Healthy Living, Recipes on May 25, 2010 by

Easy Meatless Meals

Beans are easy.

Beans are easy.

Whether you are looking at it from an ecological standpoint or a health one, the more research you do, the more it makes sense to try to reduce your intake of meat. While you may not choose to go entirely vegan, you might still want to pick one day a week to try to avoid eating meat.

Cooking beans in a crock pot is an easy, gluten free solution to creating a number of meatless meals to satisfy you through the week. There are so many different flavors and styles of beans available that you can create a wide variety of meals with very little effort. Plus beans are high in protein and fiber and low in fat, so they make a great meal if you’re trying to get in shape for summer.

Our basic household recipe for cooking beans in a crock pot is this:

Rinse beans
Put rinsed beans in crock pot and add water and a little salt.
Set crock pot to “low”
Leave alone for 8 hours or so
Turn off crock pot

Many recipes add in a step of rinsing and soaking the beans overnight before cooking them, but at my house we think that the beans actually have more flavor if you simply rinse and cook them. Since we don’t bother with the soaking step, we usually put enough water in the pot so that it appears to be a little more than 2/3 filled with water. The 8 hour cooking time is also negotiable, so you can leave the pot on longer for softer beans, or cook them less time for harder beans.

For extremely simple meals, you can serve the beans over rice, or combine your beans with tortillas and cheese to make burritos. If you want to get fancy later in the week, you can use your beans in delicious summer salads, refried beans, or even in making your own vegi-burgers!

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