Broccoli Rising and Sexy Beans for You and Your Bae
Big excitement this week — tomorrow is Mardi Gras, a day and night for wild partying, for music, dance, for eating and drinking with abandon. In some parts of the world the party’s already in full swing. So enjoy, let the good times roll, because the next day, Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent. Ash Wednesday begins 40 days of being on your best behavior of solemn self-reflection and fasting. That means giving up worldly indulgences like alcohol, decadent desserts, and meat. Latin lesson — carne vale means farewell, meat. Say the two words fast and you get the word carnival.
As luck or the lunar calendar would have it, Ash Wednesday this year falls on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. So how do you balance Valentine’s Day, a holiday of kisses, love, flowers, and above all, chocolate — topping over $2 billion in sales — with a religious observance that encourages us to abstain from it? No problem, darling — there’s beans.
I know what you’re thinking — beans aren’t meat, they’re a far cry from chocolate, and they aren’t sexy. Well, we’re working to prove they are. By we, I mean the Beans is How Coalition, of which I’m a proud member.
Beans are totally Valentine’s Day appropriate. They’re heart-healthy. The American Heart Association says so, and so do I. Beans are my love language.
Beans are high in zinc, the same libido-jumpstarting mineral that’s in oysters, the poor bivalve some consider an aphrodisiac. Oh, honey, leave the oysters alone. They’re busy cleaning up the oceans that we’ve messed up.
ƒMeanwhile, beans are busy even while they grow, rebuilding our depleted soil. They’re low-water, high yield. They’re among the most sustainable foods you can eat.
Beans sustain the planet and sustain you, too. They’re the original plantbased protein, but they deliver so much more than that. They give your skin a glow and, tone up your microbiome. I’m saying they can make you feel and look hot without heating up the planet.
Have a wild Mardi Gras and a delicious, delectable Valentine’s Day. I will always be a fool for love.
More soulful, romantic and aromatic bean dishes for you and your bae:
soup beans from Crystal Wilkinson’s new Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks
pasta e fagioli from Wendy Holloway’s Flavor of Italy
chickpeas with saffron, a vegan take on Spain’s famed fabada asturiana
culinary lavender adds a subtle floral note to lavender lentils
Pretty damn sexy, if you ask me. And if these don’t do it, this recipe will. It’s bonet. A creamy confection from Piedmont – silky, spoonable, luscious, and chocolatey. Beans aren’t chocolate, it’s true, but they play an important role in my perfected vegan bonet. There’s no dairy and no eggs involved, just the magic from aquafaba, the liquid in a can of chickpeas.
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