Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Crafty ways with legumes

I never grew up with legumes. My parents hate them. The thought of lentils makes my mother shudder. For me, I love legumes. I've been known to eat 4 bean mix straight out of the can. And in fact, right now as I'm typing this, I'm eating a wrap filled with kidney beans (and other things).

Jen from August Street isn't so excited about legumes, but has decided to give them a go as apart of the Low GI in July thing she's got going. I'd suggest, if you're just starting out on the legume adventure, to go with canned beans so you know what the texture of your legumes should be like, and then soak your own (they do taste so much better). I still used tinned beans from time to time but I find because I'm eating legumes regularly, I always have some sort of bean on to soak. And as long as you change the water they can soak for a few days. I should also mention that the whole unpleasant flatulence thing that everyone always talks about... it goes away after about a week of eating them regularly (regularly meaning maybe 4 times in a week?).

I'll now share my Top 10 favourite legume recipes (in no particular order):
  1. Chickpea and almond couscous: This is my all time favourite chickpea recipe. I could eat this all day. It's so good that it'd become a Christmas favourite with the whole of my dad's family and there's a lot of them!)
  2. Butter bean curry: I add broccoli and whatever is left in the fridge to this one as well. This is absolutely delicious
  3. Lentil and halloumi salad: Oh, this is delicious. I hate salads, but this one is an absolute favourite. I think it's the halloumi that makes it. Make sure you wash and drain your lentils well.
  4. Lentil shepherd's pie: I make this one for my family who were never brought up with meatless dishes and don't know how to take legumes being a "feature" of a meal. I have made this one low GI by replacing the potato mash with cauliflower mash (I head of cauliflower steamed and mashed with 2 tbsp thickened cream or sour cream).
  5. Mediterranean vegetable bake: So quick and easy to make. I'd never have thought to use weetbix in cooking, but damn, it goes good. Who'd have thought?
  6. Lentil lasagne: You can't go wrong with this.
  7. Chickpea and sweet potato koftas: I have made these for dinner parties before.
  8. Aromatic black eye bean curry: I recently tried this one out. Very flavourful! YUM!
  9. Bulghur and Chickpeas with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms: I don't know where to get roasted buckwheat groats, so I replace them with bulghur (cracked wheat) instead. You can buy it from Coles and Safeway.
  10. Hommus: a quick and easy dip that is terrific when that mid-afternoon hunger pang hits.
My favourite websites for legume recipes are:
Photo by this is emily


Jenaveve said...

What a fantastic post - just the thing I've been looking for although I fess up, I just about gagged when I thought about eating 4 bean mix straight out the can. (Milo straight out of the tin - no probs! But legumes... give me time).

And I was so excited to see a recipe for Kofta! Yummo - really want to try this one. Thanks for all the great recipes, I'm going to choose one for my next 'On the Menu'.

kt mac said...

i love beans, lentils and chickpeas!

Can't wait to try some of these recipies.
Seriously if I am ever stuck for an idea of what to cook I usually browse about your page and try and find something you have so many great recipes. You should make a cook book!

also.. i did dancing too. But we never got to wear fake eyelashes! how crazy!! Although I have really straight eyelashes (I now use a curler) and I remeber my mum trying to get them curly and accidently poking me in the eye with the mascara and being fed up that they wouldn't curl like the other girls!

Beth J said...

Jenaveve: Hahaha to be perfectly honest, I had a friend who admitted that he used to eat 4 bean mix straight out of the can. I told him he was absolutely disgusting. And then a few weeks later I decided to give it a go myself and, was embarassed to admit, I liked it.

Yay Katie - Another bean fan! I'm flattered you think I should make a cook book! Unfortunately I think my cooking style is a little bit too fuzzy for translating into book form... people get uncomfortable with the whole "Oh, just throw in whatever you have in the fridge and it will taste great" approach.

Trust me. You're not missing out on anything by not having to wear fake eye lashes.

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