veggie mixture separately. This year’s version is more of “everyone in the pool” which truly becomes less of a pain in the rump. So here we go.

  • This chili cooks all day long but I didn’t use a slow cooker.  I was hunkered down in the house and the chili got the stove top treatment. You could easily use a slow cooker but you would still need to brown the meat and veggies before everyone goes in the pool
  • The beans get an overnight soak and a quick rinse before adding to the pot. Don’t make the same mistake I made. I soaked six cups of dried beans and had way too much beans. So approximately 3-4 cups of soaked beans went into the chili while the remainder is being turned into Sopa de Frijol con Vegetal – Updated 11.10.20
  •  This is a mild chili and you can add heat to your liking. Always easier to add the spice than to put too much in and figure out later how to tame the flame.

So now that you know this is not a pain in the rump recipe…

1 T extra virgin olive and 1 T grape seed oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 tsp garlic powder or several cloves fresh garlic, chopped (or both)
1 tsp each oregano, paprika, chili powder, cumin, dried cilantro
1 can (15 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) no sodium chicken broth1 small can mild green chilies
3 T tomato paste
1 C each dry Mayocoba beans, pinto beans, and cranberry beans
1 lb ground turkey 85/15
Salt & pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

  1. Place the dried beans into a bowl large enough to hold the beans when fully plumped up.  Rinse the beans with water several times.  Fill the bowl with fresh water and soak overnight.
  2. In the morning drain then rinse beans.  Drain again and set aside.
  3. In a large stock pot heat the oils and saute the onion, celery, and green pepper until softened. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another minute.
  4. Add the meat and brown.
  5. Time to toss everyone else into the pool.  Spices, tomatoes, paste, chilies, broth, beans.
  6. Simmer for several hours.  Stir occasionally.  Add more water or broth if the chili gets too thick. Adjust your seasonings.
  7. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and your favorite hot sauce.
  8. Yum.

More odd tips

Don’t add salt until the end.  The Mayocobo beans will break apart and make this chili creamy and thick (unless you add more broth or water).  The recipe will make approximately eight servings.  I used chicken broth and as the chili cooked down and got too thick I added vegetable broth.  Note you can use either fresh or dried garlic. I used both. You can never have too much garlic.

Don’t forget to make Texas Corn Bread because if you forget it, you’ll regret it.

Black Eyed Peas – Pandemic Version 2020

Aliens wearing headlamps skinning up a mountain somewhere Aspen CO

I make black eyed peas once a year for New Year’s Day.  For good luck and good leftovers. 

I was at the grocery store yesterday and a lot of the shelves were bare. New Years plus an upcoming Oklahoma ice storm with predictions of up to 8 inches of snow sent a lot of people to the stores to clean out the shelves. I didn’t realize at the time that this year there would be no Badass Black Eyed Peas for the New Year. Not a single package of ground turkey. The only ground beef in the meat section were 10 pound rolls. I was fortunate to find some 80/20 in the butcher case. This too was almost gone. I forgot the bacon. The celery looked bad (but I knew I had one stalk left at the house). This year’s black eyed peas was definitely a Pandemic Pantry version.

Before we get to this year’s throw together recipe here are a few odd tips and tricks for this year’s version.

  • The beans still need to simmer for several hours.
  • The beans get an overnight soak in filtered water and you will change the water several times before preparation
  • Everyone in the pool? No, not this year.
  • Unlike other chili recipes this recipe has hints of chili.  But due to limited ingredients this year’s black eyed peas will be more chili-like.

So now that you know this isn’t Badass here’s what I had to do.

1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp each smoked paprika, chili powder
1 T Mexican oregano
1 T cumin

1 14 oz can tomatoes with chilies
1 qt no sodium chicken broth (or more, see odd tips)
2 T tomato paste
1 lb black eyed peas
1 lb ground beef 80/20
Salt & pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

  1. Place the dried beans into a stock pot large enough to hold the beans when fully plumped up.  Rinse the beans with water several times.  Fill the pot with fresh water and soak overnight.
  2. In the morning drain then add fresh water to the beans. Change the soaking water at least twice.
  3. Turn burner up to high and heat up a large stock pot. When the pot is hot brown the beef and break up well. Don’t add any oil to the pot because you’ll have plenty of fat in the 80/20.
  4. When the meat is browned take off the burner and drain well.
  5. Bring the pot back to the burner and turn heat up to medium. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, garlic and saute until softened about five minutes. 
  6. Add the spices and saute another five minutes.
  7. Drain the beans (it’s OK if there’s a little water left).
  8. Now toss everything else into the pool.  Tomato paste, broth, tomatoes with chilies and the beans.
  9. The chicken broth needs to barely cover all of the ingredients.
  10. Bring to a boil then simmer for several hours with the pot partially covered.
  11. Check the pot and stir occasionally.  Add more broth as the peas cook and the dish thickens.
  12. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and your favorite hot sauce.
  13. Yum.  Makes about 10-12 servings.

More odd tips

Don’t add salt until the beans are cooked through and soft.  There is plenty of salt in the chili powder and broth so salt last.  As you adjust the seasonings you may want to add more chili powder and/or oregano.  I tend to use garlic powder (my less than top secret favorite flavor enhancer). I also added dried cilantro. I would have used beef broth but I didn’t have any. As the dish thickens add more broth (I had an open container of organic vegetable broth so this is what I used).

This dish might taste better on day two but I haven’t even tasted it on day one yet.

Texas Corn Bread of course.