In the complex, confusing quagmire of nutrition advice, one thing remains undisputed by every stakeholder – vegetables are good. And if vegetables in general are good, then surely legumes are best in class.
I have for you today a selection of ideas from an interesting book in the ‘Three Meals a Day Series.’ It is the volume entitled Legumes: dried beans, peas, lentils for breakfast, dinner, supper (Chicago,1920) compiled and edited by Bessie R Murphy ( Southern Food Expert and Lecturer) The dedication in this work seems particularly appropriate to the importance of the topic – “Dedicated to Someone Somewhere to be used by Everyone Everywhere.”
First, some general notes on beans from the introductory paragraphs:
Every nation and country has some variety of the bean: The Mongol eats his rice, but for his protein has the soy bean; the Mexican, whose meat supply is scant, uses the frijole bean; the Spaniard has his lentils, while India has a proverb, “Rice is good, but lentils are my life.” South America claims the lima bean as a native, and Scotland the bone bean. The United States has one hundred and fifty varieties of beans being cultivated. The famous Boston baked beans are known everywhere. In fact, for all ages among all nations the pea and bean have held an important place as food for mankind.
This paragraph provides the mystery of the week, and the title of the post. If anyone has an idea what constitutes the “bone bean” of Scotland, I would be most grateful!
And now for my selections from amongst the recipes for each meal of the day.
Baked Beans with Rice.
4 cups navy beans ½ pound salt pork
1 teaspoon salt 1 cup rice (cooked)
Soak beans overnight. In the morning put them into a saucepan and cook them with the pork slowly until they are tender. Remove pork, drain the beans, turn them into baking dish, and add the rice. Cook 30 minutes without stirring, so that the rice will remain on top. (Cover to prevent rice from burning.)
Baked Cowpeas and Cheese.
2 cups cooked peas 1½ tablespoons butter
½ cup grated cheese 1 tablespoon onion
1teaspoon salt I tablespoon chopped sweet green pepper
Press the peas through a sieve and mix them with the cheese. Cook the onion and pepper in the butter, but do not brown them; add mixture to peas and cheese. Form into a roll and bake in a moderate over until brown. Baste occasionally with butter and water.
1 pint white beans 1tablespoon butter
1½ tablespoons molasses 1tablespoon vinegar
½ teaspoon mustard Salt and pepper
Wash the beans and soak them over night. In the morning drain off this water, cover beans with fresh water, and boil slowly 1 hour. Drain again, cover with 1quart freshly boiled water, and boil slowly another hour. When beans are done, press them through a sieve, return them to the kettle, add the butter, molasses, mustard, salt, pepper, and vinegar, stir, and boil 10 minutes.
2 cups soy-bean pulp 1 teaspoon onion juice
2 eggs 2 tablespoons parsley
Separate the eggs and beat well, add the onion juice, soy-bean pulp, and parsley, and fold in the stiffly beaten whites of the eggs. Pour mixture into a baking pan and bake slowly 20 minutes.