When I posted the slow cooker mushroom meatballs recipe I mentioned my bean mix recipe. As I was typing I wondered if anyone would want to know it and at least one person does so I’m sharing it. It’s also slow cooker week over at BlogHer so it’s kind of timely.
I used to do my bean mix in a saucepan on the stove top but because I do a large bean mix it nearly always burned on the bottom of the saucepan giving my kitchen that awful burning food smell and then I’d have to be careful to not mix up the good bits with the burned bits.
Using the slow cooker to do this, however, doesn’t give me those burned bits and I can cook that bit extra in one go, therefore saving me time. The slow cooker for me is ultimately about saving time.
Onto my bean mix recipe. It’s my own, adapted from vegetarian friends who have made me nachos in the past. You could also use this for tacos or anything Mexican that requires beans. I’ve got a 4.5 litre capacity slow cooker and this recipe pretty much fills it up.
Preparing the kidney beans
I buy a kilo pack of red kidney beans – I like the Siena ones as they tend to keep their red colour the best.
Soak half of them (500g) overnight in lots of water, drain, rinse and put them in a saucepan with new water to boil up. I boil them for around 40 minutes but it doesn’t hurt to do it longer so long as you have enough hot water. You could do this step in the slow cooker too I guess but I don’t.
Once they’re cooked, drain again, rinse and leave in the drainer.
Making the bean mix
- 500g dried red kidney beans (prepared as above)
- 1 onion – chopped
- half red capsicum chopped (I do this because it’s the only way my son will eat capsicum)
- 4 or so small mushrooms chopped (you don’t have to do this but it doesn’t hurt)
- 3 x 410g cans of chopped tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- teaspoon olive oil
- small teaspoon of chilli paste (use fresh chillis if you want and adjust amounts according to how spicy you like food)
- 1tbspn Cumin powder or seeds
- 2 tbspns tomato paste (optional)
Heat up the olive oil in a frypan and add the onions and capsicum and saute them until the onion is soft.
Add the garlic and mushrooms if you’re using mushrooms and cook for a minute.
Add the chilli and cumin and stir them in for a minute.
In the slow cooker add the beans and the canned tomatoes and the tomato paste if you’re using it (I’ve found with the Siena beans and the slow cooker I don’t really need tomato paste).
Then add the onions etc you’ve cooked in the frypan.
Mix everything up with a wooden spoon and cook for 2-4 hours on High, or 6-8 hours on Low. If it’s too watery from the tomatoes, just lift the lid off at the end so some of it can evaporate.
Now, you could eat it like this with your nachos or tacos but I like it all blended and doing that also hides the capsicum from those fussy eaters. If you want them blended just use a hand held blender, or put the mixture into a food processor.
This is enough for one huge meal or put it into containers to freeze.
Excuse me not taking any pictures here but I’ve been sick since Saturday so I left half my brain somewhere – probably the somewhere that didn’t tell met that I didn’t button up my cardigan properly this morning before I took my son to school.