Vegan and Gluten-Free
Some of my best childhood memories are from my grandmother.
I loved wintry days, in particular, because Mama always had a pot of “something” simmering on the stove, steaming up the kitchen windows and making the whole house smell so good.
The aroma of garlic in the air still makes me hungry and takes me back to Mama and Papa’s house on Church Street.
It was great to be a kid in an Italian family.
One of my favorite suppers was kidney beans.
I remember the table set very simply but elegantly.
There was Papa’s tiny glass of red wine, our bowls filled with this delicious,”soupy” stuff, freshly cut slices of Italian bread, delivered by “Tommy, the baker,” and the “insalata” for last.
Salad was never ever served before the meal but afterwards to “help with digestion.”
I know many people around the world use garlic in their cooking but I grew up Italian so, to me, this is “Italian-style.”
I hope you enjoy this super easy recipe. It’s nutritious, very economical, yummy and, best of all, you can’t screw it up!
And this is still one of my favorite “Go-to” meals.
The preparation is so easy it seems almost effortless.
You can use any type of bean for this.
Canned or cooked from scratch, it doesn’t matter.
For this recipe, I used canned kidney beans.
Pinto beans, black beans and even lentils- this works with them all!
Be sure to have a salad or some sauteed spinach or some other veggie on the side and maybe a little Italian or French bread for dipping into the “juice.”
-1 can dark red kidney beans (or pinto, light red kidney or black)
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (first cold-pressed in a dark bottle preferably!)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
*Note: You can use as many cans of beans as you need to, especially with a large family.
1. Add the oil to the pan and place on stove
2. Cut the tips off each clove of garlic and remove the paper-like skin.
3. Crush each clove by placing the knife blade over the garlic and hitting the blade with your closed fist. BE CAREFUL!
4. Hold each clove in your hand and gently separate it so the root inside is exposed. Remove the root. The root is what gives most people heartburn. It’s pretty potent so removing it really lessens the “spiciness” that a lot of people complain about.
5. Warm the oil on low or medium-low heat and place the garlic in gently, open side facing down in the oil, letting the garlic “brown.” This infuses the oil with flavor and makes the house smell like my old neighborhood. Not a good idea if you’re going on a date! You don’t want your clothes smelling like garlic! :::wink:::
You can see in the photo above that it’s done when the edges of the underside turn brown and the garlic is soft when poked with a fork.
6. Flip the garlic so it doesn’t burn on that side.
7. Add the beans and salt and pepper to taste. Be careful because the oil is hot and the beans are cold. The oil may shoot up and pop at you. Don’t get burned.
8. Heat until almost boiling, stirring occasionally. When mixture is about to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for at least 20-30 minutes. Continue to stir occasionally.
The longer you let the beans simmer or “sit,” the more flavor they will have. If you can prepare this ahead of time and let them sit for an hour or two, they will be even tastier.
I’d love to hear from you so please leave me a comment below. Let me know how you liked them and how you liked this simple recipe!
See you on the sunny side,
The Peaceful Soul Blog
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