There are two things that I don't like about winter in Pennsylvania : the snow ( and ice), and how early it gets dark. By the time I get home from work, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking because I am cold, tired, and prefer to find refuge hiding under one of my warm fluffy down quilts than starting dinner.
I do enjoy a good dinner, so for me, there is nothing better than using my crockpot in the winter.
Imagine walking into the house hungry for dinner, and finding that dinner is ready for you.
After a days work, I love opening the front door, walking into the kitchen, going directly to my crock pot, lifting the lid , peering inside, and marveling at how smart I was to think of using my crock pot.
To make this easy healthy bean's recipe in a crock pot, I have to start thinking about soaking the dry beans by 6:30 -8:30 the night before because the beans have to be soaked overnight. I have to empty and rinse a bag of mixed dry beans, place them in a large bowl, cover them with water, and then ignore them until about 6:30 the next morning.
In the morning, before I leave for the day, I rinse the beans, place them in my crock pot with 3 large carrots ( cut in half), 2 T of dry ground ginger ( fresh doesn't work) , a few shakes of Trader Joe's 21( no salt) Salute, and enough water to cover the beans( about 6 cups), put the temperature setting on low ,and leave for work.
When I return at about 4:00 pm.. the delightful aroma smells like I have been at home cooking all day. The beans form their own little sauce in the crock and are delightfully soft, tasty and filling. With a large salad, and a slice of gluten free bread, we call it a meal.
For a faster version: Cover beans with water in a pot, bring beans to a boil, turn off heat and cover. Allow to sit in the water covered for about 2 hours to soften them After 2 hours, drain water and place the beans in a crock pot and follow recipe. Put the crock pot on high and check to see when they look done ( about 3-4 hours).
This particular bean recipe is very simple, ( yet very tasty), but you can also use recipes that include more vegetables and potatoes. Some people say that cooking the beans with a quartered potato cuts down on the gas. Others say that the more you eat beans, the more you increase the amount of good bacteria and intestinal flora in your gut, which helps digest beans. Of course, there is always "Beano," a digestive enzyme to help digest beans that is available in most health food stores.
My favorite bean mix is a mix called "cholent beans". ( For those on the East coast, I buy it in the Kosher Experience Section of Shoprite) It is a combination of navy beans, small kidney beans, and pinto beans. ( you can make your own by combing the beans)It is the basis of an old Eastern European " Cholent" recipe which orthodox Jews baked overnight to eat for the Sabbath meal on Saturday. Traditionally, barley, potatoes, and flanken bones are added to the cholent beans.
My gluten free vegetarian version just uses the combination of beans, ground powdered ginger ( a must), a piece of fresh garlic, a little Trader Joe's 21 Salute spice mix. and 3 cut up carrots. After a slow slimmer for 7 hours in the crock pot, the flavor is amazing.
Are beans healthy? You bet!
Very high in fiber , good source of protein,( when eaten with a grain like rice, quinoa, bread ( GF) ) and provides magnesium, iron, potassium, and is a slow burning complex carbohydrate to help regulate blood sugar.
To boot, beans are very inexpensive, easy to make, and are a very healthy addition to your weekly menu. Think some version of rock pot beans at least once a week in the winter..
I USUALLY INCLUDE STEP BY STEP PICTURES, BUT ALL MY PICTURES FOR THIS BLOG POST WERE DELETED BY A FAMILY MEMBER WHO WE WILL NOT NAME!
If you have a good vegetarian bean crock pot recipe, add your recipe or link to your blog in the comments ( scroll to bottom, look for the green box and the word comments. Click comments and add yours..)
This recipe is posted on the following fabulous blog hops: Click for a variety of recipes.
Hearth and Soul Hop, Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Twister, Simple Lives Thursday, It's a blog party, Foodie Friday, Real Food Wednesday , Fight Back Friday,
Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays, Katies Cucina , Friday Potluck , Gluten Free Wednesdays