With with all this talk of financial troubles, contaminated meat, an obesity epidemic, and the need to eat sustainably, it's time to consider the lowly bean.
It's beans and more beans here in the Dream Kitchen these days. They're cheap, very good for us, have no packaging if bought dry, and are generally liked by the whole family. I recently made Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard. I used delicata squash and kale, and it worked very well. It was better the second day, as the spices "married" the other ingredients, as my mother used to say. Even Mr. Picky had seconds.
This weekend I'm making a double batch of Chipotle Pinto Beans from Simply in Season; we'll take it to a brunch for Swarthmore College students that my church has every month, hosted by members of the church. I'm hoping there will some left over for our family. Next on my bean agenda? I want to feed the organizers and volunteers at the Obama campaign office in Chester one of these days. Vegetarian chili sounds like a good idea for them. I can just send the crockpot along with my boarder, one of the Chester organizers. He works extremely hard but I fear he exists on a diet of pizza and Coke.
So, beans. What else? Every so often I use chickpeas to make hummus, zesty with fresh garlic and lemon juice. I will say that when I go through the trouble of soaking and boiling up a bunch of beans, I always make extra to have on hand. They're fine on a salad, or you can whip up a bean dip or make soup with them.
It's actually quite difficult to overpraise the humble bean. Have I succeeded?