Beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more YOU......

If you've been following me for any time at all you know that I am a bean freak!  I will eat beans morning, noon and night and don't really care about the musical side effects.  My husband doesn't either and on certain very special bean-laden evenings we have terrific toot-offs.  (All of which he wins, but I still keep the hope.)  Now I wasn't always this fart free.  In fact, I used to think tooting was the most embarrassing thing possible.  Worse even than misreading a word out loud in class.  (Another terror of mine.)  Flatulence was something you tried desperately to conceal, squeezing your tushie tight together to make sure no "silent but deadly" air passed by.  My parents are actually all about the gas (Hey GUYS!), but my extended family is terrified of being found out as farters. My grandmother and aunt both avoid all gas-inducing goodies for fear of well, you know what.  Whenever I eat beans, onions or broccoli in front of them, the sideways glances quickly roll out with the following, "Oh, you eat those things?  And they don't, um, give you G-A-S?"  "They do sometimes," I say with a smile.  "But it doesn't bother me." With their joint look of horror, you'd think I told them I bottle the stuff and sell it as perfume!

When it comes to loving your body, it is not only about likin' how she looks and feels.  You've also got to be down with what comes out of her.  Seriously!  If you are embarrassed by every little toot or fart or whiff of BO your body gives off, you might as well stay home.  Just know right now, there is no controlling your body.  Simply let her do her thang and thank her for it.  The more your cut her down for what she was made to do, the more she's going to do it.  Promise!

Now, I'm not giving you permission to let 'er rip in a packed elevator, never shower or loudly belch in a fine dining establishment.  That's just gross!  But if the, um, spirit moves you, don't worry so much about hiding it.

In honor of all the lovely music our bodies like to make, here's a tasty bean recipe.

I've mentioned these beans before but honestly once you try Rancho Gordo beans, you will never eat another bean again.  Ever!  I'm certainly not the first (or last) to sing these beans praises but whatever wonderfulness you hear about these bean, know this.  It's all totally true.  Steve Sando, Rancho Gordo's owner and bean freak after my own heart, offers multiple  types of heirloom beans that range from big and beefy to small and creamy.  The best part about his beans is they are recently dried so once soaked, they are ready in 45 minutes rather than the hour in a half it takes most dried beans.

I always try to branch out with my bean exploration and recently I made a pot of Ayecote Negro beans.  These beans are certainly on the big and beefy side which makes them ideal as a main dish. Last night I had a bowl of these beauties with a side salad and I was good to go and tonight we are having leftovers with a fried egg on top.  Yumtastic!  They also freeze very well so plop any leftovers in the freezer.

Before you dive into this brilliant bean recipe, I want you to tell me what YOUR favorite bean recipe is and how you deal with the many gifts that come with enjoying bean's bounty ;)  Come on, sharing is caring and I want to hear it!

Big and Beefy Ayecote Negro Beans

Serves 4

1 bag Ayecote Negro Beans

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, peeled and kept whole

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 an onion, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, washed and diced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Freshly grated Parmesan (optional, but highly recommended)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Add water to your tea kettle and bring to a boil. Place the beans in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with boiling water and let soak overnight.

Rinse and drain the beans.  Place in a medium stock pot with the garlic and cover with water about an inch above the beans.  Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45-60 minutes until the beans are soft yet toothsome.  Once cooked, drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.  (Call pot liquor.)

In the same stock pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, carrot, celery and a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the beans back to the pot with 1 cup of pot liquor and stir to combine.  Let the beans and vegetables cook for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend.  You may also add more liquor to make the beans more like a stew.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Mix in the parsley and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra special extra virgin olive oil.  Enjoy!



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