Get to Know Them Gradually is Key
The last post on cooking tips for beans got me going on a bean theme. So you’ll be seeing several quick posts on beans. The timing is actually quite good, as it’s winter here in Colorado and the cold always stirs a desire for comfort food. While most people consider things like mashed potatoes and mac ‘n cheese to be the ultimate comfort foods, beans are right up there in terms of a food that soothes, warms and comforts.
Granted, many view beans as “desert island” food, as in, something reserved for when they are stranded on a desert island. But those in the know see gold in a batch of colorful beans. In case you’ve yet to discover this treasure, read through this series for know-how and insights to help unlock the incredible, comforting goodness hidden within the humble bean.
Willing to try? Then to begin with, don’t look at beans as a substitute for meat, especially if you’re a meat lover. They are two completely different foods and aren’t meant for comparison.
Next, get to know beans gradually–good advice whenever you’re getting to know a new food. You wouldn’t get to know a new friend by climbing in the car for a 5-day road trip. You’d chat at a party, go on a group hike, meet at the movies. Similarly, don’t make a big bean casserole as your first foray into the wonderful world of beans. Start instead by just throwing a few into already-familiar dishes, enhancing them with the color, texture and substance of beans. See the pictures for some examples.
Finally, beans don’t have to preclude a steak or any other meat. Go ahead and have it, but maybe not quite as big a piece. This hearty salad (see recipe) on the side will make up for a smaller portion.