Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beans, beans the magical fruit......

Magic indeed.  and they really are good for your heart!

Great Northern Beans with Sausage and Kale
You may be reluctant to eat beans because of their propensity to cause well ...flatulence. It seems that beans contain a sugar called oligosaccharide that we as humans cannot digest. Because it isn't broken down during digestion and is passed through the body, it causes gastric discomfort before it is expelled. We can reduce effect this by rinsing and changing the water that the beans are soaked in several times before cooking or by using rinsed (to reduce salt) canned beans. Now that you know how to reduce the gas that beans may produce, there is no excuse not to try them.
After talking with John, one of my now vegan friends, I decided to give beans a try. I added a little meat this time, because we like to eat it. Feel free to leave it out if you don't.

What you will need:

1 pound great northern beans
6 cups of water
2-3 sausages raw or precooked; you can substitute bacon, ham or smoked meats  
fresh kale (I used a big bunch from the farmers' market)
2 large onions chopped
chopped mushrooms (I used shiitaki)
a few cloves of garlic  minced  or garlic powder
olive oil

Prepare beans by soaking them for at least 8 hours, changing  the water several times while soaking, rinse well before cooking. Add the rinsed and drained beans, 6 cups of water  along with 1 of the chopped onions, one or 2 of the mushrooms and a little garlic in a dutch oven or soup pot. If you are using sausage or other meats, add them now. Cover and simmer gently over low heat for 2-3 hours or until beans have reached the desired tenderness.

Wash kale and trim ends,  chop. You may find it easier to stack the leaves and roll  them up to chop them. I usually cook the stems too, but you can remove them and save them to use in your soup stocks.

Heat oil in pan and add onions, mushrooms and garlic, cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add washed kale and toss together, cover and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes  or until the kale is tender. You might add a little water to help them steam.

In a serving dish, layer bean and kale mixtures in layers or just mix together like I did. That is the way the Beeblettes like it. Serve with a garden salad. 

1 comment:

  1. Meh. Your blog makes me hungry.
    It looks (and sounds) so good!


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