Beans: progress report and a recipe

Husband made the drink. It’s very strong!

I just got back from returning my beans book to the library. Well, not just just, since I’ve been putting off writing this post for about half an evening now. Guess I just needed to get enough martini-glass margarita and World of Warcraft in me to get enough of the creative juices flowing. Now that they’re going, I thought I’d treat you to the recipe I’d promised quite a few posts ago. The dish my husband and I spontaneously made on a weekenight and just-as-spontaneously added some garbanzo beans to. It was the right move. So we re-created it last night, and it was just as good as remembered.

I also took better (visual) notes of the process, so I could more accurately share it with you!

So, let’s go through this step-by-step. It’s super easy, and nearly everything comes from a can. I’m pretty sure we got everything except the garbanzo beans, coconut milk, and vegan Worcestershire at Costco. But you might be able to get all those at Costco as well!

First, put some oil, salt, and pepper into a pan and start heating it up at medium heat.

Add a layer of chicken breasts, thighs, or tenders (we’re using frozen chicken tenders from Costco). Cover each piece of chicken with a smear of tomato paste.

You can add a second layer of chicken and tomato paste if you’d like. This was actually the first time I’d tried it this way, and it worked very well! Then pour on a good glug of Worcestershire sauce (we used a vegan version because it’s what I had in my fridge, and I think it’s more interesting than the regular version).

Then pour on a can of lite coconut milk (can go heavy if you’d prefer!), and two cans of pineapple chunks in juice. Do not use the ones in syrup. I did that once and it was a nasty, sticky mess.

Then, for the pièce de résistance, add in a nice, huge can of no-salt garbanzo beans! Salt and pepper liberally (maybe not terribly liberally, use your judgement). We also added a good dusting of garam masala (maybe a couple tablespoons?), two big pinches of fenugreek leaves, and a bunch garlic powder.

Give a good stir, making sure all the pieces of chicken are submerged, then set the heat to high until bubbling. Once it’s bubbling, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes to…. pretty much however long you want to. You can double check if the chicken is done with a meat thermometer to make sure everything’s properly done, if you’d like.

We served it with brown rice.

Last night, since hubby had to work later than expected (and I underestimated how long brown rice takes to cook), the meal simmered for over an hour and the chicken was still nice and tender when we dug in.

This meal is also super yummy if you use frozen salmon, instead!

It’s a variation on a meal my mom often made for the family on weekdays. Really yummy flavor profile, really easy prep, and usually a good amount of leftovers to have for the rest of the week!

Couldn’t recommend it enough.

As for the progress report, the book has been read and a lot of inspiration has been gathered. I have many (actually, too many) ideas for future posts, but I think a few of the ones that I’m most eager to write are:

Beans: To Catch A Killer (this one was not actually inspired by the book, but by a TV show I happened to watch this week)

Famous people named after beans (sounds like a Jeopardy category)

Hello Dahl-y (I actually can’t help myself): beans in India

and

Soy, the sacred grain.

There are plenty more where that came from, but we’ll see how long I want to run this bean marathon before starting to sprinkle in other subjects!

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