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Fabaceae (Beans, Peas, and Tofu)

             Beans on Toast - Randal Allred
             Beans on Toast, UK Version - Adam Quinan
             Mock Chopped Liver - Julie Hoffman
             Roasted Green Beans
             Aunt Lee's Mock Liver Paté - Lois
             Doug Essinger-Hileman's Idea of Green Beans
             Lima Beans - Mary S.
             Snow Peas with Soy-Ginger Sauce - Susan Collicot
             Pease Pudding and Marrowfat Peas - Tony Davison
             Baked Tofu - Ruth Abrams
             The Other Ruth
             Astrid Bear

Beans on Toast - Randal Allred
I once had a biology professor who had studied dietary proteins, and he found that many of the amino acids in beans would not combine to make proteins in the human digestive system. He found the same with corn. But the amino acids in corn would combine with those of beans (if eaten together) to form more proteins usable by the human body, when eaten together. Hence, no culture that has beans and corn in its diet suffers from protein deficiency. Beans by themselves are fine for protein, of course--beans with corn is better.
So, try a quesadilla with heated corn tortillas, refried beans (flavored with a little cumin, perhaps, and a mild chili like pasilla), and cheese. Or, maybe a snack of tortilla chips and a tasty bean dip.
Here is another recipe: Beans on Toast. (I learned this in Ireland, but from other penniless Americans, so I doubt it is a local Irish innovation.)
Toast the bread - add a little butter, if you like. Any bread will do, depending on your taste. I prefer whole wheat. Warm up a can of ordinary pork-and-beans, or some good baked beans, and spoon a generous dollop or two over the toast. Add shredded cheddar cheese. (Or, put the cheese on first, so it will melt.) To be eaten with knife and fork--it just does not work to eat it with the fingers.
Or fry one egg over easy, so the yolk is still runny, and put it on the toast first, followed by the beans and cheese. Scrambled egg is fine, too, but does not have the culinary magic of the runny egg yolk mixing with the melted cheese and tomato-y bean-y sauce, which mixture will surprise your palate in such a humble concoction.
Those of you who live in the cold and rainy isles might want to add a dash or two of HP sauce before you dig in. If any of you are really daring, add Tabasco. Ahhh!
And there you are - a non-meat (or low meat) treat loaded with proteins and flavor.

Beans on Toast, UK Version - Adam Quinan
Beans on toast was standard British childhood fare in my youth, usually Heinz beanz ('Beanz meanz Heinz' was the slogan) and without the cheese and always without the pork in the beans. I never saw that particular mixture until I came to North America, why waste perfectly good beans by adding pork?

Mock Chopped Liver - Julie Hoffman
From: Farmer Jo Serves Up String Beans
I come from a family of cooks, so I'm often the recipient of great recipes. My grandmother passed along a recipe for what she called Mock Chopped Liver. I don't know about you, but the idea of chopped liver is about as appealing as, oh, haggis. So I was in no hurry to sample an imitation of this dish. But in my quest for unusual and tasty green bean recipes, I decided to give grandmother's recipe a try. And I can tell you this: it tastes nothing like chopped liver. This mixture of green beans, walnuts and eggs creates a fantastic spread.Great for sandwiches, crackers, or as a dip. Stuffing cherry tomatoes with the paté will make light appetizers. The possibilities are endless!
So I've decided to bless this recipe with a new name: Green Bean and Walnut Paté. Now doesn't THAT sound delicious?
Green Bean and Walnut Paté
1 lb beans (steamed or blanched)
1 C walnuts (toasted)
1 large onion
plus quarter of an onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 large peeled hard-boiled eggs
2 Tablespoons mayo
Salt and Pepper
Chop whole onion. Sauté the chopped onion over med-high heat in 2 tablespoons olive oil, until golden and tender. Add green beans, walnuts, eggs, and the sautéed onion plus the raw into a food processor. Process until finely ground - the texture should be like a rough paté. Add the mayo and blend. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until cold.
Makes 1 1/2 Cups of pate.
Toasting Nuts: For microwave toasting, spread nuts evenly in a flat microwavable dish. Cook on high power for 4 to 5 minutes for 1 cup. Stir three times during cooking. For oven toasting, preheat to 375 degrees F. In a cookie sheet, or like pan, evenly spread nuts. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Roasted Green Beans
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb fresh green beans
1 cup thickly sliced sweet onion
10 cloves of peeled garlic (trust me on this)
salt / pepper
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
optional: 1/2 Cup pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, spread the green beans, onions, and garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and mix to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender and slightly wrinkled. While the beans are still hot from the oven, coat with the vinegar and add a little more ground pepper, if desired. If you would like, toss the finished beans with pine nuts. These are great hot or cold. The roasted garlic should be smooth and mellow, and will taste great if picked out and spread onto fresh bread.

Aunt Lee's Mock Liver Paté - Lois
Aunt Lee's been gone a long time, but I still have her original handwritten recipe.
1 very large onion browned in oil (of course she meant sliced onion)
1 16 oz can string beans, rinsed and squeezed dry
1 hard boiled egg
3 heaping tablespoons ground walnuts
4 or 5 soda crackers
1 honey graham cracker
1 heaping tablespoon wheat germ
Chop all very fine. Season to taste.
I think you could skip the graham cracker. It was something commonly around the house decades ago, not too usual these days, though. And any modern salty cracker could replace the "soda" cracker, which was something like saltines, a very bland and white cracker.

Doug Essinger-Hileman's Idea of Green Beans
Don't know about NYC, but on the internet here is a sites from which we frequently purchase green beans:
Home Coffee Roasting Supplies - Sweet Maria's

Lima Beans - Mary S.
The lima beans I know are light green, yes, but not dried, but sold fresh-frozen and when cooked become tender, not mushy, beans which go down very well with a little butter. Especially "baby limas" which are smaller and tenderer.
But I agree that succotash is pretty awful.
'T'other night I cooked white beans - they never did get quite mushy enough, alas, despite soaking overnight and lots of boiling - with onions and garlic, then at the appropriate times nearer serving I added sliced celery, tiny carrots and, even later, broccoli florets cut small. It made a very colorful and appetizing thick soup in a big plate, with the veggies done just a' point. We had corn chips on the side but a good crusty bread would have been even nicer.
I personally think that celery and beans go together with a divine appropriateness. Another night we had the other half of the beans-and-celery with chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage) sliced, cooked in olive oil and added in, and liberal sprinklings of fresh cilantro (which I also think is very, very, very good with beans) on the top.
This has been quite a conversion for me; dried beans or peas were one of the few foods I detested as a child , having the opinion that they tasted more or less like dirt. "Ew, BUTTERBEANS?!" or "Can you de-bean my chili, please?" (After a little while my mother refused to do that, though!)
Black-eyed peas are supposed to bring good luck at New Year's, but I would refuse those too - once I remember negotiating and agreeing to swallow exactly twelve, for the twelve months of the year.

Snow Peas with Soy-Ginger Sauce - Susan Collicot
1 lb fresh snow peas or sugar snap peas, trimmed
3/4 C chicken or veggie broth
1 1/2 t cornstarch
1 1/2 t peeled, grated ginger root
3/4 t sugar
1 T soy sauce
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 t sesame seeds, toasted
Arrange snow peas in a vegetable steamer and set them over boiling water in a large saucepan. Cover and steam 3 min. or until crisp-tender; set peas aside and discard water. Combine broth, cornstarch, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and garlic in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil and cook 1 min or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Return peas to pan; stir well. Spoon into a serving bowl; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Pease Pudding and Marrowfat Peas - Tony Davison
The way we make it is with
Yellow Split Peas, 500g
250g Back Bacon
flavour with salt, pepper.
Wash and drain the peas, add the bacon for flavour, tie in a cloth and simmer for 1-2 hours.
Remove, take out the bacon, place in a dish and serve warm. It goes well with the traditional cold ham, for those unable to obtain ham, tinned will do. Mind you, it could well go with any kind of meat in a roll or bread.
Some purists add a large potato, a skinned onion and a beaten egg. Extract the onion as much as possible, it is only for flavouring like the bacon.
Mushy Peas are Marrowfat Peas steeped and boiled, a couple of spoonfuls go down well with Fish'n Chips, a pan full go better over a Meat Pie. Pease Pudding, Split Peas treated the same way but flavoured like Mum used to make with Black Pepper and some herbs, served hot 'n hot with roast potatoes and thick sliced ham; accompanied by warm, crusty Stotty Cake. That was the stuff which fed the North East UK Coal Miner to perform prodigious efforts hewing coal, long before the days of mechanical aids.

Baked Tofu - Ruth Abrams
The recipe for the tofu was from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook, with a few additions:
Marinade for 1 pound tofu
1/4 cup lemon juice (plus lemon zest)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Pour half the marinade into a non-reactive baking pan. Cut a pound of very firm, water-packed tofu into slices in the shape you like. Put them in the pan and pour the rest of the marinade on top. Bake it in a 400 degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 45-60 minutes, turned the tofu slices after 25 minutes. Baked tofu tastes good, no lie, but I suppose if you were allergic to soy beans you could use the same formula for potatoes, or if you aren't vegetarian, for fish.

The Other Ruth
Stir-fried tofu with bokchoy, fresh ginger, and any other vegetables I happen to have in the box. A quick, tasty, healthy meal.

Astrid Bear
I enjoy tofu in its various sauces and forms. Special treats include the pressed Five Spice tofu cakes that are nice on sandwiches, and those lovely Japanese rice-stuffed tofu skins. Yum!