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Old 10-30-2005, 01:20 PM   #1
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Grain and beans flavoring?

Hi,

Warning - I'm an absolute newbie cook. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a lot of grains and beans can be easily cooked, especially in microwave. However, they normally taste very blandly. Ar there easy ways to add flavor to cooked grains and beans that do not include sugar or animal fat?

Thanks!

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Old 10-30-2005, 01:35 PM   #2
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WElcome to Discuss Cooking, Simon. You'll like it here.

You can try adding some fresh or canned tomato, chile peppers, any herbs and spices.

Do a search on bean (or whatever grain) recipes and you'll get a long list of options.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:37 PM   #3
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You can add nuts or dried fruit. Cranberries are great with a wild and brown rice medley. Slivered almonds go good with green beans. I sprinkle green veggies (broccoli, etc) with a garlic herb blend.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:55 PM   #4
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A lot depends on the kind of beans you have experimented with. A lot of Ethnic cuisines use beans and make it a variety of ways some more easier from a work perspective than others.

If you are a newbie and are looking for easy ways here are some of my suggestions:

Garbanzo beans:

Open one large canned garbanzo beans, wash them and get rid of the slimy liquid in them. Drain them

In a bowl add finely chopped cilantro, some fresh mint, 1 red onion finely chopped. A small jalapeno finely chopped (if you like to give it some spice). Squeeze juice of a lime and also a finely diced tomato. Let it all marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or so before eating by itself or as a side to a meal. It's healthy and delicious (no oil).

Another idea for garbanzo or navy beans is to dress them up in a dressing made with orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper and some fresh parsley and let them marinate in that for an hour. Serve on top of a simple green salad along with some walnuts, craisins and blue cheese (it's delish).

Canned black beans are also very versatile. You can open a can of black beans, wash them similar to garbanzo and then let them drain.

You can mix them with a can of whole kernel corn (again drained) a small dice of red and green bell pepper and add some cilantro and lime juice to it. You can create a simple quesedilla by placing a flour tortilla in a pan and then spreading some of this mixture on one tortilla, sprinkle some preshredded cheese and place another tortilla. Crisp it on both side, cut into wedges and enjoy. It's really easy to do. All you need to know is how to chop.

Pinto Beans (Refried canned ones) can be used to make a layered salad. You first put the canned beans in a pyrex dish, next add a bottle of mild or medium salsa on top of it, followed by sour cream. Next comes the cheese and some finely shredded lettuce and enjoy with baked tortilla chips.
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Old 10-30-2005, 02:04 PM   #5
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Great ideas, as usual, Yakuta. All I could think of was ham hocks, which were definitely NOT asked for.
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Old 10-30-2005, 02:42 PM   #6
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welcome simon! I simply cook grains and beans in fat-free vegetable or chicken broth for an extra flavor kick.
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Old 10-31-2005, 07:28 PM   #7
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Thank you all!
Simon
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:58 PM   #8
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beans cook nicely with onion and garlic, bay leaf or thyme, a little dry white wine, tomato paste or crushed or diced tomato, and vegetable broth. A friend of mine makes a simple white chili with white beans, veg broth, green chilis, and grated jalapeno jack cheese at the end. yum! lots of flavor. don't forget the salt and pepper. rice and grains can also be cooked in broth, with greens and root vegetables (brown rice with turnips and turnip greens is awesome!) with herbs or choice. a simple cinamon rice is nice with a hot chili. cina mon and veg broth will also flavor squash and couscous very well!

happy cooking!
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:35 PM   #9
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Rice can be made with chicken or veggie broth instead of water.
I also add cut up carrots, red peppers, sliced onions and or garlic to my rice.
Adding the veggies also makes it look pretty.
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:59 PM   #10
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Most grains I know of have a decent amount of flavor, but need salt to really bring it out. Don't forget to use salt
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