Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Beans and Grains

The problem with vegetarian cuisine is how to make sure there will be sufficient intake of protein, especially if one wants to avoid dairy products. Beans contain protein. So do nuts, grains, mushrooms and some vegetables, but they don’t always contain all the proteins necessary. The trick is a varied diet, and the right combinations. Beans and grains seem to be the ideal marriage for the correct absorption of protein by our bodies. Hence the Jazz song Red Beans and Rice Are Paradise. Various types of foreign beans are now available in cans.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil with ground cumin, coriander, and paprika or chilli powder. Add chopped carrot and after a few minutes chopped green bell pepper. Add some fresh chopped tomatoes, and tomato juice or diluted tomato puree. Season to taste. Add the (drained) black beans towards the end, and some chopped parsley.
Serve over cooked brown rice, or quinoa, or bulgur, or even couscous, with a dollop of sour cream and hot pepper paste. In the Netherlands this would be called sambal, in France harissa, in the Americas hot sauce. Any of these will do. So will varying the vegetables (try cauliflower or celery), or the beans. (Do I need to specify?)

Delicious the next day, diluted as a soup!

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