For this week’s meal I decided to feature local red beans. I started off by forgetting to soak them, but fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Put dried beans in a pot, cover them with water and bring just to a boil. Then, let them sit for about 4 hours, replace the water and cook as normal. Every time I cook beans I plan to soak them all night, forget, and use the quick method. It works just fine.
While the beans were soaking, I got out my slow cooker recipe book and figured I could adapt a recipe for the stove. I ended up combining two recipes so I’ll try to remember how I did it... After cooking the beans half an hour, I added chopped up bacon ends, garlic, a whole sweet onion including the green part, salt and pepper. I cooked it for another hour, but it needed something, so I tossed in a bay leaf. About 30 minutes before it was done, I added cans of tomato sauce and tomato paste. I served it over rice, and with a tossed green salad.
I thought it tasted great. My husband looked at it suspiciously, although I noticed he ate it all. :) I hadn’t served any to Munchkin since he is such a picky eater, but near the end of dinner he wanted some of Daddy’s rice and beans. I gave him one bean and a tiny spoonful of rice. He ate the rice!!! He liked it!!! I know that sounds strange, but he’s never actually swallowed any rice before. Then, Munchkin put the bean in his mouth. I waited and watched as he didn’t spit it out immediately. It took a minute or two, but he decided to swallow it! I offered some more, and he accepted and ate those, too! He told me he's growing up! I think beans really are the magical fruit!