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Bean Challenge: One Dinner a Week

July 16, 2008

When we first started eating beans, we called it our "Bean Challenge"

In 2008, our family decided to eat more beans.  We called it our weekly “Bean Challenge”.  This post, originally from my previous blog “Striving Green”, tells the tale of how our we first started to incorporate beans into our family’s diet.

One of challenges I’m undertaking on behalf of our family is to have one meal a week that centers around beans. Beans are delicious, versatile, and our whole family likes them. And,
there is much to be said for a vegetarian diet vs. a meat based diet and their respective impacts on the environment.

Beans are most frequently used at our house as a side-dish, but not the focus of the meal. We haven’t to this point made a conscious effort to have one bean-centric dinner a week. Right now, it just happens if it happens.

So now is the time – one bean dinner a week. The secondary goal is to have our children eat it…AND enjoy it!

Fortunately, I like to cook, so this should be a fun challenge. As an added bonus, I prefer to cook without meat. Raw meat is not my favorite ingredient to handle/slice, etc. (ick) Typically, when my husband and I cook with meat, we usually give the warning to each other: “Watch out! There’s raw meat juice in the sink!” It will be nice to not have to proceed with caution when approaching the kitchen faucet.

I’ve flirted with vegetarianism in the past, but I feel a little rusty in the bean-recipe department. I welcome any of your favorite bean recipes! I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

By the way, my favorite bean is: garbanzos (pictured above).

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    July 16, 2008 10:25 pm

    What a great idea-since you love garbanzo beans, are you a big hummus eater? We love hummus! The Holy Land Deli makes some of the most delicious stuff, and their tabouli is fabulous too. My uncle makes a really tasty black bean salad, kind of like this recipe here: via Tina’s blog 🙂

  2. Lita permalink
    July 18, 2008 6:53 am

    i too enjoy holy land hummus–several varieties (with tahini, with spinach, etc.), and i recently discovered the hummus which mississippi market makes on site and it’s fabulous. slightly different texture equally delish (and a little less expensive). micaela, i’ve tasted your homemade hummus–you should market it! and yes–h/l tabouli is yummy!

  3. Lita permalink
    July 19, 2008 7:00 am

    have you tried using ‘edamame’ in recipes? a friend just heats them in microwave and eats them plain. they’re in the freezer section in stores. a great source of protein. here’s a recipe with edamame, garbanzos and kidney beans–a powerhouse! EDAMAME THREE-BEAN SALADEdamame is a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean, harvested at the peak of ripening right before it reaches the “hardening” time. Edamame means “Beans on Branches,” and grows in clusters on bushy branches. To retain freshness and natural flavor, it’s parboiled and quick-frozen. In East Asia, soybenas have been used for two thousand years as a major protein source, consumed as a snack, vegetable dish, in soups or processed into sweets. As a snack, pods are lightly boiled in salted water, then the beans are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth.For the Dressing2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar1 tsp. Dijon Mustard½ tsp. sea saltWhisk together and set aside.For the salad¼ tsp. pepper3 Tbsp. extra virgin Olive Oil 1 cup edamame 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzos (chickpeas), rinsed1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsedOptional: ½ cup corn, rinsed2 scallions sliced thin½ red bell pepper, diced2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, basil, or comboGently stir together, then fold in the dressing.

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