Monday, February 1, 2010


This vegetarian thing isn't so bad! After a day of nothing but rain and more rain, including some local street flooding, I wanted something warm and satisfying for dinner. Luckily I had some kidney beans soaking that were just the ticket. I loosely modified a recipe from my aunt and threw them on the stove top in my dutch oven and let them cook for hours. I also put some frozen turnip greens on to cook right beside the beans, some rice in the rice cooker, (I'm all about the convenience appliances), and at the last minute I put a whole wheat frozen baguette from a local sandwich shop in the oven. (Yes, they will sell them to you frozen, then you can pop them in the oven whenever you want some fresh bread.) The Middle Child rounded it out with a salad. We had a wonderful vegetarian comfort meal. I am so stuffed now I feel like I'm gonna pop! So much for portion control.

Here are the recipes; enjoy!

Kidney Bean Stew

1. Rinse and pick through a bag o' beans
2. Park the beans and water, at least a couple of inches over the beans, in a plastic container with a lid. Put the lid on and let the beans soak overnight. (My aunt skips this; she just cooks them and they turn out fine. The cookbooks say it helps reduce gas if you soak and then discard the soak water, however.)
3. When you're ready to cook the beans, drain and rinse and set them aside.
4. Saute some diced sweet onion (one medium to large onion will do) in olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot. When the onions are translucent, throw in a little bit of garlic and let that heat up as well.
5. Add some veggie broth (low or no sodium; salt will make the beans tough, according to the cookbooks) and some water to cover the beans by a few inches. Add some seasoning but NOT SALT. (The toughening thing.) I added pepper and a couple of bay leaves.
6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until you're starving and you can't take the delicious smells filling your house anymore. Or for several hours; test along the way to see if the beans are getting soft.
7. Stir every so often. You don't want the beans to stick to the bottom and burn. If you need to add more water, go ahead, and if you have too much water and you want a thicker broth, leave the lid off for a while. Be REALLY careful about the stirring if you leave the lid off, though!!!
8. Toward the end of the cooking time, when they are edible but still not quite as soft as you'd like, throw in some potato chunks, peeled depending on the type of potatoes. (You could also use carrots or whatever veggies you'd like to have in your stew. I just put potatoes in tonight.)
9. Did I mention the stirring? You don't have to stand over the pot every second, but when the broth was super thick I set my kitchen timer to beep every 7 minutes and stirred when it went off. I would do that more often if it was thicker, or add some water. I just happen to like a thick broth, which will burn more quickly if not tended to.
10. Salt, salt, salt to taste. Really- taste it. You'll think you are way over salting but it takes a bit.
9. When the potatoes are fork tender and the beans are soft, it's done. The amount of time that takes will vary depending on the size of your potato chunks; start checking them at the 10 minute mark if small, 15 if larger.

Serve over rice. The turnip greens were yummy mixed in. Here's what I did for those:

I haven't been able to find fresh turnip greens at the grocery but I've been wanting to add greens to our diet since they are so darn healthy. I finally realized they might carry them in the frozen foods section, and sure enough, there they were. (At one local store but not the other, go figure.) (And we only have ONE store in the area; several locations, but all the same store.) ~:-P

Turnip Greens
I pretty much followed the package directions, leaving out the pork. I sauteed some diced sweet onion in olive oil until translucent, added some garlic, then threw in a cup of veggie broth and a cup of water. I brought all that to a boil, turned it down to a simmer, slapped the lid on, then, aside from an occasional stir, left it alone until the beans were done. Oh, I added a little extra olive oil when I put the greens in the water, along with some salt and pepper. I had to add pepper and quite a bit of salt when I taste-tested before serving, though. I think they were delish, and better than Cracker Barrel's, which are bitter.

PS: And a happy birthday to my brother. Both of my brothers have birthdays just a few days apart, January 29th and February 1st; go figure.

No comments: