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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Vegan 6-Bean Wraps

I quite like beans.  Legumes.  Pulses.  Whatever.  They're delightful.

They're extremely nutritious, satisfying, and kinda really good for you too.

In fact, and causing some chagrin in the wife, I try to make some sort of bean dish weekly.

Most of the time I buy canned beans of various kinds, which is OK—I believe—as long as you read your ingredient labels assiduously.  If the ingredients are basically just beans, maybe beans with water, then you're fine... but be wary, some beans have added sugar, sodium, or worse!

Anyway, most of the time I use canned beans, but every so often I like to make a big batch of homemade beans.

Incidentally, if you're on a budget, go straight to the dried beans aisle of your grocer.  These things are dirt cheap, last forever, and can feed an army.

You do have to 're-constitute' them a tad... which is basically just re-hydrating them by soaking them overnight.

First give them a good wash (rinse, scrub, rinse, with fresh water).

Then put them in a sealed container with enough water to cover them entirely.  I use filtered water for this part, because most of it is going to be absorbed by the beans.

If this is just overnight, room temperature is fine, but if you wanted to let it soak for a day or longer, put it in the fridge.

If you were wondering what my six beans are here, I will now tell you.  ;)

We have small white beans, cannellini beans (big white ones), romano beans (large brown ones), pinto beans (small brown ones), black turtle beans (little black ones), and garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (the pale yellow round ones).


Those got soaked for a while (I left mine in the fridge for a couple of days... only because things came up and I wasn't able to make them when I thought), but when I pulled them out they were easily 50% bigger.

Also, the black turtle beans kind of stained the white beans!  Heh heh heh.  Whatevs.

I am a strong believer in cooking the shit out of beans.  So that's the first thing I do.  After I strain the beans, dumping the soak-water, I start a large pot with clean fresh filtered water, stir in a spoonful of salt, and bring it to a boil.

After it starts to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for hours.  Yes.  Hours.

Let's just say this:  it is really, really, hard to over-cook dried beans.  I dunno what it is about them... they're good to simmer a very long time, as long as there's still moisture in the pot (you should check periodically that all the water hasn't been absorbed/evaporated, adding more as needed).

Anyway, I might be exaggerating slightly, but I will say that I've simmered beans like this for at least a few hours.

Once they've plumped up nicely, and are soft to the touch (I don't like 'bite' to my beans... some do...I don't), remove from heat.  You can let them cool off if you like, doesn't really matter.


Anyway, that's actually the easy part!

While this is happening (and before the latest pic above), I roasted a shit tonne of veggies.

Well, technically I just roasted a red pepper and some tomatoes, but I prepped a tonne of shit. including onion, garlic, habanero pepper, and cilantro.

Starting with sweating the onion and some garlic.

I added a whole habanero.  Well, minus the seeds and the placenta (yes, that's what it's called).

Saute that for a bit and then puree it with my immensely trusty immersion blender.

Then dump that puree into my slow cooker.

Where it will stay, awaiting my second puree, made from my roasted vegetables.

I find it satisfying peeling a roasted red pepper.  I don't know why.  I just do.  It's fun.

For the tomatoes, I added an extra step I normally wouldn't for most other concoctions (like a sauce or a soup, for example), and I squeezed out any excess juice.

Why?  Because I wanted to.  Shut up and stop asking stupid questions.

No, seriously, because I wanted these beans to be 'dry' ish.  I planned on putting these in 'wraps' or 'burritos' later, and I don't love liquidy filling that drips all over you when you try to bring it to your mouth hole.


Those roasted veggies I pureed along with a VERY generous helping of fresh cilantro.

And then added it to the slow cooker.

Stir in some herbs and spices, which, in order of concentration are: cumin, salt, oregano, and smoked paprika.

Using my trusty herb/seed grinder, I pulsed that up nice and fine.

Stirring the whole mixture together = flavour town.

A delightful base for many, many different dishes, this could go almost anywhere at this point.  But we're going to take it to bean country.  Show it around a bit... let it meet the locals and make some questionable decisions only even pondered when on vacation.

Stir well.  Cover.  Cook.

One of my favourite reasons to use my slow cooker, is that it keeps things so uniformly warm I can forget about it in a way I never could when using an oven.  That can sit in there for hours with no effort or even thought from me.  Useful when suppertime is not a guaranteed, set, time.

When it is time to eat, either eat is by itself, or spoon it out into some wraps.  Masa Harina corn tortillas, wheat flour wraps, or even lightly blanched collard green leaves.... whatever... it's all good.

I recommend another generous helping of fresh cilantro though, on top.

This stuff is great.

Super delicious, and pretty darn good for you, this meal is not only satisfying and filling, but also brings a healthy spattering of nutrition with it, such that it is basically a healthy balanced meal in and of itself!