Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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Posts Tagged ‘bean salad’

Not All Beans Are Created Equal

Posted by terrepruitt on March 6, 2014

You might know from my various posts that I don’t really like beans.  Beans, the legume, the protein-fiber-rich nutrient.  Not my favorite thing.  I like green beans.  And I am ok with garbanzo beans.  I will eat kidney beans but only in two things, the two bean salad (click here for recipe) or my Sausage, Beans, and Rice adaptation (click here for recipe).  But otherwise I don’t eat beans.  You may also know that I bought some dried garbanzo beans in bulk once.  Since I didn’t know what to do with them I turned to the internet for some education.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe internet said there were two ways to get the beans ready for a recipe: one was a “quick soak” idea, it requires cooking and doesn’t seem quick to me at all.  The other was a soak-over-night way.  I tried them both.  I didn’t really feel there was a different outcome to the two methods, but obviously the methods themselves were different.  I preferred the overnight soak because it doesn’t require any real time that I have to be in the kitchen.  Rinse the beans, fill the bowl with water, let them soak, changing the water a few times as they soak.  Since I haven’t taught a Nia class in the area of San Jose where I bought the last dried beans, I decided to buy some organic dried garbanzo beans online.  To get them ready for cooking I opted for the let-it-set method.  I didn’t time the soak because I had done it before and I know that overnight is good enough.  I know I let them set from one morning, until the next afternoon.  Then I rinsed them and put them on the pan to roast.  Apparently not all beans can just be soaked for about 30 hours.  Apparently some HAVE to be cooked — as in boiled.  These beans did not come out well just soaking.  I didn’t know that until I was already roasting them.

I had a huge bowl soaking so when I did the roasting I had only used about half.  So I figured that if I let the remaining beans soak longer they would be fine.  So I left them soaking until the next day.  Throughout this soaking period I had drained the water and refilled.  I even took them all out of the bowl, rinsed them, then put them back in the bowl with fresh water.  So — again, I figured they had soaked enough they would be fine.  Again, part way through cooking when I had a taste they were NOT good.  I hadn’t tasted before I added all of my other ingredients so dinner was almost going to be REALLY gross.  But I just added water and let them cook and dinner was salvaged.

But now I know.  Apparently these beans HAVE to be cooked in order for them to be edible.  When not cooked they are really HARD and they taste like a green seed.  No good.  Not the creamy mush you expect from a garbanzo bean.  Also . . . these beans, while they have not popped as the other ones I soaked did, they are letting off a very large and stinky amount of gas!  Whew!  Again my kitchen smells of bean gas.  They are gassy beans!  I have yet to cook the rest.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaSo . . . here I am again, just sharing things I learn.  Maybe I can save someone’s dinner if they are like me and think that all dried beans can just be soaked without the cooking.  I was fortunate in that what I was cooking was ok with me just adding water and letting it all cook a bit longer than I had planned.  But somethings you can’t do that to.  So if you are like me and you like the soaking method, try it on a small batch first to see if that will be sufficient.

Please understand I am not saying there is anything wrong with these beans or the brand.  I am just saying that I learned not all garbanzo beans can JUST be soaked.  Apparently some need to be cooked too!

Do you have a recipe that you use garbanzo beans in?  Care to share?

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Cilantro Has Some Good Stuff

Posted by terrepruitt on June 18, 2013

I used to not like cilantro.  Or at least I thought I didn’t like it.  Funny how that happens, isn’t it?  I really thought I didn’t like it then one night I was at someone’s house and they had made a salad . . . a BEAN salad at that and I tried some and I liked it.  I don’t like beans and I don’t like cilantro and I don’t normally eat onions . . . . .well, that is what I would have said all that time, many months ago.  When I tried the salad I decided that I did like beans and cilantro, but only in that particular salad.  I figured it was the combination of all of the ingredients that made it acceptable.  You might have read in some of my other posts though that I will eat kidney beans in a recipe I make called Red Beans and Rice.  It is NOT the typical Red Beans and Rice recipe, click here to see.  Since I do make the bean salad recipe I find myself with left over cilantro.  And since I have discovered I like it, I put it in my green salad.  It is a nice addition to the salad to give it a different flavor.  I actually haven’t tried it in anything else I can think of.  It seems like people either LOVE cilantro or HATE it.  I like it.  I don’t LOVE it, but it is a nice change of flavor. Today while I was making the Bean Salad I decided to give a look at what cilantro has to offer.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaFirst of all cilantro is the leaves of the coriander plant.  Coriander is the little round pellet type seasoning.  Wiki states that all parts of the plant are edible, but it is the leaves and the dried seeds that are most commonly used.  That is cilantro and coriander.  Also, “the leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, Chinese parsley, or cilantro (particularly in North America).”

Cilantro contains antioxidants.  Coriander does too, but the leaves were found to have a stronger effect.

According an article on the Global Healing Center’s website, consuming large amounts of cilantro regularly can help clear the body of toxic metals.

Cilantro contains potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.  It also has many vitamins including vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. The website Power Your Diet states that there is 30% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, about 225% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A, and about 258% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, but in 100 grams.  That seems like a lot of cilantro to eat.  When I put it in my green salads or bean salad I don’t think I put but a small fraction of that.  I think I put about a cup of cilantro in the bean salad today, but I don’t think it weighed near 100 grams.  I still think that health benefits can be received.  I don’t really need 200% of any recommend value.

I believe herbs are a good way to both flavor our food and get nutrients we need to assist our bodies in being healthy.  Do you like cilantro?  Do you cook with it?  

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Dried Garbanzo Beans

Posted by terrepruitt on April 27, 2013

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaYou might have gathered from my posts that I am not a fan of beans.  Beans are great for fiber and protein, but I just don’t like them all that much.  I was sometimes ok with garbanzo beans/chickpeas, but that was it.  I didn’t like any other type of bean, but I went to a friend’s house and she had this yummy two bean salad.  So I decided that I am ok with red kidney beans and garbanzo beans in this salad.  Then I came across a recipe that had kidney beans it in and I decided to use half kidney beans and half garbanzo beans.  This recipe is one of my husband’s and mine favorites.  I also like roasted garbanzo beans.  Recently I was in the area – after teaching a Nia class as a sub in south San Jose –  of a store that I have been hearing a lot about.  It is called Sprouts.  The name is “Sprouts Farmers Market: Healthy, Natural & Organic Grocery Stores”, which I don’t really understand, as it is NOT a farmer’s market and not everything is natural nor organic.  They have the produce section kind of set up like you might imagine a market on an actual farm in that nothing is in nice neat rows and it seems kinda hodgey-podgely put together . . . but that is it.  Their organic section of fruits and vegetables was no larger than the one at my “regular” grocery store.  But whatever, I digress (WHAT? ME?  NO!) . . . my post is actually about that fact that I bought some dried garbanzo beans.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaWhen I first discovered the Red Beans and Rice recipe my friend and I were talking about dried beans and we wondered if we could buy dried garbanzo beans.  Later she reported back that she had seen some in the store.  I had asked my chef friend about them and she gave me some advice on how to process them.  And of course I forgot what she said.  But anyway . . . I finally was in a store that had them when I remembered to look.  So I bought some.

When you look up how to process dried beans on the internet you will probably come across two different methods.  There is the long soak and then the quick soak.  My idea was to do both and then report the results on my blog in one post.  But funny as it sounds, I have not had time — more accurately, I have not made time — to do the quick soak method.  I know, you would think that would be the easiest and fastest one to do.  But to me it was much easier to throw the beans in a bowl and let them soak for 13 hours and 45 minutes.  I’ve read they should soak for at least 4 hours.  Mine just turned into 13 hours plus.

Since I have not yet gotten around to doing the quick soak method I will report on what I found with the long soak method and then when I do the other one I will post about that.

The “long soak” method has no cooking involved.  I was interested in not cooking the beans.  Everything I read said that they double in size.  I don’t recall that happening.  NOTHING I read told me they would pop!  I kept hearing this odd sound and wondering what it was.  If you have a pet you might do as I do and the first thing I do when I hear something unfamiliar is I blame my pet and find her first to see if she was responsible.  But when I heard the pop she was right next to me.  So, I kept thinking it was coming from outside. Finally it dawned on me that it might be the beans and I stood by the bowl until I heard one!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI had decided to split the bag in between the two methods.  So I got a huge bowl and put half of my beans in it.  Then I filled it with water.  I did this at 11:00 am on a Friday.  I changed the water twice.  I rinsed the beans both times.  My report is that beans themselves have gas.  My kitchen smelled gassy the whole time the beans were soaking.  I kept lighting a candle.  I drained the beans at 12:45 pm on Saturday.  I decided I was going to roast them.  So I drained them to let them start to dry out.

I roasted them.  They were gorgeous.  I like them because they seem less “mushy” than the canned beans.  And for me “mushy” is part of the reason I don’t like beans.  So I really liked this dried/soaking method.  I left the beans in the oven a tad bit too long.  I was doing too many things at once and when I took them out to check them I forgot to put the timer on when I put them back in.  I realized my error when I smelled burning beans.  So . . . . they are ok, but not as I would have liked them.

The verdict in regards to soaking beans is good.  I am going to do that.  I have a feeling that soaking them will turn out to be easier than the quick soak method.  We will see.

The questions I have been thinking about though is . . . . the canned beans I buy say “Organic” whereas the dried ones I bought did not.  So really which are better?  I will look for organic dried beans, but I am not sure where to find them.  I know I didn’t see them at the “Farmers Market” that claims to have healthy, natural, and organic food.  🙂  Well, at least I didn’t see a sign that claimed the dried beans were organic.

Do you used canned beans or dried?

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Meatless Mondays

Posted by terrepruitt on March 20, 2012

Have you ever heard of Meatless Mondays?  I thought about it when I was talking to my Nia student who is about to go vegan.  Seems as if we always try to make things sound neat or nice.  The double M has a nice ring.  MEATLESS MONDAY.  It is just a tool that someone thought up to help and encourage people to eliminate meat from their diet. I guess the thought process is that people eat meat every night for dinner so one night would be good to not have meat and why not make it Meatless Monday.  I always thought it was just for dinner, but I guess you could have a whole day of non-meat.   The reasons for eliminating meat from the diet range from health to environment.  We don’t have a meatless Monday in our house.  What we have is a oh-snap-I-forgot-to-take-any-meat-out-for-dinner-so-we-aren’t-having-any kind of meatless dinner.  Or sometimes I just decide I am not going to cook meat and I figure something else out.  We do not have meat every dinner.

Sometimes I just don’t feel like meat.  It was a few years after we had been married that my husband gave me the go ahead regarding meatless dinners.  I probably was whining about having meat every night and he said he was ok with not having meat for dinner.  WAHOOO!  That was a happy, happy, happy day for me.  Meat for us primarily consists of chicken breast or ground turkey.  Yes we do have pork every once in a while.  Beef even less often.  But actually more than we used to.  Just not having to have meat every night was so freeing.  Because having that freedom meant to me that we could have less meat.  So sometimes we can still have meat but instead of having a piece of chicken each we can split one.  Since he is ok with not having meat than having less is ok too, right?

But we do have meatless dinners.  Having the added help of quinoa to get a seedy/grainy protein is nice.  Because I am not a fan of beans I usually don’t substitute beans for meat.  Sometimes I do during the summer when we are having a bean salad, but not always.  Sometimes we will just eat soup for dinner.  If we are not having soup or bean salad then we are filling up on a ton of veggies.

Tonight we had a green salad, roasted eggplant, and mushrooms with broccoli thrown over pasta.  It was pretty good. Between the pasta and the mushrooms I am ok with the amount of protein.  We don’t have just pasta every night.  (I took pictures because I actually thought, “Hmm, I might blog about this.”  And they didn’t come out.  I mean my computer is giving me that little question mark in a red box.  Hmmm.  Oh well.  You would have drooled.)

Even though I might be having meatless dinners for other reasons there is still the same benefits that some people are doing it for.  It seems as if it is a “movement” and it is for those that truly do eat red meat every night.  That is probably why when I first heard about it I didn’t really get it, because we rarely eat red meat and we don’t even eat meat every night.  I can see how it can help people that do, although I didn’t know that people did eat red meat every night.

What about you?  How often do you eat red meat/beef?  Do you eat meat every night?  Do you have a Meatless Monday (or one night a week that you plan to not have meat)?

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Salad On My Mind

Posted by terrepruitt on April 21, 2011

What do you think of when you hear “salad”?  When I was young when I heard salad I thought of lettuce with a few veggies in it.  I don’t eat potato salad and egg salad so I never thought of them, but they are salads.  There are so many other types of salads too.  Wiki says:

“Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes including: vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads.  They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.”

Salads could be considered the perfect food.  At least in my opinion.  As mentioned in wiki there are “vegetable salads” and “pasta salads”.  When you put veggies and meat in a pasta salad you can have a pretty balanced MEAL.  It also depends the ingredients you use when talking meal.  Like my last post, the quinoa has a good amount of protein so mixing it with veggies makes a great meal.

There are salads that are a meal and salads that are a side.  When I make a green salad I add cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, sometimes tomatoes, sometimes broccoli, sometimes nuts, sometimes cheese, sometimes seeds.  For a long time we were using baby spinach as our “lettuce” but then I switched to a mix of lettuces.  We buy spinach every once in a while.  Either way I like the green for a salad.  I don’t use iceberg.

Salads are fascinating.

I mean we even call jello with fruit in it salad.  And they are really fun because they are usually prepared in a jello MOLD so you have a salad in a fun shape.  And oh, fruit salad.  When I was young we called one salad fruit salad and one ambrosia.  Fruit salad was all different kinds of fresh fruit cut up and put tossed together and served in a bowl.  Ambrosia was the same thing but with cool whip mixed in with all the fruit.

Ha . . . I should have checked my past posts before I posted because I already have a posted about salad, pretty much the same thing.  But I can tell you a bit about the salad I posted about.  It is clear to me that some of us have ideas in our mind about what a salad is because there was a time when my hubby (yes, Dear, I am dragging you into my post again!) wouldn’t eat a “salad” that didn’t have lettuce in it.  He would claim it was not a salad, even though his family is a “jello salad family”.  But after we visited Europe and they would often serve a “salad” without lettuce I was able to do the same thing when we got home.  Ahh . . . travel is awesome.   (I think I’ve said this before in a post too!  The part about my hubby.)

One of the comments on my one of my previous posts about salad talked about the dressing on a Greek Salad.  The commenter said she didn’t like the dressing.  But that is one of the great things about a salad if you make it yourself you can put whatever dressing you want on it!

I have yet to make the tomato and watermelon salad that my friend mention in the comments of my “salad” post.  I am putting that in my calendar in June.  So I remember.

Usually I check my blog to see if I have posted about a subject before, but it was late (really late) and I didn’t check and now that I am looking I have several posts on salad*.  As I said and as is now totally obvious, salads are fascinating.

*Here’s a few of the “salad” posts:

Quinoa Salad

Bean Salad

Awesome Salad

Summer Salad

So?  I’ve said a whole lot about salad.  What do you have to say?  Have a recipe?  Like one thing over another?  Have you tried any of the salads on my blog or the suggestions people have posted?  Do tell?  Salad is awesome!

(I think I need to make a “Salad” Category.)

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Check Your Cans

Posted by terrepruitt on September 18, 2010

I posted a recipe for bean salad. I have made the bean salad about three times since I posted it (including that post). One time I used red onion and green peppers. I like both red onion and green peppers but it just wasn’t the same. It lacked the POP. It made it more like the other bean salads I have had. The first time I made it I checked the labels on the cans of beans and decided on the ones with the least sodium. The second time I went to the same store so I didn’t have to check the labels. The third time I was at a different store with different brands and so I had to check the labels again.

I wasn’t thinking about posting about the sodium when I was in the store so I didn’t get the information off of those brands.   I went to the internet to get some of the sodium information. For the red kidney beans I found three different amounts in 1/2 cup. One brand has 340 mg, another has 436 mg, and another touted as 50% lower sodium came in at 220 mg. Don’t get me wrong, I love salt, but I would rather add it myself.

As you can see I got lucky because the brand I bought only has 100 mg per 1/2 cup.

For the garbanzo beans I found that 1/2 cup has 380 mg for one brand, another brand has 500 mg, and another as 460 mg.

The brand I bought of the garbanzo beans only has 100 mg per 1/2 cup, also. Right on!

The point I am trying to get across is that canned beans seem to have a lot of sodium in them so check your cans. Find the ones with the lowest sodium so you don’t turn a healthy dish into something not so healthy.

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Bean Salad

Posted by terrepruitt on July 24, 2010

On the way home from a little Nia class / meeting in Danville I starting craving a salad.  All the way home to San Jose (its about an hour) I kept thinking of what ingredients I would need.  I didn’t have the recipe with me, but since it is so easy I remembered the few things I needed to get.  Recently I went to a little party where the hostess had made a bean salad.  It had two things in it I REALLY don’t like, one thing I don’t like, one thing I love in teeny tiny pieces, and one thing I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (not including the spices).  So on my quest to learn how to like bean and get some legumes in my diet I decided to make my friend’s TWO bean salad recipe.

1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 large red pepper – chopped (big or small, you decide)
½ large sweet onion – cut small square sizes
¼ to ½ bunch cilantro – cut ½ inch size
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

Drain the beans, mix everything together.  Like most salads it is better when the flavors have mixed so wait an hour or so, then eat.  Yum!

I adjusted the recipe to have MORE bell pepper (can you tell which ingredient I love, love, love?), I used a little more salt because I bought these really low sodium beans.  I mean compared to the other two brands I looked at these had about one third of the sodium.  I like that idea, but I also know that if it doesn’t have a good enough flavor for me I won’t eat it, so I actually put in 1 teaspoon plus two sprinkles.  I didn’t have granulated garlic so I used garlic powder and I probably put in more than 2 teaspoons.  I cannot tolerate pepper, but I loved her salad and she said she put in a lot of pepper so I sprinkled pepper in.  I also used 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.

I am sure this is an easy thing for people to make, but I have NEVER, EVER, EVER liked a bean salad before so this recipe just thrilled me.  Ya see, I REALLY don’t like cilantro either, but I think the kidney beans and the cilantro work to “cancel” each other out.  Ha!  I don’t know, but I like this salad.   I hope you do too.

Since I am on a quest to learn to eat (and like) beans, do you have a recipe that you would like to share to help me out?

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