Recently I stumbled across a terrific cookbook that has just about blown my mind. Katie Kimball is the author of The Everything Beans Book … and I think she’s my new hero. As her Twitter profile describes, she “blogs at Kitchen Stewardship about real food, green goals, budget saving tips and God.” Whether you’re hoping to lower your grocery budget or increase your nutrition, this cookbook is a great place to start. Included in her fabulous eBook repertoire are: Healthy Snacks To Go, Kitchen Stewardship in the Big Woods (this is meal ideas for families that camp), and the last is the eBook I’ll be featuring here today on Moana Saves, The Everything Beans Book, 30 Frugal Nutrient-Packed Recipes for Every Eater.
You may be asking yourself why I am so excited about beans. I’m not just excited about cooking with beans but about Katie’s fabulous eBook. You see, the story behind my introduction to Katie began with my decision to improve the quality of meals I prepared for my family. Not only is it healthy to eat more beans and legumes but golly it sure is less expensive! After checking my small town library I was disappointed to find cookbooks that featured cooking with beans but were written in the 1940′s. That’s when I went online and found Katie’s site. After making a few of her recipes I quickly became convinced that cooking with beans can be deliciously easy.
Here are the reasons I’m loving The Everything Beans Book:
- The 24 page introduction details everything you need need to know to make cooking with beans easy, flavorful & fun. Here Katie discusses the health benefits of eating beans, the process of cooking dry beans and tips to counteract common arguments against beans.
- I’m loving the eBook format. It’s easy to search and I can cook from the .pdf file of the book stored on my phone, laptop, iPad or simply print a copy. (I’m always spilling on my paper cookbooks so I’m happy to have a digital copy if ever my printed copy became illegible.)
- Each recipe is evaluated with 3 scales: work intensity, kid-friendly and cost
- All recipes are flexible for special diet needs with gluten-free and dairy-free notes.
- Katie has put so much attention to detail into each recipe. Almost every recipe has an accompanying full page of notes on substitution and frugal ideas, details to troubleshoot the water content or heat and also freezing tips
- This eBook includes a variety of recipes including wraps & sandwiches, soups, pasta, and desserts. (Pastas? Yes! I made Katie’s Pasta with White Sauce pictured to the right. That’s an alfredo with white beans! My husband didn’t have a clue what he was eating and he loved it!)
As stated in the eBook’s introduction: “The purpose of The Everything Beans Book is to take away the mystery or fear that sometimes comes with dry beans. Every recipe has easy-to-follow directions for the most inexperienced cook but also has many adaptations to offer ideas for those comfortable in the kitchen.”
One recipe I’m enjoying over and over is the Mexican Black Bean Burger. I’ve heard of black bean burgers but I was always doubtful about their flavor. Mmmm! This recipe is a definite keeper! Beneath the recipe instructions I’ve included my additions that really give the burger pizazz and pop!
Mexican Black Bean Burger with Cilantro Lime Sour Cream
1 small onion, quartered
1/2 red pepper, cut into a few pieces
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapenos, seeds removed or ½-2 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
2 cups cooked black beans (or one can, drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 cups cooked & cooled green lentils
1/4 c. fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 ½ c. bread crumbs (plus more as needed)
Saute the onion and peppers in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 5-7 minutes or until they begin to soften; add the garlic the last minute and saute until lightly browned. Place the onion and pepper mixture into a food processor along with the cilantro; pulse until chopped. Add the black beans and lentils, processing until a mostly smooth pasty mixture forms. Add the salt, pepper, cilantro, cayenne (if using) and eggs. Continue to process the mixture, adding a 1/2 cup of bread crumbs at a time until incorporated and the mixture begins to stick together and pull away from the center blade. (If your food processor is petite simply remove the bean mixture to a separate bowl and stir in the bread crumbs by hand.) You want the burger mixture to be slightly sticky but not wet enough to drip from a spoon.
Coat your hands with flour and begin to form 1/2 to 3/4 inch patties. (Don’t add to much flour or the patty will dry out and get crumbly once cooked.) Cook in a well-greased skillet over medium heat for 5-8 minutes on each side. You want a simple even browning of the burger with slight crisping.
How I served my burger:
Top with salsa, avocado slices, tortillas chips (adding this crunch is a must!) and my cilantro lime sour cream.
Cilantro Lime Sour Cream (an original recipe by Jayne)
1/2 cup sour cream (may substitute with greek yogurt)
2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
Juice of half a lime
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and spread on your black bean burger bun.
Visit Kitchen Stewardship to learn more about Katie, her fabulously frugal life, and her fantastic Everything Beans Book.
This post was brought to you by Kitchen Stewardship. Any and all opinions here are my own.