A couple of weeks ago at the Farmers’ Market, a local foodie, author and real food promoter, Darya Rose, demonstrated one of her recipes in front of a crowd of food lovers. It was really a simple recipe but it stuck in my mind, and I had the pleasure of making it today.
She gave a few tips of how to cook well – use fresh ingredients, cook real not processed food, and choose seasonal food such as veggie and fruit. Then she also threw in a little tip about organic food buying. The biggest complaints she heard for organic food were that they are expensive, and how can we constantly afford them? The best way to save money in organic food and enjoy them is to focus on buying organic vegetables, which are much more affordable than fruits, or anything else.
Anyhow, back to the recipe. The first ingredient is heirloom beans (and Darya emphasized that we have to use them, as they taste that much better than normal beans). I have never heard of heirloom beans, and I think that heirlooms are mainly jewelleries. In fact, heirloom beans are the best of the kind of beans because they are grown by the smaller, local farmers, and the seed has been handed down throughout generations, and so the beans are not mass-produced. They are typically found in Central and Latin America. Usually I buy beans from the supermarket, and never think that they taste that great. A little research shows that these supermarket beans can be already 10 years old! No wonder. Heirloom beans are consumed within 2 years of harvest and really do look and taste fresh and nice.
Heirloom Bean Salad with Seasonal Vegetables (adapted from Darya Rose)
- cooked Rancho Gordo Scarlet Runner (big meaty dark purple beans)
- thinly-sliced carrots
- persian cucumber
- a few button mushroom
- finely-chopped green onions
- sliced radish
- olive oil
- rice or red wine vinegar (1-2 teaspoons)
- lots of fresh or dried parsley or your favourite herbs
- salt and pepper
– The heirloom beans have to be cooked ahead of time, which took a while (after boiling them for 5 minutes, simmer them in low heat for about 3 hours; cook a bunch if you can).
– Add the sliced veggie and herbs to the cooked beans.
– Add some olive oil, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
– Stir gently and enjoy.
It will be hard for me to go back to normal beans. Heirloom beans are great!! And, by the way, beans consist of proteins and plenty of fibre, and also have vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and can lower the risk of cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.
If you want to simply cook some warm beans for yourself, you can use a little oil, onions and garlic, and then sprinkle some fresh lime on them. Do savour the bean liquor!
Source: Eating Well