Monday, June 24, 2013

The Great Vegan Bean Book
Review and Giveaway

Nutrition. Flavor. Value. Variety. Versatility. Sustainability. What's not to love about beans? Along with other legumes, beans have been harvested among the Earth's most ancient cultures for a very long time—as far back as the Bronze Age. But aside from baked beans, refried beans, and bean burritos, many of us really don't know beans about beans. And if you ask most people to list their top ten favorite foods, I would venture to guess that beans would not hold a spot on most lists. Take me, for example. I really do love lentils, I favor fava, I'm crazy about cannellini, and I'm goofy for garbanzos. But when it came to knowing about the amazing variety of beans and the multitude of ways they can be deliciously incorporated into just about every kind of recipe imaginable, well, what I knew about beans didn't amount to a hill of beans. 

Beans are inexpensive and packed with nutrients. They're low in fat, high in protein and fiber, and are a great source of B vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidents. Some beans are also a great source of other vitamins, like edamame, which has a whopping 30 mcg of vitamin K per quarter cup. Just about every culture is known for its own special bean dish, and according to perennialsolutions.org, beans are a perennial staple crop that can be harvested non-destructively. Like all legumes, they are one of the world's basic foodstuffs, and the harvesting of beans does not kill the plant nor prevent future harvests.

Kathy Hester's latest book, The Great Vegan Bean Book contains more than 100 delectable recipes that will revolutionize your relationship with beans. 


The recipes are broken out into type of dish, and you'll love the cute chapter titles like "Noshy Beans" and "Portable Beans." I wanted to try something completely different from my typical bean fare, which consisted mainly of black bean burritos and various kinds of dal, so I started with the recipe for Pineapple Rum Beans Over Coconut Lime Sweet Potatoes. The flavors were every bit as lusciously tropical as they sound! I'd show you my own photo, but it doesn't compare to RenĂ©e Comet's lovely image from the book:


From breakfast (oh yeah, I'm making those Enchanted Vanilla Pancakes!) to dessert (there's a little sneak peek below)—The Great Vegan Bean Book contains an enticing collection of recipes that will quickly elevate your opinion of the humble little bean.

As a side note, I  admit that I have come to rely a bit to heavily on canned beans. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But my friend Allison, has been telling me for years that there's nothing like the flavor, texture, and extra nutritional boost you get from cooking beans from scratch. And while I don't own a pressure cooker (Allison's preferred method, because they cook up in just 35 minutes!), I do own a slow cooker (thanks to falling in love with Kathy's first book, The Vegan Slow Cooker), so I followed the directions for slow-cooker beans at the beginning of The Great Vegan Bean Book and have been cooking up perfect beans every time! There are cooking instructions for every kind of bean imaginable—Rattlesnake beans? I had no idea! Nor had I ever heard of Barlotti, Apaloosa, or Goat's Eye beans! (Have you?)

I couldn't recall the last time I'd enjoyed beans as part of a dessert, so I couldn't wait to try Kathy's creative recipe for Vanilla and—my heart be still—Rose Water Parfaits. Sandwiched between bands of vanilla cookie crumbs, the lusciously creamy layers are made with lentils, tofu, and coconut milk yogurt (I used So Delicious, of course!) delicately flavored with vanilla and rose water. I improvised a little by mixing in tiers of strawberry sauce infused with Rose Petal Jam from Premrose Edibles. These parfaits would make such an exquisite finish to a special meal, an indulgent breakfast, or a delightful midday treat!


If you love beans and especially if you think you don't, get your hands on a copy of The Great Vegan Bean Book! Your taste buds will thank you, and your appreciation for one of nature's most perfect foods will soar. And if you'd like to win a copy, I'm giving one away. Here's all you need to do:

Update: Congratulations to Lizzie Bordello, the lucky winner of The Great Vegan Bean BookHuge thanks to everyone for participating in the giveaway! More fun reviews and giveaways to come, so please stay tuned ... Lizzie, please check your email inbox for a message from me on how to claim your prize. 

Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite bean dish is.* To increase your chances of winning this fabulous book, you can also do one or more of the following, and leave a separate comment for each item you complete:

1. Follow this blog.
5. Tweet the following message: I'm Tweeting to win a copy of Kathy Hester's The Great Vegan Bean Book via @vegiegail http://bit.ly/Gr8VegBean #vegan #recipes #book #giveaway

Good luck!

*Sorry international friends. This giveaway is open only to US residents.

75 comments:

Mandy said...

I just discovered the best bulk garbanzo beans on Amazon by this family-owned company. I'm not much of a cook - okay, not a cook at all - but these are just so good I'm making a batch at least twice a week. They are so much better than the canned ones I've eaten for years. I'm putting them in pasta, in salads, and popping them in my mouth from the bowl. Right now, I really like them with just a drizzle of salad dressing (strawberry vinegrette). It's the Palouse Brand, if you want to try it. Gonna try the lentils in my next order!

Unknown said...

I'm so excited that you are doing a giveaway of Kathy Hester's book! Beans Beans the musical fruit! I love me some beans!

Unknown said...

My current favorite bean dish is Coconut Garbanzo Bean Curry, I found it in a book "The Lean" and it's so yummy!

feralgyrl said...

i really enjoy http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/12/caribbean-pineapple-black-beans-plantains.html and also love Tamarind Lentils from Veganomicon. I love beans and would be delighted to win this book!

Jennifer K said...

My favorite bean dish is pasta faggiole

Jennifer K said...

I am already subscribed to your blog :-)

Jennifer K said...

I am already following you on Twitter

Jennifer K said...

I am also already following Kathy Hester on Twitter

Jennifer K said...

I tweeted about the giveaway: https://twitter.com/Jenny_Vegan/status/349283439817666561

Jennifer K said...

I liked you on Facebook

Mason Linkous said...

My favorite bean dish is hummus!

Mason Linkous said...

I'm now following your blog!

Mason Linkous said...

I follow @geekypoet on Twitter.

Mason Linkous said...

I now follow @vegiegail on Twitter.

Mason Linkous said...

I follow Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook.

kelly g. said...

Black bean brownies, no contest!

kelly g. said...

I follow you on twitter!

kelly g. said...

I follow you on twitter!

kelly g. said...

I follow the Geeky Poet on twitter!

kelly g. said...

& I like Healthy Slow Cooking on FB!

kelly g. said...

& I tweeted about the giveaway: https://twitter.com/vegandaemon/status/349316400088756224

PensiveFashionista said...

I have contemplated buying this cookbook and I more than likely will (unless I win the giveaway, of course).

My favorite bean dish is chana masla. It is my standby dish whenever I go to an Indian restaurant.

MarkTwain said...

Fav bean dish? Teriyaki Chickpeas.

MarkTwain said...

1. I follow your blog!

MarkTwain said...

2. I Follow @vegiegail on Twitter.

MarkTwain said...

3. I Follow @geekypoet on Twitter.

MarkTwain said...

4. I "Like" Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook.

MarkTwain said...

5. I Tweeted the following message: I'm Tweeting to win a copy of Kathy Hester's The Great Vegan Bean Book via @vegiegail http://bit.ly/Gr8VegBean #vegan #recipes #book #giveaway

@martielou

HilLesha said...

I love hummus.

HilLesha(at)twc(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I love curried greens and beans. I would really enjoy having a copy of this month. I've borrowed it from the library a couple of times.

Tofu Cat said...

I like a chili with several different beans. Great with a salad and some crusty bread.
Tofucat@aol.com

Anna said...

Tuscan white beans are my favorite. Navy beans cooked with tomatoes and italian seasoning.

Anna said...

I like healthy slow cooking on facebook.

Allison said...

My favorite dish is red lentils and greens.

Allison said...

My favorite dish is red lentils and greens.

Kathie said...

My favorite bean dish is cannelini beans, and greens, I use escarole, kale or spinach whatever I have. Cook the cannelini beans in vegetable stock and add the greens until wilted. Spice as you like. I use garlic and pepper.

Kathie said...

I follow Vegiegail on twitter

Kathie said...

I follow Follow @geekypoet on Twitter.

Kathie said...

I "Like" Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook.

Kathie said...

I tweeted I'm Tweeting to win a copy of Kathy Hester's The Great Vegan Bean Book via @vegiegail http://bit.ly/Gr8VegBean #vegan #recipes #book #giveaway

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

I follow geekypoet on Twitter

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

I follow Veggiegail on Twitter

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Annnnd I tweeted about this

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Oh - and my favorite dish is red beans and dirty rice - vegan of course

MonsterAteMy said...

I can't really pick a favorite bean dish (that would be like picking a favorite child! LOL), but I do make black beans and rice a LOT, because it is as delicious as it is easy and can be altered in flavor to suit my mood.

MonsterAteMy said...

I "like" HSC on FB.

MonsterAteMy said...

I follow Vegiegail on Twitter

MonsterAteMy said...

I follow Geekypoet on twitter.

MonsterAteMy said...

I follow this blog via Feedly.

Eileen said...

My favorite bean dish is chili! Gotta love a warm spicy chili on a cold winter night!!

Kendy P said...

i am a big fan of black bean nachos! it is a friday night type of thing!

kittylover said...

Love,love hummus on corn tortillas and veggies

The Peace Patch said...

Spicy chickpea burgers are my most favorite.
And Happy National Strawberry Parfait Day today! I would love one of those superyumful Rose Water Parfaits to celebrate! :)

Karen Faivre said...

One of my faves is a nice spicy lentil and cauliflower dahl; I also adore refried pinto beans.

Anonymous said...

I love black beans in tacos! scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Helen said...

I love dal and anything with garbanzo beans.

Angel said...

Falafel!!!

Angel said...

I follow Hungry Vegan.

Lizzie Bordello said...

I love beans and rice - my Puerto Rican friend has an old family recipe that I continue to try to recreate. It's top secret, and I know there is one ingredient that I just can't seem to discern. But I keep trying! :)

Lizzie Bordello said...

I follow your blog in my Netvibes reader. :)

Lizzie Bordello said...

I follow you on Twitter. @wickedliz

Lizzie Bordello said...

I'm also already following Kathy on Twitter.

Lizzie Bordello said...

I follow Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook.

Lizzie Bordello said...

Just tweeted about the giveaway. https://twitter.com/wickedliz/status/349943907964043266

Joy said...

I Follow @vegiegail on Twitter.

Joy said...

I Follow @geekypoet on Twitter.

Joy said...

I "Like" Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook.

Joy said...

Tweeted! https://twitter.com/bjoycannon/status/350001975187873793

Joy said...

I subscribe to the blog via email - is that what is meant by following? I'm not seeing another way to follow.

Ashley said...

I love roasted chickpea tacos! Thanks for the chance to win :)

Ashley said...

I follow @vegiegail on Twitter

Ashley said...

I follow @geekypoet on Twitter.

Ashley said...

I like Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook

Ashley said...

I tweeted!

Airstar Hvac said...

My favorite bean dish is Pasta Fagioli- I'm Italian-can't help it