If you know me well, you probably know that I frickin love beans (and all other legumes). Like they really are my favourite thing. I will eat a tin of baked beans just on their own (not cold from the tin, I don’t quite go that far). So, yeah, my point is – beans are great!
Now, if you look at an image like this you’ll be blown away by just how amazing beans are! Excuse me, while I go eat nothing but beans for the rest of my life. I kid – but I could and would, if it didn’t mean that I’d miss out on all my other food-loves. So in order not to get too carried away by the bean-train, let’s break this down. Beans do have a lot more protein than meat and other animal sources BUT beans are an ‘incomplete’ source of protein. This means that they have fewer essential amino acids than animal sources. All of the proteins in our fragile human vessels are made from chemicals called amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Some amino acids we can produce ourselves (these are non-essential amino acids, because they’re non-essential) and some we can’t make so have to get them from other sources (these are the essential amino acids). Beans have a lower amount of these essential amino acids – see graph below. However, this isn’t a bad thing, as you (hopefully) aren’t trying to get all of your recommended daily intakes in one meal. It is more than possible to get enough of the right protein from plant sources!
Beans are generally just an all-round better source of things – like fibre and iron! Which are very essential. Also, beans have the added benefit of being lower in saturated fat, cheaper, and much less calorific than a big ol’ hunk of meat. Not to mention the vast difference in environmental impact between beans and meat products – with beef just blazing a trail in levels of how terrible it is for the environment. So, my point is, beans are great and I love them.
My Fave Beans Recipe:
I learned this recipe from a girl I lived with in Australia and I haven’t stopped making it since. However, I normally just make it from memory (so it does change slightly every time) but I wrote it down for a friend that loved them when I made them for her. And now I’m sharing it with all of you! It’s a super simple, make-to-taste recipe. It only takes about 10 mins (20, if you include rice cooking time) and costs very little once you have the spices – a perfect student meal!
- 2 400g/ oz tins of kidney beans (drained)
- 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic (you can use pre-chopped garlic if you want to)
- 1 onion
- 1 stock cube (veg if you want this to stay veggie friendly, but if not go nuts)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp chili powder/hot sauce (to taste)
- 1tsp (dried) coriander
- salt and pepper
- Veggie Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Put the rice on to cook while you prepare the beans.
- Chop onion and finely chop garlic. Heat oil in a saucepan. Fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
- Add in the kidney beans and the chopped tomatoes. Stir.
- Add in the stock cube and all other spices. Stir well.
- Simmer. Taste and adjust if necessary.
- Serve with rice. Also sour cream, gaucamole, and cheese – if desired.
This is easily one of my favourite meals and is so great on a budget. I normally skip all the trimmings if they aren’t in the fridge – but they are a nice once-in-a-while treat.
If you have any other dope bean recipes to add, leave them in the comments!