Tag Archives: quinoa

our love affair with beans

2 May

8035456049_0801afba3fHere at Butter Beans, we truly love our beans!

You may have wondered where we came up with the name Butter Beans? Our co-founder and CEO, Belinda grew up in North Carolina on a farm and used to shell butter beans with her grandmother. This experience stood out to her as one of her fondest food memories. Butter beans are extremely nutrient dense and delicious, and were one of Belinda’s favorite foods she enjoyed as a child. Now these beans have come to embody our mission of feeding children nutritious foods at lunch-time, teaching children about nutrition, and the skills to cook up homemade meals for themselves and their families.

Beans are an excellent source of protein, are filled with fiber, vitamin B, folate and minerals like iron, potassium and zinc. Eating beans helps keep your heart, circulation, blood pressure and digestion strong! They make a great addition to most dishes; mixed into rice or quinoa, tossed into salads, blended into dips, sculpted into patties, stewed in soups, and spiced up to make a tasty chili.

Buying them in a can is great for saving time (always rinse the beans in a colander after opening the can to remove some of the sodium, and look for cans that are BPA free), however, buying them dry then soaking and cooking them on your own can save you money and time too (say thank you to your freezer)!  Soaking your beans also allows for easier digestion, and contain a lesser amount of sodium than canned beans.

Here’s how you can make your very own delicious beans at home:

Add 1 cup of dried beans to a bowl (they get bigger when you soak them, so with 1 cup of dried beans you end up with 2.5-3 cups depending on the bean), add water to cover the beans and place on your countertop or in your fridge for at least 8 hours. Rinse your beans off in a colander, and place in a pot. Add water to cover your beans by at least 2-3 inches, bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes- 1 hour (they are pretty low maintenance). Like you would when cooking pasta, taste a few beans to make sure they are cooked to your desired texture.

Use your cooked beans for lunch, dinner or even breakfast (huevos rancheros, yum). With your leftover or extra beans, place them in freezer bags or glass containers and place in your freezer for later use.

Photo courtesy of tonrulkens

Expanding palates with quinoa salads

14 Mar

3445204341_5dda209085At the beginning of the school year, we had taken the chance to make our own quinoa, bread and tomato salad to serve at lunch. We thought, how can we go wrong with a savory salad that is refreshing and protein packed? Well, after the first few times we served it and saw children politely decline our offers, we thought we needed to remove it from our menu. Then something happened. Our spectacular servers passed around samples of the mysterious salad in small sample cups. After they tasted it, their outlook changed and they came back for seconds! We are now receiving requests to have it on our menu more often. We also noticed that our quinoa salad fans have grown a liking to our other menu items that are not as familiar to them, which is great news all around.

One of our lessons learned during lunch time is that by exposing children to new foods you help spark their curiosity, and help open their minds to different tastes, textures and experiences – ultimately expanding their palates and world-views. We welcome you to cook up your very own quinoa, bread and tomato salad to share with your family at home. Here’s how:

Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 4 slices of crusty bread
  • 1/3 cup olive oil + extra for bread
  • Salt + pepper
  • 4 ripe medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F (for the bread).
  • Place the quinoa in a pot of boiling water and cook until tender for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to dry.
  • Drizzle the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes on each side, or until crisp. Break into small chunks.
  • Chop the tomatoes and slice the onion.
  • Place them in a mixing bowl and combine with all other ingredients, including the quinoa and bread.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Photo courtesy of nerrisa’s ring

Quinoa Vegetable salad – the recipe

26 Apr

Somehow the recipe got lost in yesterday’s post, so here it is again:

(*Here’s a picture of plain cooked quinoa)

Ingredients:

2 cups quinoa (golden or red)

3/4 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1/2 cup diced bell pepper, any color (red or orange are sweeter)

1 cup sweet potatoes cut into small cubes and roasted

1/2 cup diced onion

1TB ground cumin

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for sautéing peppers and onions

Optional: toasted seeds and raisins

Directions:

Cook 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water in a covered pot on low heat for about 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. In the meantime, cut the vegetables. Take quinoa off the burner when it’s ready. Leave covered until everything is complete. Saute the onions and peppers in a frying pan. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. *the flavor gets better with time, so make enough to eat immediately, and enough to refrigerate until tomorrow.

Enjoy!