By Kelsey Casselbury 2017-09-28 20:08:15
In a school kitchen, time is of the essence. That’s why no one could possibly blame you for popping open that #10 can of black beans when making enchiladas or draining the canned garbanzos for some fresh hummus. (Indeed, that’s why some of the recipes accompanying this article call for the canned variety.) But just because canned beans are a time-efficient way to serve legumes, it doesn’t mean that’s the only way. Dried beans, while perhaps not as speedy to prep, have their own perks—namely, a significant reduction in sodium content, a major coup in the cafeteria these days. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a half-cup of canned pinto beans contains roughly 460 mg of sodium (depending on the manufacturer), while a half-cup of prepared dried beans (without added salt) is virtually sodium-free. Dried legumes also tend to be lower in purchase cost than canned beans and, if you can believe it, a lot of culinary experts are claiming that you don’t actually have to soak dried beans prior to cooking—and that removes a significant amount of prep time and labor cost—from the process. Intrigued by the idea of saving money and controlling sodium levels? Consider cooking with dried beans with greater frequency. SN has put together a dried-bean primer to help your team provide a greater variety of bean-based recipes for your students. To Soak or Not to Soak? It’s long been standard practice to soak dry beans for upward of 8 hours before putting them on the stove. This step reportedly softens the beans, allowing them to cook faster and potentially break down some of the complex sugars that can cause digestive issues. But does it actually make that much of a difference? Popular foodie website, Epicurious, looked to put to rest the question of whether to soak or not to soak by testing a variety of bean-cooking methods: a long soak, a quick soak or no soak at all. Here’s what they found. Soaking dry pinto beans overnight (the long soak) resulted in shaving a mere 10 minutes off the total cooking time, compared to non-soaked beans. In a quick soak, the beans are covered in water, which is then brought to a boil and then removed from the heat and the beans soak in the cooling water for one hour. Beans prepped in this method cooked 5 minutes faster than beans soaked overnight and 15 minutes faster than no-soak beans. However, it’s notable that the editorial team at Epicurious said that the quick-soak beans had the best flavor of all three options. If you do choose to soak the beans, give them plenty of water (at least 2 inches above the top of the beans) and a large enough pot for the beans to expand while they absorb water. (For the record, teeny-tiny adzuki beans never need to be soaked, nor do lentils.) As for whether soaking helps with digestive issues, well, see “The Magical Fruit” on page 72 for the answer on that disagreeable question. Care in Cooking There’s no getting around the fact that dried beans are kind of dirty. At minimum, you must give them a good rinse, else you will be serving tiny pebbles, twigs and a lot of dust. Dump the dry beans in a fine mesh strainer and give them a little bath under running water, picking out any notable debris as you go. Once you feel they are reasonably clean, transfer them to a large pot with that 2-inch clearance. Now, here’s where you can have a little fun in flavoring dried beans: » Serving a Mexican-style meal? Add chili powder, cumin and garlic to the beans. » Love those Southern-style beans? A ham hock added to the pot is the way to go. » Just want those legumes to be full of flavor? Consider adding a bay leaf, garlic and some chopped onion. Speaking of seasonings, salt is at the heart of another debate when it comes to cooking beans. Culinary conventional wisdom advises skipping additional salt during cooking, because it adds time to the process. Like soaking, though, this theory has been flipped on its head, and experts now say that you should season the beans with salt to taste. Just do so responsibly, because over-salting the beans can lead to unpalatable legumes. Ready to cook? Again, moderation is key. In general, you want the beans to gently simmer. Keeping them at an extended boil is a sure-fire way to end up with mushy legumes. There’s one exception to this rule, and that’s when working with dried kidney beans. These must be boiled for 10 minutes to rid the beans of a toxin called phytohemagglutinin, which can cause food poisoning-like symptoms. Those 10 minutes will destroy the toxins—but if you choose to stick with canned kidney beans, we won’t blame you. So, let those beans simmer away. The length of time it takes to become tender and delicious depends on the size of the bean. Review the package instructions for your particular bean variety, but don’t hesitate to taste-test—the bean should be creamy in the center, without any bursting at the edges (which is indicative of overzealous water temperatures). To Prep and to Serve Now you have a huge pot of freshly cooked beans—what to do? One of the humble bean’s best attribute is its ability to stretch a meal at a fraction of the cost of meat or other more expensive ingredients. So, really, the question is, what can’t you do with freshly cooked beans? Add them to chili or soup, turn them into refried beans or add them to rice and southwest spices for a vegetarian entree that features a complete protein. Remember, if you’ve made a huge batch that can’t be used all at once (impossible!), beans can be well-packaged and frozen for up to three months. Here’s what it all comes down to—dried legumes provide a huge bang for your buck while allowing you to control the taste, texture and sodium level. If you’re not sure it’s worth the time, consider doing a taste-test with your students, asking them blindly which sample comes from a can and which is cooked fresh. If they can tell a difference, then there should be no beans about it—dried are the way to go. From cost to control, there are many advantages to menuing dry beans when seeking to meet your legume requirements. California Grape, Quinoa & Bean Salad 2 cups Orange juice 1 cup Apple cider vinegar 1 Tbsp. Salt 1 tsp. Ground black pepper 1 Tbsp. Garlic powder 1 cup Olive oil 1⁄2 cup Jalapenos, sliced 2 lbs. Quinoa 1 3⁄4 qts. Water 6 lbs. Red grapes, stemmed and halved 1 #10 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed 1 1⁄3 lbs. Celery, diced 1 3⁄4 lbs. Green bell pepper, diced 1⁄4 cup Cilantro, chopped 4 1⁄4 lbs. Romaine lettuce 1) Heat the oven to 350°F. 2) To prepare the dressing: In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine the juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. Blend thoroughly. 3) Slowly add the oil while the motor is running. Once all the oil has been added, blend on medium for 1 minute. 4) Add the jalapenos and pulse several times. Do not over-blend the peppers, or the dressing will turn green. Set the dressing aside. 5) To prepare the quinoa: Put 2 lbs. of quinoa in a 2-in. steamtable pan. Toast, uncovered, in the heated oven for 5 minutes. 6) Add 1 3⁄4 qts. hot water (at least 140°F) from a kettle or tap to the quinoa. Stir and cover tightly with foil. 7) Cook the quinoa in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the water has been fully absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer it to a cold, 4-in. deep steamtable pan. Pour the dressing over the cooked quinoa, and put it in the fridge to chill to 41°F. 8) To assemble the salad, combine the chilled, dressed quinoa with the grapes, beans, celery, green peppers and cilantro. Toss to combine the ingredients and serve immediately or return to the fridge to chill. 9) Serve 1 1⁄2 cups of grape salad over 1 to 2 lettuce leaves. Recipe, Photo, Nutrition and Meal Pattern Analysis: Chef Sharon Schaefer, SNS/California Table Grape Commission, www.grapesfromcalifornia.com SERVES 32 (1 1⁄2 cup-portions) PER SERVING 415 cal., 105. g fat, 15 g pro., 10 g fiber, 349 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 1-oz-eq. meat/meat alternate, 1-oz.-eq. whole grains, 1⁄2 cup fruit, 1⁄2 cup dark green vegetable, 1⁄4 cup other vegetable Kitchen Wisdom • The grapes and quinoa are pretty accepted by our students, but some students don’t like the beans in the salad. • I would replace the Great Northern beans with black beans. The Northern beans left a starchy note in mouth and diminished the sauce flavor. • All grade levels would appreciate this salad. We serve quinoa today, as it is on trend. The grapes or other fruit we can add based on commodity fruit availability, i.e. mandarin oranges and pears would also provide enough sweetness to the recipe and is an identifiable ingredient for our student guests. • I really liked the dressing idea on this recipe. It was easy to prepare, and our students like foods with a hot flavor profile. Double-Crunch Tostada 6 lbs., 10 ozs. Tomatoes 3 lbs., 4 ozs. Romaine lettuce 3 lbs., 12 ozs. Green onions 11 lbs., 6 ozs. Garbanzo beans, cooked 6 1⁄4 cups Black olives, sliced 1 lb., 10 ozs. Mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 cup Ground cumin 1 cup Chili powder 2 Tbsps. Salt 2 cups Vegetable oil 100 Whole corn tostada shells 15 lbs., 2 ozs. Refried beans, prepared, low-sodium 7 lbs. Low-sodium salsa 1) Chop the tomatoes, lettuce and green onions. If using canned beans, drain them and rinse. Drain and slice the olives, and shred the cheese. 2) In a large bowl, toss the garbanzo beans, cumin, chili powder, salt and oil together. Spread the mixture evenly in single layers onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 400°F oven until lightly roasted, about 17 minutes. 3) Spread each tostada shell with 1⁄4 cup refried beans and top it with 2 Tbsps. salsa, 2 Tbsps. tomatoes, 1⁄4 cup lettuce, 1 Tbsp. onions, 1 Tbsp. olives, 1⁄4 oz. shredded cheese, 2 tsps. sour cream and 1⁄4 cup seasoned garbanzo beans. *Note: The nutritional analysis may change based on the actual items or brands used in your program. Recipe, Photo and Meal Pattern Analysis: Idaho Grown Legumes, Idaho State Department of Education, www.sde.idaho.gov Nutrition Analysis: Chef Sharon Schaefer, SNS, www.evolutionofthelunchlady.com, powered by MealsPlus SERVES 100 (1 tostada) PER SERVING 413 cal., 19 g fat, 11.5 g pro., 49 g carbs., 11.2 g fiber, 521 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 1⁄4-oz.-eq. meat/meat alternate, 1⁄2-oz.eq. grain, 1⁄2 cup legumes, 1⁄4 cup red/orange vegetables, 1⁄8 cup dark green vegetables, 1⁄8 cup other vegetables Kitchen Wisdom • We would have to assemble it just before service to have the best quality product. We wouldn’t want to risk it being soggy or cold. • We have offered tostadas to our student guests in the past and the y did not find acceptance. • I would count the beans as a meat / meat alternate. Seasoned refried beans would improve the taste profile. It would also be worth considering removing the cheese and sour cream to make it a vegan item. Black Bean Soup 1 cup Onions, chopped 1 cup Celery, chopped 118 ozs. Black beans, cooked 52 ozs. Canned petite diced tomatoes, drained 12 ozs. Canned diced green chilies 32 ozs. Water 178 ozs. Italian cheese sauce* 1⁄4 cup Fresh cilantro, chopped 1 Tbsp. Ground cumin 1 tsp. Ground pepper Optional Light sour cream Optional Cilantro, chopped for Garnish As needed Pan release spray 1) Spray a large, heavy stockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onions and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft. 2) Add half of the beans (3 cups), all the tomatoes, green chilies and 16 ozs. of water. Using a counter or stick blender, process the mixture until smooth. 3) Add the remaining beans, the Italian cheese sauce, cilantro, cumin, pepper and remaining 16 ozs. of water. Stir to combine. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soup has been heated to 165°F for 15 seconds. 4) Serve in 6-oz. portions, with a dollop of light sour cream and chopped cilantro, if desired. *Note: Land O’ Lakes Italian Cheese Sauce can be used in this recipe. Recipe, Photo, Nutrition and Meal Pattern Analysis: Land O’ Lakes Foodservice, www.landolakesfoodservice.com SERVES 30 (6 ozs.) PER SERVING 285 cal., 10 g fat, 13 g pro., 16 g carb., 3.6 g fiber, 767 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 1-oz.-eq. meat/meat alternate, 1⁄4 cup other vegetables Cuban Potato Salad 6 lbs. Small red potatoes, raw* 7 1⁄2 cups Black beans, cooked 4 cups Green onions, sliced 4 cups Red bell peppers, diced 1 cup Dill pickles, chopped 2⁄3 cup Vegetable oil 1⁄2 cup, 2 Tbsps. Lime juice 1 Tbsp. Ground cumin 1 Tbsp. Garlic powder 1 tsp. Salt 1 Tbsp. Liquid smoke 1 1⁄2 tsps. Ground black pepper 1) Cut potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on size, to make bite-size pieces. 2) Place potatoes in a stockpot and fill with cold water until vegetables are covered, plus 1 inch. Bring to a low boil and immediately reduce heat to a medium simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender. 3) Drain potatoes and divide between two full-size 4-in. steamtable pans. 4) Dividing evenly, add the black beans, green onions, red bell peppers and dill pickles to the potatoes. Hold warm. 5) To prepare the dressing: Combine the vegetable oil, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, salt, liquid smoke and black pepper in a medium bowl or a blender. Whisk or blend until well-combined. 6) Pour the dressing over the warm potatoes and gently stir until well-combined. 7) Cover the pan partially and refrigerate until chilled to 40°F, at least 2 hours or overnight. Hold at or below 40°F until ready to serve. *Note: According to the recipe source, you can substitute frozen potatoes, blue potatoes or dehydrated potatoes for the red potatoes. Recipe, Photo, Nutrition and Meal Pattern Analysis: Potatoes USA, www.potatogoodness.com SERVES 48 PER SERVING 98 cal., 3.3 g fat, 3 g pro., 15 g carb., 3 g fiber, 127 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 1⁄4 cup starchy vegetable, 1⁄8 cup legumes Kitchen Wisdom • I would use half as much liquid smoke as the recipe called for—otherwise, it’s a good recipe. • This is tasty, visually appealing and I can see our high school guests being interested in trying the recipe. However, the labor time to dice potatoes for 1,900+ students would be a challenge. • I would try to find a way to use vinegar and/or lime zest for part of the lime juice. Otherwise, that is a lot of fresh limes to squeeze! • I think this is too different from regular potato salad to have a general appeal, but it would be a great addition to a special day celebrating other cultures. Turkey Burrito Bowl 5 lbs., 12 ozs. Long-grain brown rice, uncooked 11 lbs. Roasted turkey* 1 1⁄2 cups Chili powder 1⁄4 cup Ground cumin 2 Tbsps. Granulated garlic 2 Tbsps. Oregano 13 1⁄2 lbs. Black beans, cooked 2 lbs., 8 ozs. Lettuce, shredded 1 #10 can Salsa, low-sodium 1) Preheat oven to 350°F. 2) Prepare the rice according to package instructions. Hold rice at 140°F for service. 3) Divide the roasted turkey evenly in 2-in. steamtable pans. Break pieces apart with a fork. 4) Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic and oregano. Mix and toss to ensure even and thorough coating of the seasonings. 5) Heat the turkey at 350°F for 30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F as measured by a meat thermometer. 6) Heat or steam the beans until they reach 165°F and hold at 140°F for service. 7) To assemble: Scoop 1⁄2 cup (#8 scoop) rice into a 12- to 16-oz. bowl. Add 1⁄4 cup of beans (#16 scoop), 1⁄2 cup turkey, 1⁄4 cup lettuce and 1⁄4 cup salsa. *Note: Jennie-O’s Perfect L’attitudes New World Slow Roasted Turkey, #2156-34, can be used in this recipe. Recipe, Photo, Nutrition and Meal Pattern Analysis: Jennie-O Turkey Store, www.jennieofoodservice.com SERVES 50 PER SERVING 446 cal., 3.7 g fat, 36 g pr., 68 g carb., 13 g fiber, 1,083 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 2-oz.-eq. meat/meat alternate, 1-oz.-eq. grain, 1⁄2 cup vegetables Refried Beans 20 lbs. Pinto beans, cooked 2 cups Chicken or bean stock, non-MSG 1 cup Vegetable oil 1⁄4 cup Chili powder 3 Tbsps. Ground cumin 1 Tbsp. Paprika 1 Tbsp. Onion powder 1 lb., 12 ozs. Cheddar cheese, reduced-fat, shredded As needed Pan release spray 1) Place the cooked beans, stock, oil and seasonings in a mixer and blend for 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed until smooth or at another desired consistency. 2) Pour the beans mixture into two steamtable pans that have been lightly sprayed with a pan release spray. 3) Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes (or a convection oven at 300°F for 20 minutes) until heated to 140°F or higher. 4) Sprinkle 14 ozs. (3 1⁄2 cups) of cheese over the top of each pan of beans. Hold for hot service at 135°F or higher. 5) Portion with a #12 scoop (1⁄3 cup). Recipe, Nutrition and Meal Pattern Analysis: Institute of Child Nutrition, www.theicn.org Photo: www.gettyimages.com SERVES 100 (1⁄3 cup) PER SERVING 111 cal., 4 g fat, 7 g pro., 12 g carb., 3 g fiber, 381 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 1-oz.-eq. meat/meat alternate or 1⁄4 cup vegetables A Bean of a Different Color Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans (chickpeas) should be familiar to most school cooks and the students they serve. There are a number of other types of beans you should consider, and some of these are harder to find in canned form, but easy to procure in dry bulk. Think about trying out a les s-common variety on your menu: • Black-Eyed Peas. Rich in folate, these beans have an earthy taste that’s complemented by bacon or ham. • Cannellini. Also known as white Italian kidney beans, cannellini have a creamy texture and delicate flavor. • Cranberry. Sometimes referred to as “pinto beans light,” cranberry beans have a colorful pink-and-white outside and can often be substituted for pintos. • Great Northern. Despite their name, Great Northern beans are quite small—but they’re also a good source of calcium. • Navy. Talk about healthy—navy beans have the most fiber of all the options, clocking in at 10.5 grams per 100-gram (approximately 3-oz.) serving. Converting Canned to Dry 1 pound of dried beans makes about 5 cups of cooked beans. That, in turn, is equivalent to approximately 45 ozs. (or three 15-oz. cans) of canned beans. A #10 can holds approximately 109 ozs., which means you must cook right around 2 1⁄2 pounds of dried beans (more specifically, 2.44 pounds) to match the canned amount. The Magical Fruit? Anyone who has spent time on a playground likely knows this little ditty: “Beans, Beans, the magical fruit! The more you eat, the more you toot!” Sorry to say, there’s truth to the rhyme. Beans contain oligosaccharides, a scientific way of saying non-digestible, fermentable fibers. They’re super healthy for your gut, but they do cause gas. A study published in 2011 in The Journal of Nutrition, though, suggested that you can train your body to accept beans. The researchers found that two to three months of eating beans regularly, symptoms were less acute, with subjects no longer experiencing bloating and stomach pain. With this in mind, the song’s message should be, “The more you eat, the less you toot!” Some culinarians also advise that soaking the beans prior t o cooking, as well as changing that soaking water often, might lessen the compounds that cause gas. However, there’s a bit of debate over that, so it’s not a sure-fire way to stay flatulence-free. Kelsey Casselbury is a freelance writer based in Odenton, Md., and a contributing editor of this publication. Recipes published in School Nutrition have not been tested by the magazine or SNA in a school foodservice setting, except for certain “Kitchen Wisdom” selections, which are evaluated by a volunteer pool of operators. When available, nutrient analyses are provided by the recipe source. Required ingredients, preparation steps and nutrient content make some recipes more appropriate for catering applications or adult meals. Readers are encouraged to test recipes and calculate their own nutrition analyses, meal patterns and HACCP steps.
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