Sunday, January 30, 2011

About Dry Bean Prices

A year ago we compiled a price comparison for dry beans. We recorded prices at six local sources including Aldi, the Bishop's Storehouse, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Meijer, and Wal-Mart.

The Bishop's Storehouse sells only black beans, Great Northern, and pinto beans, but in all three cases, buying 25 pounds of beans cost much less, sometimes less than half as much, as if purchased by the pound at a local grocery store. The next least expensive store, generally, was Wal-Mart.

If your budget is limited, when you choose to buy dry beans, be sure to compare prices at the stores where you frequently shop.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Soaking and Cooking Chart for Dry Beans

For easy use, we compiled information for soaking and cooking - a variety of cooking methods - for 18 different beans. All on one page for easy use, for you!

The cooking methods include boiling on stovetop, slow cooker on low and on high, and pressure cooker. Also on the page is the yield for cooked beans by cups for 1 cup dry beans. Again, it's not a PDF but you should be able to click on the image and print it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nutrient Profile for Cooked Dry Beans

We provided this handout at the Bean Fair so that all the information would be together on one page. I'm sorry I don't know how to upload a PDF but you should be able to click on the image and print it if you'd like to keep a copy with your recipe books and food storage information.

Other Bean Resources
Northarvest Bean Growers Association where you can find information about a variety of beans. I love the image at the top of their website where they display a variety of beans and then identify nine different beans individually. In addition, at this link they have information down the side of the page with more information about a variety of beans.

The U. S. Dry Bean Council offers another website, American Bean, where you can find Bean Basics, Bean Health and Nutrition, and Bean Varieties (a nice display and description of a variety of beans), among other things.

Another website, also called American Bean, offers recipes. It's last publication date was in 2008, but the recipes are still there.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Black Bean Vegetable Soup - a Hearty Winter Supper

This is an easy recipe that you can quickly prepare on a cold winter night. Our thanks to Carolyn M. for sharing it at our Bean Fair in November, 2009.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans vegetable stock (14 oz.)
2 cans black beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained
1 can whole kernel corn (8.75 oz.)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz.)

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
Add and cook onion, garlic, carrots, and celery, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is softened.
Add chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add stock, 1 can beans, corn, and pepper. Bring to boil.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, puree together tomatoes and remaining can of beans. Add to pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beans and Rice - A Filling Main Dish Recipe

This recipe is adjustable for quantity and taste and is very versatile. Measurements are estimates. It's a great way to use the beans and rice left over from dinner two or three nights ago. Thanks to Chasten R. for this recipe who shared it during our Bean Fair in November, 2009.

cooked rice
cooked beans (pinto or black beans)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
onion, chopped
cumin to taste
salt to taste
cilantro (optional)
diced tomatoes (optional)

The Method
Cook rice and beans separately according to directions. In a large skillet saute onion, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Add rice and stir to coat. Add salt to taste. Add beans, corn, and tomatoes, if desire, and stir. Cook over low heat until warm through, but not burnt on bottom. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with sour cream, salsa, and cheese.

Burritos: Roll in flour or corn tortilla with cheese and bake until cheese melts.
Tostadas: Top flour or corn tortillas with beans and rice mixture. Layer sauteed zucchini or other vegetable and top with cheese. Broil until cheese melts.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Have You Ordered Your Seed Catalogs Yet?

If you ordered seed catalogs last year, the 2011 ones have probably arrived without any effort on your part. If not, these companies have been recommended to us. Click and order, send a postcard with a request, or make a phone call.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
417-924-8918, 2278 Baker Creek Road, Mansfield, MO 65704
The Cook's Garden
800-457-9703, P.O. Box C5030, Warminster, PA 18974
Gurney's Seed & Nursery Co.
513-354-1491, P.O. Box 4178, Greendale, IN 47025-4178
John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds
860-567-6086, 23 Tulip Drive, P.O. Box 638, Bantam, CT 06750
Seed Savers Exchange
563-382-5990, 3094 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA 52101
Territorial Seed Company
800-626-0866, P.O. Box 158, Cottage Grove, OR 97424-0061
W. Atlee Burpee & Co.
800-888-1447, 300 Park Avenue, Warminster, PA 18974

One of the best things about seed catalogs is all the information they contain. You can learn about the growing conditions, size, and spacing of plants. Sometimes the catalogs suggest best uses for the vegetable and occasionally give recipes.

Personal opinion here: whether you order seeds from Baker Creek or not, order the catalog. The photographs will positively inspire you, they are so beautiful! And we hope the Lord inspires you about your garden.