Dried beans are wholesome, filling and inexpensive. When cooked with rice, as in the traditional black beans and rice, they provide a complete protein. They are great in casseroles, and satisfying in soups and salads.
#1...Kidney Beans and Red Beans. Kidney beans and red beans are used in chili and casseroles. Cannellini, is a white kidney bean, it is an Italian cooking favorite.
#2...Black Beans. Black beans favored in South America and the Caribbean, they make a wonderful soup, flavored with lemon, sherry, or rum. They are good boiled, mashed and served with melted cheese.
#3...Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans. A roundish, wrinkled bean used a great deal in Mexican cooking. They take a lot of cooking to soften; add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the water when boiling. They are good pureed and really good in salads.
#4...Pinto Beans and Pink Beans. These are beans used in Mexican dishes such as refried beans. They give a good base for intense spices. Pinto beans are also a good base for ham. Such as ham and pinto beans. A hearty comfort food.
#5...Lima Beans and Baby Lima Beans. Limas are good in lamb, pork, or ham casseroles and also good as a side dish with barbecued meats.
#6...Great Northern Beans and Navy Beans. These are the beans to make boston baked beans and minestrone-type soups. They also make a fine meal when simmered with a ham bone, some celery leaves, bay leaves and some chopped onion.
#7...Lentils. Lentils, traditional with lamb at Easter time, are served year round in hearty soups and vegetable casseroles.
#8...Black-eyed Peas. Black-eyed peas are as common in the South as navy beans are in the Northeast.
Serve them with molasses, or in chili, in soups, with ham, rice, mashed potatoes, as a side to just about any meal.
#9...Split Peas. Split peas and ham are a classic combination. Both green and yellow make satisfying soups.
Preparing dried beans for cooking.
Wash the beans covering them with cold water and picking out any pebbles or floating particles. Soak them overnight to reduce cooking time, or by chance you are short on time, use this short method: put 2 cups of beans in a large pot, cover with 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover the pot, and let stand for 1 hour before cooking.
Note: Lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking, nor do those beans that the package directions say,"no soaking needed."
Cooking dried beans.
To preserve food values, don't drain off the soaking liquid before cooking, just add enough liquid to cover the beans. Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt for every cup of dried beans, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender. The amount of liquid does not have to be exact; just keep the beans covered with water while they are cooking.