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A Cookbook: More than 175 Recipes for Fresh Beans, Dried Beans, Cool Beans, Hot Beans, Savory Beans, Even Sweet Beans!

Crescent Dragonwagon

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Illustrations copyright © by Eleanor Davis

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Book Details
 637 p
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 6,088 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 2011 by Crescent Dragonwagon

About the Author


“What shall I learn of beans, or beans of me?”
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Thoreau devoted a chapter of Walden to “the common small white bush bean”;
he’d devoted a growing season of his two years in the woods to their raising. “I
cherish them,” he wrote of his beans. “I hoe them, early and late I have an eye to
them; and this is my day’s work.”

Let us, too, have an eye to the bean. Hold one in the palm of the hand. Discreet,
self-contained as an egg, spotted or speckled, dark or light, it’s such a small
package holding so much. Inspiration for tonight’s dinner, perhaps a soup or
stew? Sure, and no more and no less important than all it contains.
Soften, now, to time, as that bean, soaked in water, would soften. You’ll see
more life than seems possible in something so tiny. Eye the future and there, if
you allow that bean to sprout, you have the stuff of tomorrow’s salad or stir-fry.
Look further: Bury that bean in soil, and it sprouts. Emerging from the earth,
roots growing down, shoots and leaves growing up, it becomes a bush or a vine
climbing a pole, tendrils curled—tenacious, poetic. This is a miracle beans have
in common with any other seed. Yet, unique among plant families, beans and
their kin generously give back to the soil; they are—it almost defies belief—selffertilizing.

Look backward, too. The bean resting in your astonished palm is a direct link
to the members of our own human family: the bean-growers, -sowers, and -
eaters of ten thousand years ago in the Americas and the Middle East, in Africa,
India, China, Japan. Had they not labored, no little package of life in its shiny
coat would rest there under your scrutiny, ready to tell its secrets to anyone who
will listen. Or remain silent, doing its work anyway.
Take your inquiry in another direction and you’ll see, in this small, perfect
package a nutritional cornucopia: protein, fiber, carbohydrate, vitamins A, C,
and B-complex, omega-3 fats, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc,
copper, magnesium; and some pesky sugars known as oligosaccharides. It is
these sugars, indigestible to humans, that give beans their nudge-nudge, gradeschool-
jokey, scatological reputation. Which is not worthy of them, or us, and
which is easily dealt with once you understand a few bean basics (see page 1).
Perhaps we should not be surprised that something as powerful as the bean has
an explosive quality: When beans arrived in the Old World—first from the
Middle East, then from the Americas—their protein and their ability to enrich, as
opposed to deplete, the soil in which they are grown literally changed the face of
Europe. Lynn White Jr., in Medieval Technology and Social Change, writes:
agricultural methods, but the new type of food supply which goes far
towards explaining, for northern Europe at least, the startling
expansion of population, the growth and multiplication of cities, the
rise in industrial production, the outreach of commerce, and the new
exuberance of spirits which enlivened that age. In the full sense of
the vernacular, the Middle Ages, from the tenth century onward, were
full of beans.

Thoreau and I, as you can see, are far from the first to meet in the bean field.
“Field,” not only as a cultivated piece of ground, but as an area of inquiry and
observation. Humanity and beans have kept company together a long time—for
all recorded history.
The contexts of this meeting, both earthy and sublime, include supper
(sustenance, succulence, sensual pleasure, nourishment) and soul (poetry, art,
spirituality): meals and myth. Look closely at some of humankind’s largest
directional shifts and achievements, and you will find behind them. . . beans.
Members of the Leguminosae family (which includes beans, peas, lentils, and
such idiosyncratic kin as peanuts and jicama) appear in the Bible often, where,
among many mentions, they are pivotal in the Old Testament account of what
many take to be the classic tale of sibling rivalry, that of Jacob and Esau. (I take
the tale quite differently, see page 58; it describes, handily and beanily, another
one of those large directional human shifts.) The Sufi poet and mystic Rumi
(1207–73) wrote “Chickpea to Cook,” a dialogue in which a disgruntled
chickpea argues with its cook, who turns out to be its spiritual mentor and fellow
traveler. Mark Twain wrote about bean soup in A Tramp Abroad; Shakespeare
mentions peas in As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, and
Twelfth Night. And let’s not forget two leguminous nursery tales: In one, Jack’s
trade of a cow for a handful of beans leads him into gigantic trouble, and in the
other, a pea gives a princess a particularly restless night. More
contemporaneously, in the 2009 film Cold Souls, the character played by Paul
Giamatti has his angsty soul extracted. What does it look like? A chickpea.
Beans have penetrated the human psyche at least as much as they’ve nourished
countless human bodies.

“Back when I was a sprout. . .”
Beans have also been my day’s work for the last few years. They were my work
as well during a much earlier period of my life, back in 1970–72, when I wrote
the ancestor of this book, The Bean Book: Cooking, Planting, Growing,
Harvesting, Drying, Eating, and Just Thinking About Them (it cost $2.45). I was
eighteen then; I’m in my late fifties now. But in a less focused manner, beans
and I have been together all those years in between. When I was a young
freelance writer of uncertain and unpredictable income, bean soups nourished
me, simmering gently and comfortingly as I worked. They cost little and made a
tiny bit of meat (which I then ate; I no longer do) go a long, long way. They
nourish me, and those I cook for, still.

Beans have certainly come up, up, in the world since I first began writing
about them. Once lacking in social standing, associated with poverty, they’re
now chic side dishes, even entrées, at many of the world’s finest restaurants,
treated with respect. Once reviled nutritionally as little more than starch, they are
now praised, both for what they are (carbohydrate that is low-glycemic, i.e.,
slower to turn to sugar in the body, judiciously mixed with protein, fiber, and a
bountiful collection of vitamins), as well as what they are not (meat, with its
saturated fat, cholesterol, excess calories, secondhand antibiotics, and large ecofootprint
and expense).
Once limited in canned form to seven or eight varieties, and in dried to about
twelve, today about fifteen varieties of canned beans and about twenty dried are
to be found in your average supermarket. And if you go online to a specialty
store, you’ll find hundreds of varieties, including such captivatingly named
beans as Tongues of Fire, Flor de Mayo, Indian Woman, nightfall, Mortgage
Lifter, Rattlesnake, Christmas limas, gigandes, and Petite Estoria lentils. One
bean in particular, the soybean, has done such an about-face in terms of
availability, a trajectory that has taken it from primarily animal feed to
nutritional superstar, that I myself find it hard to believe. Yet it’s true: In 1969, in
New York City, if you wanted tofu, you got on a subway heading downtown and
shopped at a Chinatown grocery. I know; I did it. Today, every Walmart in the
country carries tofu, and most supermarkets offer countless soyfoods, ranging
from frozen edamame to various meat analogs.

To V or not to V: Leguminous Options
The bean’s slow-but-steady renaissance parallels, in part, the journey I took in
my own eating. When I was sixteen and lived in a commune, if the food was
vegetarian more than two nights in a row, I’d jones for meat to such an extent
that I’d take the subway to the Middle Eastern section of Brooklyn and order
lamb. But as I aged, several skeins of interest—environmentalism, nutrition and
health, the range of agricultural and animal husbandry practices possible (some
respectful and some brutal to earth, as well as to plants and animals), social
justice, history, the astonishing number of human beings on this vast green globe
who go to bed hungry each night, and yes, my own love of good eating and the
practice of cooking—coalesced. Gradually, for me, a plant-based diet became the
way of eating that felt best on many levels; and once again, beans were there.
Being a “laissez-fare” vegetarian, I am not here to proselytize or advocate a
meatless diet; indeed, I’ve included in this book many of my long-ago with-meat
standbys. Though it’s been many years since I’ve eaten these dishes, my meatist
friends tell me they’re just as tasty as I remember them. Choosing how and what
to eat is such an individual and intimate matter: We all have our reasons and
experiences for choosing as we do. While many still insist on conflating a
vegetable-centric diet with self-denial and deprivation (and many, on the other
side, flaunt an ill-founded and alienating sense of moral superiority about not
consuming meat), eating, to me, remains a delight both reliable and evervarying.
As a vegetarian I give as much care and attention, from the sensual
pleasure point of view, to what I put in my mouth and the mouths of those I love
as I did when I ate lamb and pork, beef and chicken, and fish.
So, I’ve learned to cook beans in countless ways above and beyond the meaty.
Whatever your preferences and choices, you’ll find ways with beans that fit
them here. Green and dried herbs, fresh and toasted spices, garlic, ginger, onions,
and other aromatics, vegetables, stocks, oils, butter, coconut fat, condiments, and
pickles—all these befriended me and the beans I cooked, and cook still, and will
befriend you in your kitchen. Meat, in most cases, is optional.

Multiplicitous Meals
Beans are equally amiable as entrées (Vegetarian Cassoulet, page 234) and side
dishes (Three Sisters Salad with Fresh Corn and Zucchini Ribbons, page 133);
for lunch (Mr. Puppevich’s Ho-made Fishcake-style Tofu Cakes, page 257) and
dinner (Mjeddrah, page 301); and even for breakfast (Fastest-Gun-in-the-West
Huevos Rancheros con Frijoles, page 270, The Best Vegetable Hash, page 256).
Beans can start a meal (Classic Hummus Bi Tahini, page 30, Gotcha-Hotcha
Sweet-Smoky Cocktail Peanuts, page 28) or finish it (White Chocolate & Peanut
Butter Banana Cream Pie, page 332, Rose of Persia Cake, page 334). Beans can
be curry (pages 199–207), chili (pages 157–184), ragout (page 282), soup (pages
51–126), or salad (pages 127–156). They can also be bread (Socca, page 277),
pancakes (Neo-Classic Crepes, page 280), cookies (Julie’s Peanut Butter-
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal, page 322), even ice cream (Red Bean Ice Cream, page 339).

Deep Feast
What have I learned of beans, then? My answer to Thoreau’s question is on
every page of this book (as well as on my website and blog
— and—plus Facebook and Twitter
[@cdragonwagon], into which my bean obsession has naturally also flowed).
It’s impossible, of course, to answer the part of Thoreau’s query in which he
wonders what beans will learn of him. But if I could give voice to beans, I can
tell you what I’d hope they’d say of me: “She treated us with respect,
imagination, and gratitude. She cooked us with exuberance. She used us as a
way to join hands with others all over this spinning green planet on which we
ride together, each of us, in turn, eating and being eaten.” I think beans must
know, as I do, that life’s contract requires full participation, whether we are
legume or human.
Let us participate, then, and celebrate, sprouting, growing, making tendrils;
maturing, harvesting, and being harvested; cooking, eating, being eaten; letting
the next generation rediscover the poignant joy of the feast. Let us join hands at
a table the size of the world. Let’s eat.

Table of Contents

How to Know Beans
Bean Basics
The A, B(ean), Cs
A primer for all things bean. Everything you’ve ever wondered about
selecting, preparing, cooking, and storing dried beans, fresh beans, shell
beans, canned beans, and dehydrated beans—including, yes, a revolutionary
method for making beans more belly friendly.
Hummus, Where the Heart Is
Leguminous Starters
Small plates and sumptuous bowls beckon nibblers, grazers, and feasters
alike. From rich dips like Newly Minted Puree of Fresh Favas (page 43) and
the exotic Marrakech Melange (page 36), to surprising party munchies like
Gotcha-Hotcha Sweet-Smoky Cocktail Peanuts (page 28), these satisfying
starters are the pillars of any appetizer spread.
Soulful Simmer
Soups for Spirit and Substance
Explore the globe with bean soup, the very potage our ancestors—even the
biblical Jacob and Esau—made for thousands of years. Ladle up the flavors of
the Middle East with Syrian Zucchini-Chickpea Soup (page 61), then journey
to Kilimanjaro for Tanzanian Black-Eyed Pea & Coconut Soup (page 72).
Nourish and soothe with Noodled Japanese Broth with Tofu & Bean Threads
(page 79); turn up the heat with India’s Kerala-Style Dahl (page 85); and trace
the bean’s journey through Europe with belly-filling Pasta e Fagioli (page 96)
and garlicky Caldo Verde (page 102). End in the New World on a high note:
rich, golden, avocado-and-egg flourished Fanesca.
Cool Beans
Salads for Every Season
Crunchy or tender, hearty or light—here, green beans and dried beans dance
together and apart. The cool bean takes many forms, from sprightly starter
salads—Sugar Snap Pea, Orange & Spinach Salad with Citrus-Mint
Vinaigrette (page 134)—all the way to full-meal salads, like Dragon-Style
Dan-Dan Noodles with Baked Tofu, Bean Sprouts & Crisp Vegetables (page 147).
Chili Weather
Chili spans the color spectrum: from Brown Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes
(page 180) to White Chili with White Beans, Poblanos & Hominy (page 182).
You’ll find chili variations from all cardinal directions, and, of course, their
go-to go-withs: cornbreads, fixins, even salsas.
Superior Stews, Companionable Curries
The plot thickens, or, rather, the soup does, enticing us into the realm of
luscious curries and satisfying stews. Whatever you choose to call them, these
hearty bowlfuls—like Dorothy Read’s Yellow-Eye Beans Redux (page 190)
and Mellow Coconut-Tempeh Curry with Spinach, Zucchini & Sweet Potatoes
(page 206)—will surprise, tempt, and sustain you.
Bountiful Bean Bakes, Comforting Casseroles
Bubbling and beckoning, these oven-baked beauties are truly hot items. Old-
Fashioned, Down-Home All-Day Baked Beans (page 216) with Steamed
Boston Brown Bread (page 219) and Vegetarian Cassoulet (page 234). Baked
Beans Brazilian with Olives & Cheese (page 230), several methods for ovenbaked
tofu, and Summer Garden Potpie with Cheese-Herb Drop Biscuits
(page 240). All are served up golden-brown and piping hot.
Home on the Range
Simpatico Skillets and Stir-Fries
Stovetop beans are one-pot wonders: They can be both contemplative, slowcooked
simmers and quick-fire weeknight dinners. You’ll discover falafel,
both Traditional (page 260) and Neo-Traditional (page 264); the so easy and
so good CD’s Beans & Greens Pasta with Lemon, Garlic & Chile (page 273);
and nearly infinite variations on the stir-fry. There’s even Socca (page 277)—
addictive chickpea flatbread—to soak up any leftover skillet sauce.
Beans and Grains
Earthy Soul Mates
It’s a perfect marriage: Beans and grains complete each other in traditional
dishes like Mjeddrah (page 301), Dragon-style Dancin’ John (page 312), and
two styles of Red Beans & Rice (pages 306 and 308). And they delight in
imaginative bean-grain two-steps like Maya’s Magic Black Beans with
Eggplant & Royal Rice (page 314). All are heavenly matches made on earth.
Sweet Beans
In Which Legumes Dessert You
Let’s champion the versatility of the legume! Julie’s Peanut Butter Chocolate
Chip Oatmeal Cookies (page 322) are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. So, too,
will the tart Lime Tofu Mousse-Custard (page 330) and the luscious spiced
navy bean custard that fills “Don’t Hurt Yourself” Bean Pie (page 327). And
of course, this dessert chapter wouldn’t be worth a hill of beans without Red
Bean Ice Cream (page 339)—a delicious ending to our leguminous journey.


Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint the following:
Page 123: Excerpted from “Speaking of Soup: The Culinary Approach to
Spanish” by Calvin Trillin. Copyright © 2005 by Calvin Trillin. Originally
appeared in The New Yorker. Reprinted by permission of Lescher & Lescher,
Ltd. All rights reserved.
Page 148: Excerpt from “4,000 Noodles Found in China” by John Roach.
Published 2005 National Geographic News.
Page 238: Excerpt from Cress Delahanty by Jessamyn West. © 1948, renewed
2006 by Jessamyn West. Reprinted by permission of The Feminist Press.
Page 253: Excerpt from Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami.
© 2005 by Laila Lalami. Reprinted by permission of Algonquin Books of
Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Page 302: Excerpt from Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber. © 2003 by Diana Abu-
Jaber. Reprinted by permission.
Page 313: Excerpt from Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tastes of the Jewish
South by Marcie Cohen Ferris. © 2005 by Marcie Cohen Ferris. Reprinted by permission.

All efforts have been made to secure permission for the excerpts in this book. If
any have been inadvertently overlooked, the author will be pleased to make the
necessary arrangements.

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Book Details
 279 p
 File Size 
 3,446 KB
 File Type
 PDF format

Otherworld Publishing and its authors have
used their best efforts in preparing these pages
and their publications. Otherworld Publishing
and its authors make no warranty of any kind,
expressed or implied, with regard to the
information supplied.

Limits of Liability
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.Beans are one of the longest
cultivated vegetables. They
have been used all over the
world for thousands of years,
due to their tasty flavor and
nutritional values. There are
40,000 different types of
beans, from the much used
black beans to the specialized
cannellini beans used in Italian
foods. Depending on type of
beans, these vegetables can be
used fresh, on string, dried,
preserved, mashed and in
many other ways.
Beans are rich in fibers and
also contain a healthy amount
of iron and proteins, which
makes them a great substitute
for meat in vegetarian dishes.
Beans are known to decrease
cholesterol levels, so are
helpful for preventing blood
circulation and heart
Although many people think of
them only as a heavy, Mexican
ingredient, but beans are much
more than that! They can be
used for breakfast, lunch and
dinner, in filling dishes as well
as light dishes. In some recipes
they are even used in desserts
and sweet snacks.
There are hundreds of
interesting and delicious
recipes that include beans, and
the best ones you will find
right here in this recipe book.
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books and freebies!

Table of Contents
yBreakfast Recipes
1. Beans Chilaquiles
2. Morning Burrito
3. Beans on Toast and Fries
4. Tofu with Onions and White Beans
5. Egyptian Breakfast
6. Kumara, Bacon and Beans
7. Beans Hashbrowns
8. English Breakfast
9. Eggs and Beans with Tomatoes
10. Spinach and Beans Breakfast
11. Beans and Cheese Muffins
12. Beans and Salami Tartlets
13. Bean Bread, Cream Cheese and
Dill Cocktail Bites
14. Beans Veggie Mini Burgers
15. Crackers with White Beans Dip
16. Wonton Cups with Black Beans and Corn
17. Bell Pepper and Beans Empanadas
18. Beer, Bean and Cheese Triangles
19. Stuffed Pepper Boats
20. Beans and Olive Pops
21. Bean Salad with Asparagus and Pesto
22. Walnuts and Brown Beans Salad
23. Beans and Mushrooms Salad
24. Pecorino and Beans Salad
25. Sweet Tomato and Beans Salad
26. Beans and Chicken Salad
27. Zucchini and Kidney Beans Salad
28. Ham, Beans and Corn Salad
Main Dish
29. Lamb with Mashed Garbanzo Beans
30. Beef with White Beans and Prunes
31. Tagine with Beans and Cinnamon
32. White Beans Chili
33. Italian Pasta and Beans
34. Beef and Beans Soup
35. Florida Beans with Onions and Bacon
36. Hot Beer and Beans Dish
37. Three Beans and Turkey
38. Beans Lasagna
39. Salmon with Beans
40. Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Sweet Recipes
41. White Beans and Coconut Pudding
42. Black Beans Brownie with
Blueberry Sauce
43. Kidney Beans Cupcakes
44. Peanut Butter and Beans Blondies
45. Cinnamon and Garbanzo Beans
46. Pinto Beans Fudge
47. Oatmeal and Beans Cookies
48. Black Beans and Sea Salt Cookies
49. Apple and Beans Pie
50. Orange Legumes Cake
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