Beans, beans, the magical fruit.

The more you eat the more you toot, the more you toot the better you feel, let’s eat beans at every meal!

This sing-song tune was our traditional anthem come Memorial Weekend each year. Our family would rescue the dusted tent above the garage, give life to the old-fashioned ice cream cranker, and pile several duffel bags worth of warm clothing(though never really warm enough) to brave the chilly evenings ahead of us.

Up in Northern California, our trusty Toyota Previa mini van would zoom through the aromatic woods into a site far, far from the world’s chaos. Isn’t that really the point though, to get away?

It’s ironic now living in a stereotypical SoCal setting where camping is close enough to a Starbucks. Aren’t you supposed to rely on the sun knocking on your eyelids without a need for an overpriced ‘experience’?

Anyway, as a kid having to also celebrate my birthday, May 27 for those wondering what day of this weekend, I sincerely despised having to endure this setting as well, yet reflecting on the many watershoes lost to flowing rivers, scrapped knees climbing curved trees, and bike races around the campsite, an appreciation for this real world network certainly has been heightened.

Noting the immense value of nature’s open environment, my foodie calling was spurred long before the Food Network was on my radar. While breakfast involved [not so] patiently waiting for George Foreman produced pancakes, scrambled eggs,  and a fought over mini cereal box of goodness(always an accomplishment when you haggled Fruit Loops over Corn Flakes), dinner more often than not brought out the beans.

A Green family staple, even on typical weeknights, sweet Maple & Brown Sugar beans were rescued from the pantry ready to be thunked into the dinner pan. Simmered together with BBQ chicken, and Marie Calendar’s cornbread, the hearty textures and taste always conjured our beggings for seconds. The favoring of this meal obviously stems from its homey character, yet noting the less than short wait time for the ingredients to meld together, a good meal really does take some time.

Within our current technological society expecting its members to be versed on the latest trends, innovations, and [sadly] Buzzfeed creations, being able to craft a meal at your own convenience is virtually impractical. We just have ‘so much to do’. Are ‘so busy’. And apologize for it more than do something about it.

So I decided to do something about it. Long story short, my usual plan to pop in a few MorningStar veggie burgers, and mix them into ripped iceberg lettuce, chopped baby carrots, and BBQ sauce was replaced with a variety of dry beans, spices, a Tofurky Chik’n and Apple sausage, an onion, and a few generous spoonfuls of tomato paste. Although this bean soup doesn’t call for many ingredients, it sure is a fan of the waiting game.

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However, after soaking the assortment of buckeye, Lima, kidney, lentils, and barley overnight and adding the supporting ingredients for a lengthy simmer bath, I felt emotionally satisfied with being able to please my palette from scratch.

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Nothing like making a nourishing meal to remind us that not everything needs to be ‘convenient’ and needs to be paired with a latte.

 

 

 

Buckeye Bean & Chik’n Apple Sausage layered Stew

1 cup dry Buckeye Beans

1 cup Lima beans

1 cup Kidney beans

1/2 cup dry Peas

1/2 cup dry [brown or green] Lentils

1/4 cup Barley

1 ts. Chili Powder

1 ts. Garlic Salt

any mixed Italian seasoning you have or similar[could even use a Vegetable Bouillon]

hefty sprinkle of Salt

4 Cups Water (for thicker soups, I’d add maybe 3)

1 Tofurky Chik’n & Apple Sausage, chopped

1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Cans Tomatoes, Chopped[ or use a few spoonfuls of Tomato Paste]

Directions
The night before you plan to serve, rinse dry beans, peas, lentils. Place dry bean mixture and 4 cups of water into stock pot and let soak over night. The waiting game begins…

Drain off water from beans, peas, lentils and add a fresh 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil for 45 minutes. Then simply add the remaining ingredients. Sausage, tomatoes, seasonings, onion, and you’re set to let it simmer.

For the next five hours, keep the pot at a low simmer and go about your day. You’ll be welcomed by the intense aroma filling your house only to be topped by its hearty taste! Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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