Be(a)n obsessing!

Orchids

Beauty inspires. I never thought Beans were beautiful until now!

I am namby-pamby about being vegetarian. For a decision-action person, this is a hard.  And puzzling, since I am crazy about vegetables and tofu, and usually vegetarian meals taste better to me. I think also that vegetarianism is a wiser, more sustainable choice.

So why can’t I finally step over the meatless divide?   Should I blame it on my English meat-and-potatoes husband?  Rebellion against (other people’s) food rules?  A simple love of fish?

I might point one finger at the bean.  For all my love of every other kind of vegetarian protein, I have not loved beans.  An Indian dal Dal makhani or dal tarka over rice is wonderful. Lentils, fixed many ways and curried – delicious.  And I will cook up a pot of chickpeas for a delicious homemade hummus.

Any other bean has been a reluctant addition – black beans into chili, white beans into minestrone.  A dish of only beans?  An unlikely choice for me.  I thought beans were boring.  Plus, they were, well, plain and brown.

Since I care about variety and protein, the Bean was a vegetarian issue.

This week I had a breakthrough. I met the Scarlet Runner and made it in a ribolita.  Starting out on my morning dog walk, I thought I smelled steak – it was the beans that had been slow cooking overnight. I had been intrigued by its aesthetics, but a beautiful dark mottled skin with real taste?  I couldn’t believe this was a bean!

Then I tried black kabuli chickpeas that I had bought for the fun of it during an online lentil spree.  I was surprised – a chickpeas with real flavor and not mealy.  After a gorgeous and tasty salad with carrot disks and dried plums, (www.101cookbooks.com, but I substituted black kabuli for regular chickpeas), I was hooked.

Now I am waiting for my new order of beans with amazing names, like Goat’s eye and Yellow Indian Woman and Good Mother Stallard.  I was intrigued first by their beauty, like beautiful rocks. But now I am anticipating taste.

Today, armed with mask and gloves against the fumes of searing chiles, I gave my new batch of Scarlet Runners a royal treatment – a red mole.  Are Beans in Red Mole an improvement over chicken (not my favorite anyway) or salmon?  I have to say they held up to the test.  Delicious!

Scarlet Runners in Red Mole

Scarlet Runners in Red Mole

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3 responses to “Be(a)n obsessing!

  1. Oh no! Return of the mole?! Just kidding.

    Does this mean the conversion to vegetarian is complete? I’m also not a bean lover–except for azuki beans (though, same as you, I love lentils), so maybe you’ll have to introduce some of these delicious beans to me.

    Although, I have to admit they still don’t look very delicious! First picture is beautiful, however!

  2. Took me 10 years to overcome the reaction to my mole period and return to this beloved dish!

    On being completely vegetarian, can I do this without promises, so that if I have salmon it’s like having a cookie break from a diet??!

    • I don’t need any promises! I’m not trying to convert you–it’s a personal decision, and I think only decisions made independently are able to be lasting decisions anyway.

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