Quick Ideas for Using Canned or Leftover Beans
Chef Nancy’s article “Usin’ the Old Bean“ offers several easy suggestions for preparing dishes with canned or leftover cooked beans. Nancy says, “Doesn’t it always seem as if you have either leftover cooked beans in the refrigerator or extra cans of beans staring out at you from the pantry? Cooked or canned beans are certainly edible in their natural state. But this can get so boring!”
Some of her international bean dish ideas primarily using garbanzo or white beans (also called Great or small Northern beans) include:
Italian: Toss lightly with tomato sauce, minced garlic or garlic powder (be careful, since garlic “grows” in power as it’s heated), dried red pepper flakes, and chopped fresh or dried basil.
Greek: Toss very lightly with olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, and chopped black olives; if you’d like to serve this cold, toss in some chopped cucumbers and fresh tomatoes.
Central American: Add in chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped onions, and chopped green bell peppers; if you’d like some heat, add some Tabasco or hot sauce.
English: Toss cooked white beans with ketchup or used canned vegetarian baked beans and serve on toast. (Beans on toast is a mild English teatime item.)
Indian (and this is a very Anglicized version): Toss cooked lentils or garbanzos with curry powder and chopped onions. If you have the time, purchase garam masala (spice mix) and some tandoori paste, then toss cooked beans with these and bake until bubbly.
Norwegian: Very mild, very pure-cooked, or baked beans flavored only with a small amount of bay leaf.
French: Invest in a small bottle of Herbes de Provence (found in most markets), an aromatic spice blend that includes lavender and thyme. Toss lightly with tomato juice, lemon juice, and Herbes de Provence. If you have the time, you can make a vegan cassoulet by simmering white beans with onion, garlic, tomatoes, vegan sausage, black pepper, and thyme.
Read the entire article on the Vegetarian Resource Groups’s website. Click here