full of beans
Yesterday afternoon Mr. M and I went grocery shopping at Metro, one of those big stores that you need a company card to get into. They sell to retailers and people in the restaurant business and much of their selection comes in case lots or large containers.
As we were checking out the aisle of canned food I saw this huge can of red kidney beans and commented on it.
Me: Wow, look how big this can is! That would be great if you were going to cook for 20 people.
Mr. M: Oooh, I love kidney beans! Let's buy it!
Me: Well, I enjoy them too, but it's like 2.5 kilograms of beans. What in the world would we do with them?
Mr. M: I've always had this dream of buying a huge can of kidney beans.
Me: !!!??? [It's taken him 16 years to confess this? What other secrets does he have up his sleeve?]
So we bought them. Who am I to deny a man his dreams, weird as they may be?
Right. What to do with all these beans. I know I can make chili con carne and soup and three bean salad and all that, but I wanted to try something different. And different it was.
I made brownies. Bean brownies. From a recipe in a cookbook called Full of Beans that one of my sisters-in-law gave to me many years ago. Sis-in-law hails from southern Ontario, prime bean growing country, and the book has all kinds of recipes using every kind of bean you could ever imagine. As the book says "The nutrient profile of beans is impeccable" so why not slip in a little extra nutrition here and there?
The brownies turned out pretty well - nice and moist and not too sweet. The mashed beans replace part of the oil or butter you'd use in a regular brownie recipe, reducing the fat content a bit and adding fibre, B vitamins and important minerals. I put a chocolate glaze on top and since they are already half gone now I'm giving them the Mausi seal of approval.
Bean Brownies (from Full of Beans by Violet Currie and Kay Spicer)
1 cup cooked Romano or kidney beans, pureed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Spray bottom of 13- x 9-inch (3.5L) baking pan with nonstick coating.
In mixing bowl, combine beans, sugar, flour, cocoa and salt. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat on low speed or by hand, scraping down sides of bowl, until smooth. Stir in walnuts if using.
Pour batter into prepared pan; spread into corners and smooth top.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 30 minutes or until tester inserted into centre comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.
Makes 24 brownies. (Who are we kidding? Let's make that 12.)