and Beer in a Burger!
you know that beans are good for you. In fact, the tiny fruits of
the legume family are nutritional powerhouses, packing calcium, iron,
protein, complex carbohydrates and soluble fiber. So why don't we
eat more beans and peas?
people just find legumes to be laborious. Whole dry beans, though
inexpensive, require cleaning, soaking and rinsing until free from
the flotsam common to foodstuffs from the soil, and after all that,
more simmering on the stove top to achieve tenderness.
for time-pressed cooks interested in good nutrition is here. The instant
bean can be prepared in 10 minutes or less. Just add beer and stir.
like a recipe for freeze-dried camp food? Fortunately,
the techniques used to create today's instant bean lock in flavor
more effectively than early experiments did.
can be cooked and dehydrated on a drum roller under hot air; freeze-dried;
or cooked with infrared heat; or cooked, mashed into a paste that
is extruded into pellets and dried, and then flaked or milled. Each
of these processes yields slight differences in the instant bean that
suit its culinary use.
beans may be baked into snack crackers (such as corn chips made with
pinto beans), or added to a mix with rice or pasta and seasonings
to make side dishes, or blended with dehydrated minced vegetables
and spices for instant soups and dips.
for food processors is another reason the food industry has embraced
the instant bean. Instead of cooking carloads of beans, or lifting
heavy cans, the instant bean is lightweight and nutritious, and blends
well with other ingredients.
at Outpost Foods Co-op, says: "Convenience is the main reason consumers
choose the instantized beans. With the instantized products, especially
the bean soup-in-a-cup, it's portable, takes minutes to fix, the nutritional
quality is almost identical and the taste is wonderful."
products featuring instant beans include the Bean Cuisine line from
Reily Foods, Fantastic Foods, and Taste Adventure of Harbor City,
Calif. Taste Adventure prepares its instant bean blends in small quantities,
to yield instant soups of surprising depth of flavor and creamy texture.
They also make plain instant bean flakes.
founder of Taste Adventure, is a third-generation vegetarian. "I've
always enjoyed cooking lots of vegetables, and beans were part of
my staple diet," Williams says. "When I started working with a company
that had just developed a patent for instantizing the bean, I decided
to formulate some recipes. All our products are low-fat, and we always
use ingredients that can be found in most home kitchens."
Adventure bean soup mixes can be used to make dips or fillings for
burritos, and they even can be used dry as crunchy salad sprinkles
or toppings for baked potatoes.
popular product blends the instant bean with noodles and seasonings
for quick skillet suppers and side dishes. Zatarain's makes a Cajun
style red beans and rice that fixes up nicely with a dash of lager
are two simple recipes -- ready in 15 minutes or less -- that feature
the instant bean.
Bean Beer Soup (based on recipe from Taste Adventure)
vegetable or beef broth
12 oz. amber lager or bock
3/4 cup fresh tomato "pico di gallo" salsa
1 1/2 cups instant black bean soup mix
2 green onions, minced (include some green leaves) for garnish
1/3 cup each minced red and yellow bell peppers for garnish
1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco (Hispanic cheese) for garnish
broth, beer and salsa in pot until simmering. Stir in soup mix, and
let simmer 5 minutes. Prepare garnishes, if using. In the time it
takes to prepare garnishes, mixture will blend into thick, chunky
black bean soup. Remove from heat. Divide among four soup bowls and
top each with one-fourth of each of the garnishes. Makes four 1-cup
are more flavorful than most frozen brands of veggie burgers, thanks
to the beer. If you have a food processor to mix the blend, the patties
will be easier to form. If not, the patties will be somewhat loose
Bean Burgers (recipe by Lucy Saunders, all rights reserved)
cups black bean flakes
1 cup pinto bean flakes
1 cup peeled and minced white onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup minced pimento or roasted red peppers (drained)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons ground chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 oz. amber lager, warmed
1 egg white
Cornmeal to dust burgers
Corn oil to fry patties
ingredients except egg white, corn meal and corn oil in food processor
fitted with metal cutting blade, or in a large bowl. In another bowl,
whip egg white until thick, white and foamy, but not stiff. Stir into
mixture, blending well, and chill 30 minutes, or until beans have
absorbed moisture. Form bean burgers with your hands, about 4 inches
in diameter and 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, and dust both sides with cornmeal.
Fry with 2-3 tablespoons corn oil in non-stick skillet placed over
medium-low heat until crusty and browned, about 5 minutes on each
side. Keep warm in 250-degree oven until ready to serve. Makes 8 bean