4 brilliant ways to eat legumes from 4 brilliant bloggers

Here’s another reason why I love legumes (they’re also cheap, filling, nutritious and tasty): they’re bloody versatile little suckers. Which means one can never get sick of eating them. If one has a few clever recipes up their sleeve.

I’m always on the search for interesting ways to use legumes and so I asked some fellow foodie bloggers to share a few ingenious recipes with us. And they kindly shared these rippers:

Green Kitchen Stories’ Bean Brownies

Have you heard of Green Kitchen Stories? It’s an amazing food blog run by David and Luise (and their little Elsa). Their food is mindful, nutritious (Luise is studying as a nutritional therapist) and creative. So much so that their collection of recipes has been turned into a book, which is available in bookstores in Aus and is on my wish list. Please, do yourself a favour and peruse their spoils.

Of these brownies David says: The truth is that they don’t taste beans at all, and I used quite a lot of beans in this recipe. I even brought them to work, and no-one could guess the secret ingredient. They do however taste a little bit different to an ordinary brownie recipe. The beans makes them a little bit more dense and they have a very rich taste, which basically means that you can’t have 10 of these at the same time, but that’s only a good thing, right? 

Yeah, I think so.


photo by Green Kitchen Stories


makes 16 squares

125g butter
180g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (Maria says - buy FairTrade - use this scorecard)
11/2 cup cooked black beans and chickpeas (to learn how to cook dry beans read here - Maria)
3 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp coconut flakes
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
a pinch of sea salt
3 eggs
2/3 cup agave syrup (from Maria – personally I use rice syrup)

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160oC) and line an 11-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt the butter on low heat in a medium size pan, break 150g of the dark chocolate into small pieces and add them to the melted butter. Stir around until the chocolate mixture is completely melted.

Put beans, cacao powder, coconut flakes and 1/2 cup of the walnuts in a blender or a food processor. Blend for about two minutes, then add the chocolate mixture and blend for one more minute.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes, add the agave syrup and whisk for one more minute. Save four spoonfuls of the egg mixture in a separate glass and pour the rest over the chocolate and bean mixture. Add the remaining walnuts and dark chocolate and stir everything gently with a spatula until the whole mixture has the same colour.

Pour into the baking pan. Drip the remaining egg mixture on top of the chocolate mixture and use a toothpick or a knife to create a marble effect. Bake for 30-40 minutes. They might still feel a little bit loose in the middle when you take them out, but the trick here is to wait until they cool off completely (I know, it’s hard, but it’s totally worth the wait). Enjoy!


Supercharged Food’s Maharajah Indian Stuffed Peppers           
       
Lee Holmes is the queen of nutrient-dense, gut-friendly food. Her site Supercharged Food  is hugely popular and has also been turned into a book. Lee’s a health and wellness coach and a qualified wholefoods chef with a certificate in nutrition, so ruly truly knows her stuff.

Maria – Lee’s original recipe uses beef but she notes that you can substitute with lentils. Which I did. And it’s magnificent. I served it with natural yoghurt with a dash of cumin seeds, coriander and cayenne pepper mixed through. Here’s the lentil version of her recipe:


Photo by Supercharged Food

serves 4

2 red capsicums (peppers)
2 yellow capsicums (peppers)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
200g dry lentils, puy (french style) or unhulled red (as these hold their shape together well)
400g (14 oz.) tin chopped tomatoes (sugar and additive free) (from Maria – I use 4 or 5 large tomatoes, blanched and peeled, instead of tinned)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
70g (21/2 oz./1 cup) quinoa, rinsed (from Maria – I don’t react well to quinoa so I use brown basmati rice instead)
Basil leaves, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF/Gas 7). Bring a large saucepan of filtered water to the boil. 

Cut off the tops of the capsicums and remove the seeds and membranes. Drop the capsicum shells into the water and simmer for 3–4 minutes. 

Carefully remove the capsicums with a slotted spoon and drain well. 

Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until golden, 6–8 minutes. Add the cumin seeds to one side of the pan and toast them until they pop, then stir them in to the onion with the cayenne pepper, chilli (if using), coriander and ginger. 

Add the lentils, tomatoes, salt and enough water to just cover and cook until lentils are tender, about 20 -30 minutes (top up with a little water if it's getting too dry).

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa (or rice) in a saucepan of simmering water until tender, about 15 minutes (longer for rice).

Drain the quinoa/rice, then stir it through the lentil mixture. 

Divide the mixture among the capsicums, filling them loosely. Sit them in a baking tin and loosely cover the tin with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil. 

Continue baking until the capsicums start to blister, another 10–15 minutes. 

Sprinkle the tops with basil and serve. 


Thug Kitchen’s Sweet Potato and Pinto Bean Tacos

Come across Thug Kitchen yet? I love them for their gratuitous use of f-bombs as well as their comfort-food-turned-healthy recipes. Their self-described aim is to “Verbally abusing everyone into a healthier diet”. When I asked to share this recipe, they replied “Sounds ‘ferking’ awesome”. I think this recipe is ferking awesome.


Photo by Thug Kitchen


makes 8 tacos

3 cups of cooked pinto beans (hard to get in Aus, I use kidney or black beans - Maria)
1 teaspoon of coconut or olive oil (whatever you already have)
½ cup vegie stock or water
2 teaspoons smoked paprika or chilli powder
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses (this has a bunch of fucking (oops, them not me - Maria) iron in it and is near the maple syrup at the store)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 - 3 garlic cloves

450g sweet potatoes (this should be about 2 cups when you chop it all up)
½ a brown onion
1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil
salt to taste
soft corn tortillas*
whatever toppings you got

Warm the first teaspoon of oil in a medium pot. Add the cooked beans, stock, smoked paprika, molasses, vinegar and garlic. Get it to start bubbling slowly for about 5 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Chop up the sweet potato and onion so they are about the size of a pinto bean so you’re not taking any confusing bites. Warm up the oil in a large skillet or big-ass pan and add the onion and sweet potato. Cook them until the onion is getting brown and the sweet potato softens up. Add the beans and whatever stock is still in that other pot you already forgot about. Cook this mixture on a medium heat until the potatoes are soft enough for you. This should take 5 - 8 minutes. If it starts to look dry, add some water. Add salt to taste but don’t go fucking crazy.

I served my tacos topped with lime juice, shredded lettuce, radishes, white onion, green onions, and jalapenos but add the shit you like.

*To avoid GMO, buy organic tortillas.

 
Greek Vegetarian’s Gigantes (Giant Bean Stew)

Remember Lisa? She shared a couple of recipes with us a while back. This one is a Greek classic. It’s by her dad, Takis. He has the same name as my uncle. There you go!

Gigantes (Giant Bean Stew)

Photo by Greek Vegetarian

serves 4

For boiling the beans:
250g dried Gigantes* or Lima beans, soaked in water for at least 8 hours
1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
1 large carrot, cut in half

For the stew:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
375ml vegetable stock
1 cup of water
8 – 10 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

* Note: Traditionally, 'Gigantes' or 'Elephantes' beans are used to make this dish which, as the name suggests, are larger than Lima beans. These are grown in the northern regions of Greece and can be expensive and difficult to find here in Australia. If you can't find Gigantes beans, Lima beans make a great substitute.

After soaking the beans overnight, drain and rinse then transfer to a large pot with the halved onion and carrot. Fill the pot with water, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for one hour.
When beans are cooked, drain, discard onion and carrot and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large oven-proof casserole dish, fry the finely chopped onions and celery in olive oil until soft, around ten minutes.

Add carrots to the onion and celery mixture and fry for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cooked beans, vegetable stock, water, tomatoes, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to the boil.

Transfer the casserole dish to a preheated oven at 150oC and cook for one hour with the lid on. If your casserole dish doesn't have a lid, cover with foil. 

After one hour, remove dish from oven and give the stew a good stir, then place back in oven for another hour with the lid slightly askew (or the foil slightly loosened) to allow the steam to be released and the sauce to thicken.

Keep checking the stew to make sure it doesn't dry out and add a little water if necessary.




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