I am so excited to have the opportunity to review this really cool cookbook, Vegan Beans from Around the World, by Kelsey Kinser. I would really like to incorporate more beans into my family’s diet anyway, so I figured taking a peek at this book would give me yet another reason to cook with beans. Not that I need another reason… beans are inexpensive and so nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein!
Vegan Beans from Around the World is a collection of 75 bean recipes, plus lots of useful information such as techniques for prepping beans, pros and cons of canned beans vs dried beans, information on different types of beans, and more. And while the recipes are all vegan, you don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy the great flavorful dishes in this book.
Some of the recipes that are right at the front of the line for us to try are the Green Bean Curry, Tuscan White Bean Soup, Canadian Split Pea Soup, Greek Lentil Salad, and Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream. There are so many delicious-looking recipes in the book, it was hard to figure out where to start, but in the end, I decided that the very first recipe would be a classic summer picnic recipe, Boston Baked Beans.
Usually I just buy baked beans in a can and heat them up to go with our burgers and dogs, but I can tell you that this homemade baked bean recipe has changed that! It is so delicious and flavorful, and the beans maintain a nice texture that is better than baked beans that have been sitting in a can for a while. And the liquid smoke (secret ingredient!) adds just the right amount of smokey, salty flavor. It is perfect in this recipe, and I can tell you I will be using it in future recipes as well as a flavor stand-in for ham or bacon!
- 2 cups navy beans (soak them in water overnight and then rinse thoroughly)
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ¾ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- Place the beans in a pot over medium-high heat and cover them with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
- Combine the molasses, salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke in a pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Drain the beans and place in a casserole dish with the onion. Pour the molasses mixture over the beans and then add water so that the beans are just covered with liquid.
- Cover the casserole dish and bake about 3 - 3½ hours, checking periodically to make sure the beans aren't drying out.
- If the liquid isn't quite thick enough, remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes
The general consensus from the family was that this dish was delish! (Although I must confess that Thing 2 was not completely on board. However, we can’t take his word for it in this case, because he has a texture issue with beans. Someday when he gets over that, he is going to love this recipe! ) If you are interested, you can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon or from many other booksellers!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the cookbook to review. However, all opinions expressed in this review are mine.
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