Archive for the 'beans' Category

White Bean White Bread

white bean white bread text1 White Bean White Bread

Two years ago I baked a couple loves of white bread using Julia Child’s recipe. They were nothing particularly special as far as breads go – the kind with the not-too-crusty crust that’s shaped like a caricature of toast when sliced. Soon after I made a peanut butter and jam sandwich on the aforementioned bread to pack in a school lunch (no allergies!), and it has since become referred to by W as My Favourite Bread. He asks for it by name, with butter or peanut butter or poached eggs or as a sandwich, and always quietly smiles when I have a loaf of it, or he sees me making a batch. But at one point I started to feel guilty for doling out so many thick slices of white bread, and figured I’d best inject some nutrition into it. In the form of pureed white beans, of course. They’re starchy, thick and have very little flavour on their own – they literally blend right in.

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I’m a fan of grainy breads – as a kid, it was whole wheat or nothing, preferably thin, square slices of dark bio bread that were so loaded with whole grains and seeds they practically crumbled when you took one out of the bag. (I asked for Wonder Bread for my birthday one year, and actually got it.)

white bean white bread 4 White Bean White Bread
white bean white bread 3 White Bean White Bread

I get the appeal of white bread, unfettered by tweedy grains, and I can empathize with W’s love for white bread sandwiches. And yet – there’s no reason white bread should consist of little more than white flour and yeast. I’ve done plenty of baking with pureed white beans in the past – they boost fibre as well as protein – and so I whizzed up a can to add to the dough, and hey! They blend right in – a sleuthy nutritional boost to his PB & J and morning toast. I am the bean ninja.

white bean white bread Collage1 White Bean White Bread

White Bean White Bread

2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 19 oz (540 mL) can white kidney or navy beans, drained
6-6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened

Pour 1/2 cup of the water into a bowl and sprinkle over the sugar and yeast; let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. (If the yeast doesn’t do anything, toss it out and buy fresh yeast.)

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the beans with the remaining 1 1/2 cups water until as smooth as you can get it. Add to the yeast mixture along with about half of the flour. Stir until well blended. Add the rest of the flour, the salt and butter and stir with the dough hook (or by hand) until well combined and shaggy. Continue to knead (I let the dough hook go for about 8 minutes, poking it down once in awhile) until it’s smooth and elastic. You could do this by hand, too. If you used the dough hook, turn the dough out onto the countertop and knead a few times to make sure it’s evenly smooth. Doesn’t it feel great?

Shape it into a ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let it sit for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until it’s doubled in size.

Butter two loaf pans. Punch the dough down and pat each piece into a rectangle that’s about – or a bit bigger than a standard piece of paper.

Starting at a short end, fold it in thirds, like a letter. Place seam side down in the loaf pans, tucking the ends in. Cover with the tea towel again and leave them for an hour, until they puff right up out of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375°F and put the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the loaves are honey brown. Immediately turn the loaves out of their pans and onto a rack to cool.

Makes 2 loaves.

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March 19 2014 | beans and bread | 12 Comments »

Crispy Black Bean & Feta Tacos with Brussels Sprout Slaw

Black bean tacos Crispy Black Bean & Feta Tacos with Brussels Sprout Slaw

Ah, January. Everyone’s so busy making this our Best! Year! Ever! And to that and, I know many of you are juicing it up, pumping it up, sweating it out, paying your holiday penance by eschewing fat/carbs/protein/solids or being exclusive to any of the above. As for me, I downloaded a “good habit” app and instructed it to remind me to drink more water, and now I turn off the alarm on my phone several times a day and feel guilty about the fact that I should be drinking more water.

black bean tacos 3 Crispy Black Bean & Feta Tacos with Brussels Sprout Slaw

I’d like to say I’m immune to it all, but I do get caught up in the healthy eating vibe, and post-cookiepalooza is as good a time of year as any to realize that Almond Roca for breakfast is not necessarily a good life habit, and a dramatic drop in food-centric parties and epic 8 course dinners makes it a bit easier to wean oneself off the literal gravy train. Most years, instead of dramatically breaking up with all things doughy and delicious, I quietly promise myself I’ll eat more soup, and more veggies, and have more dinner parties. These resolutions are on the roster most years, along with fresh motivation to eat more nutrient-dense things. (Alas, this does not include extra-gooey cinnamon buns. But fortunately it’s what you do most of the time that matters, not all of the time.)

black bean tacos 2 Crispy Black Bean & Feta Tacos with Brussels Sprout Slaw

I made tacos. Tacos! Tacos are trendy this year. You can open up a little taqueria in the kitchen, mash up some canned black beans with a pinch of chili powder and cumin and a bunch of crumbled feta, wrap it all up in a corn tortilla and cook until crisp, then stuff the extra room with Brussels sprout slaw. They’re quite tasty-and fast, good for you and cheap. A resolution all wrapped up and ready to eat.

Crispy Black Bean & Feta Tacos with Brussels Sprout Slaw

Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2009.

19 oz (540 mL) can black beans, rinsed and drained
juice of a lime, divided
2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
½-1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cups finely shredded Brussels sprouts
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. honey
canola oil, for cooking
1 pkg. small fresh corn tortillas

In a medium bowl, roughly mash the black beans with a squeeze of lime juice, the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss in the feta. In a small bowl, toss the shredded Brussels sprouts and cilantro with a drizzle of olive or canola oil, the honey and another good squeeze of lime. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Warm the tortillas to make them more pliable, then fill with the bean mixture, folding it over to enclose. Cook in the hot skillet, turning as necessary, until golden and crisp. Fill with the Brussels sprout slaw.

Serve immediately. Serves 6 or so.

pixel Crispy Black Bean & Feta Tacos with Brussels Sprout Slaw
button print gry20 Crispy Black Bean & Feta Tacos with Brussels Sprout Slaw

January 09 2014 | beans and vegetarian | 9 Comments »

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