Anyway, as a vegetarian (though not vegan), beans are really a staple of my diet. I’m not a big consumer of faux meats, so beans are my protein of choice. That’s why I was so excited to learn about The Great Vegan Bean Book earlier this year when I attended Food Blog Forum. The author, Kathy Hester, was in attendance and gave me a printed-out preview of the book. Covering more than just slow-cooked beans, this book includes some really creative and inventive ways to use a variety of beans. Popsicles, salads, curries, parfaits … even pancakes! And in the book, she makes note of which recipes are also, soy-free, oil-free, and gluten-free (or how to make them with substitutions, if possible). Nutrition info is also included for each recipe.
Kathy has graciously allowed me to reprint the recipe for Pineapple Rum Beans over Coconut Lime Sweet Potatoes to give you a little taste of what’s available in the book. I chose it because I think it’s the perfect dish to bridge this in-between time that’s the cusp of summer and fall. Plus, there are tons of sweet potatoes available at the farmers markets right now.
Pineapple Rum Beans over Coconut Lime Sweet Potatoes
From The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester
Pineapple Rum Beans
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (* or use water or broth)
½ small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (165 g) pineapple, chopped small
3 cups (750 g) cooked pinto or black beans or 2 cans (15 ounces, or 420 g each), rinsed and drained [Lesley’s note: cooked beans should not be Southern style; that is, they should be al dente]
2 tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon marjoram
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt (plain or smoked)
Black pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
Add the pineapple, beans, rum, thyme, paprika, marjoram and cumin. Cook over medium heat until it starts simmering and then decrease the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 25 to 35 minutes, until the flavors meld. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Soy-free, gluten-free, oil-free (with option*)
Yield: 4 servings
Total prep Time: 20 minutes
Total cooking Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Per 1 cup Pineapple Rum Beans: 270.6 calories; 7.6 g total fat; 1.1 g saturated fat; 11.8 g protein; 36.6 g carbohydrate; 11.9 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol.
Coconut Lime Mashed Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes, baked or peeled and boiled
½ cup (120 ml) light coconut milk
Zest and juice of 1 large lime
Salt and pepper
If using baked sweet potatoes cut in half and scrape the flesh into a saucepan (or just add if boiled). Mash the potatoes with the coconut milk and lime zest and juice until smooth. Taste, add salt and pepper, and taste again. You can add more lime juice or coconut milk if needed.
Soy-free, gluten-free, oil-free
Yield: 4 servings
Total prep time: 20 minutes
Total cooking time: 20 to 40 minutes
Per 1 ½ cups: 123.0 calories; 2.1 g total fat; 1.6 g saturated fat; 2.7 g protein; 24.8 g carbohydrate; 3.8 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol.
Along with The Great Vegan Bean Book, Kathy Hester has also published two other fantastic cookbooks: Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You and The Vegan Slow Cooker. All are available on Amazon.