Tons of beans and nothing to do with them. True story. Here’s how it happened.
I bought a pressure cooker a while ago, because I fell in love with the thought of making tasty veggie stews in no time at all, cooking potatoes super fast to cut down on mashed-potato-making time, and especially cooking big batches of beans and lentils and stuff to store in the fridge or freezer and use them at my leisure. It was a great plan, and finally, after having the thing for a few months, I soaked a pound of beans overnight to cook the next day.
Firstly, a word of warning. If you’ve never soaked beans before, please know that they’re not kidding when they say that the dry beans expand to up to three times their size. Luckily I soaked mine in a bowl that was huge, and luckily I filled this huge bowl with water to the brim.
Let me illustrate what happened during a 5-hour soak.
Man, I was lucky I only soaked a pound. Cause I had bought a 2 lbs baggie, and I was tempted to use all of it, because it looked so liiittle! But no. I’m glad I didn’t. Cause, man.
Aaanyway. They went on the pressure cooker for 3 and a half minutes, which turned out to be a tiny bit long I think, because they came out slightly on the smooshy side. Still good and solid, but since I was planning to store them and use them later, I think 3 minutes would have been enough.
So, now I had this huge amount of beans (didn’t measure how much exactly), when I realized this: I didn’t actually have any plans for what to do with the beans. Here’s what I had thought earlier:
• bean burgers
• bean wraps
• bean tacos
• bean soup
• bean salad
• bean dip
• bean face mask
• bean doorstop
• bean underpants
Just from thinking through the list made me not want anything made of beans, suddenly. But I HAD to make SOMEthing! So I decided to make something that I could easily save for later. So I made chili.
It wasn’t the most elaborate chili ever made, but man, it actually turned out [SPOILER!!] awesome.
I sautéed some onions in a deep pot and added all the diced canned tomatoes I had in the house (one can of unseasoned, and one can of garlic, oregano, basil ones). After that, I threw in as many beans as the tomato stuff was willing to take, which was about a third of the cooked beans I had, leaving me with [SPOILER!!] a still pretty full Tupperware of beans in my fridge. Dammit.
I added just about every seasoning I thought sounded good for chili, which ended up being, in this order:
• some chili powder I bought at a Mexican market in Columbus, Ohio
• and unmarked, slightly tart smelling seasoning mix from aforementioned Columbus market
• a tiny bit of cinnamon, which made my house smell like Christmas
• oh yeah, salt
• and fresh ground black pepper
• dried minced garlic (because I was too lazy to mince some fresh)
• nutmeg (which further christmassified the smell in my house)
• and Worcestershire sauce.
I think that was it. These things were added gradually over the course of about 30-40 minutes while the chili was happily bubbling away on the stove. I sat back and reveled in the delicious scent of Christmas chili. So good.
When it was done, I had about 5 cups of chili, which I put into two containers for future lunches, one of which we had yesterday, and it was freakin’ delicious. I added a tiny bit of grade B maple syrup, which added to the awesome flavor, but made it a little too sweet for me. Next time, less syrup, added to more chili. It was still excellent.
So here’s the Bean Development for comparison. If I got my math right, a pound of beans could potentially make me 15 cups of chili. And since I didn’t have any other veggies in the house to throw in (like bell peppers), the whole thing ended up being ridiculously cheap. Like, basically the price of two cans of diced tomatoes, an onion, and a tiny amount of dried beans (the 2 lbs bag coast me about $2). Not bad at all!
But nooow, what do I make with the rest of these beans?? I think I’m gonna make at least half into bean burgers to freeze. Anyone got a favorite recipe?
And for the final third, I will take suggestions/requests. If you comment and tell me to make something with these beans, and it doesn’t require crazy ingredients, I VOW TO MAKE IT! Just don’t link me to recipes. I just want a meal idea, not instructions. This way I have some room to play.