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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!
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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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Old 11-01-2005, 02:00 PM   #11
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Simon, are you considering honey as a sugar? Or did you mean refined sugar? If you're up for a little honey, a TBSP or two stirred through some white, basmati/jasmine or whole grain rice with grated carrot, fresh parsley, a pinch (and I mean just a pinch) or cinnamon, and toasted almonds is one of my very favourite rice dishes. I whipped it up off the top of my head to go with a middle eastern meal once and it's since become a staple dish in our house. (In all fairness I suppose the honey could be left out, too )
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Old 11-01-2005, 05:30 PM   #12
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Simon;
Give me an idea of what types of beans and grains you wish to cook. I'll give you a host of ideas. The two groups you gave us are very broad and can be made into everything from pies to soups, not to mentions a thousand different side dishes.

For instance, the humble black bean can be used in chili, mixed with rice, flavored with cumin and coriander with a bit of salt and pepper, or cooked with cayenne pepper. They can be mashed, salted, and served with salsa and tortilla chips. Black beans can be cooked with lean pork, a little mollases, and Splenda to make great and different looking baked beans. Or you can just cook them in water (after cleaning of coourse) add salt, a bit of milk, and serve them in bean soup.

The variations are nearly endless. I've even had a pie that was very hard to tell form pumpkin pie, made with eggs, pinto beans, sweetener and spices.

Let me know what flavors you prefer, and I'll see what I can come up with. Also, bump this thread every now and again as there are so many experienced cooks around this site that you'll get so many great recipes and techniques about nearly anything you could ask about, that you won't have room to store it on your hard-drive.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 12-10-2005, 03:37 PM   #13
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Since having to eat more healthy, one of the things I am doing is increases grain and beans. I have noticed that I reach for the garlic with making these things. I love to get the fresh garlic in the bottle that is already cut up. Just grab the bottle and start spooning:)
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Schaap
Since having to eat more healthy, one of the things I am doing is increases grain and beans. I have noticed that I reach for the garlic with making these things. I love to get the fresh garlic in the bottle that is already cut up. Just grab the bottle and start spooning:)
I'm with you on that one Michael! I've also found that rosemary works wonders with a lot of beans (especially white ones) and lentils.
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:39 PM   #15
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I usually eat steamed organic brown rice twice a day. Maybe I'm in a rut, but I like it steamed with a pinch of salt.

I also eat beans, cooked from scratch virtually every day. I make pintos, black, kidneys, pink, adzuki, great northern white, navy, black-eyed peas, etc. either by them selves, or in combination.

After soaking overnight, or pre-boiling for an hour you drain the liquid. Lately I have been mixing an organic vegetable broth made by Pacific and water as the cooking liquid as the Grocery Outlet had them on sale for 50 cents (normally about 3 bucks), but plain water also works well. Add enough so that there will be liquid covering the beans when finished. I'll add some chopped veggies, various peppers, onions, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, etc and sometimes squirt in some Vietnamese chili garlic sauce or add a bay leaf.

I then cook for about an hour, adding salt near the end and smash a portion of the beans against the side of the pot with a spoon.
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:46 PM   #16
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welcome simon.

lol, you should start every post with "simon says", or you might not get a lot of responses.

btw, all of you guys that responded so far are out.
oops, that means me too, grrrrrrrrr...
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Old 12-16-2005, 04:11 PM   #17
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I like the idea of Yakuta with Garbanzo (chick peas?).
Also, a good quality evoo makes a world of difference to those beans or chick peas straight out of the tin. Drizzle some of them over, then add thinly sliced scallion and s&p also a dash of garlic if you prefer, they won't taste "bland" anymore!!
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:21 PM   #18
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I'm back from the hospital. Not back in the kitchen yet, but in bed (all is well. The tumor is out and the doctor said it could not have gone any better... not cancerous). Well last Wensday I tried to make some wild rice. Was not bad. But needs work. I am told that Santa might be giving me the book "1,000 Indian recipes". That should help a lot.
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:14 PM   #19
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Simon, if you can list exactly which types of legumes or grains you would like to use, we could help you a lot better.
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