Sunday, February 21, 2016

Trying out the new pressure cooker

We took the plunge and invested in a pressure cooker! It's been decades since we've used one, and we decided to go with the low tech model (Presto 6-quart) for $49.00 on Amazon. I read a lot of reviews and it sounded like the electric ones didn't hold the power after some time.

I soaked cannellini beans this morning - 4 hours total. It's important to drain and rinse beans before cooking. Then I covered the beans with water (must be under the half way mark) and a little cooking oil which is recommended to prevent too much frothing.

Let the pressure build up - takes about 10 minutes.  When the little "hat" starts to rock, you start the timer. The book says to cook for 2 - 5 minutes. We went with 4  minutes and will go with 3 next time as they were a little mushy. I will keep the book handy and put my own notes in.  I'll sauté the beans later in the week with olive oil, garlic, and spinach.

It makes groceries easier to not think about replenishing cans. I used half the bag of beans because I wasn't sure what would fit. It appears that I could have used a full pound of dried beans, but since cooking is so quick, it's nice to just have freshly cooked beans.
It does take some time (maybe 20 minutes or so) for the pressure to come down, but once you turn the heat off, you can walk away and not think about it. That's my kind of cooking!
And cooking beans in advance forces me to start the week with a plan.

Note: Seeing the little hat rocking about can be a little intimidating the first time you see it go. Just be sure to read the directions before using - there are built in safety features.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Black bean sunburgers adapted from quick fix vegan

I'm surprised it's taken me this long to get these sunburgers up on the blog because this recipe is a staple. We always keep canned black beans on hand and whole wheat burger rolls in the freezer. When there is nothing else in the house, I can always make these. And they're delicious! I haven't touched a bocaburger since I discovered this recipe from quick fix vegan. The smoked paprika is a nice surprise!

Black bean sunburgers

1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 small can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 c. vital wheat gluten flour (you may substitute garbanzo flour if avoiding gluten)
2 T. soy sauce
1 t. smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying
4 toasted burger rolls

Pulse beans, onion, gluten, sunflower seeds, soy sauce, paprika, and seasoning in food processor.

Divide bean mixture into 4 patties and fry on each side

Serve right away on burger bun. I've also brought these in for a work lunch and they're fine to eat cold.

Tip: I've made this recipe missing onion or sunflower seeds and it's still okay. You really just need the beans and the gluten (or garbanzo) flour for it to stick together. So easy!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cooking and freezing garbanzos

This won't be one of the more exciting posts, but I did want to share a way to have garbanzo beans easily available. While it's great to have canned beans as back-up, home cooked beans are cheaper and tastier. I used to have a pressure cooker and am considering getting another, but in the meantime, here goes...

1 bag dried garbanzo beans

Pour beans in colander and sort through making sure they're whole and there are no rocks. (I've never seen this, but that's what is says on the bag.) Rinse and cover beans about 2/3 full of water and soak overnight. The next day, drain, rinse, fill pot with water, bring to boil, and then simmer for about an hour and a half. Let cool in pot of water.

Drain beans and spread on cookie sheet prepared with non-stick spray. Stick in freezer. You can also use parchment paper which probably works even better.

After it's frozen, scrape the beans off the sheet using a plastic spatula.

Pour individual beans in ziploc bag and keep in freezer. I use these when I'm making a salad for work. You can pour out what you need and toss the beans on the salad in the morning and they're thawed by lunch time. I did this almost two weeks ago, made hummus and have had plenty for salads. Great protein!