Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, May 7, 2009
You can now find all of my recently discovered delectable recipes on the daily delights. I am posting 1-2 recipes a week there (Monday for sure), and click here for a link to my recipe archives.
Also, I've started an online Healthy Cooking Group where we've begun sharing recipes, topics, answering questions, and making new friends. Come on over and join us!
Hoping everyone is happily eating!
Monday, October 6, 2008
1/2 cup diced green or red peppers, or green chilies, or sundried tomatoes
1 small clove garlic or some garlic paste
3 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. mustard (dijon preferred)
3/4 cup rolled oats (could use breadcrumbs or other grains)
1 tbsp. salsa
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 tsps. cumin
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. sage
Salt and Pepper as desired
¼ cup white bean, pureed
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges with the juice
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
2 ¼ c. whole wheat flour
3 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
Mix together and pour into 3 round cake pans that are greased and lined with wax paper.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 350<. Let cool. Frosting: 12 oz. Cool Whip 3 oz. instant vanilla JELLO pudding 1 small can crushed pineapple with juice 1 cup shopped pecans Mix together the pudding and pineapple. Then fold in the Cool Whip and nuts. Frost the cake and let refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (Over night is best.)
Everyone brought some great foods to sample. Unfortunately, only a few of you brought recipes so we could all go home and try it out on our families.
Leslie Smoot is going to host October’s class so we’ll be in touch later with details.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
1 c thick whole oats
½ c spelt flour
1 ½ c almond milk
¼ c almond butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ baking soda
2 tbs butter
5 frozen strawberries
notes: pour batter to almost fill waffle pan
ours were a bit spongy…best to cook a bit longer than normal waffles
Friday, June 6, 2008
1 ½ cups water
1 cup coarsely ground bulgur
(Bulgur is whole wheat that has been parboiled and crushed into fine, medium, or coarse partials.)
¼ cup silvered almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon juiced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 sprigs mint leaves roughly chopped
10 sprigs flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
4 scallions thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil and stir in the bulgur. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. While the bulgur is cooking, toast the almonds: Spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes. When the bulgur is done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
Whish together the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix in the mint, parsley, scallions and tomatoes. Mix in the bulgur. Sprinkle with the almonds. Serves 5.
Per Serving (3/4 cup)
12 g total fat
1.5 g Sat. fat
5 g protein
210 mg sodium
26 g carbohydrates
7 g fiber
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
For a similar tagged post i've done, click here
For this edition of the game I am to share 8 random facts/habits about myself. So for a twist i have decided to focus on 8 things to do with cooking/food. Can you tell i am 1 week away from happy salad/veggie eating?
***Though i am not a gourmet cook, nor ever expect to be, i do enjoy eating like one, and if there is a way to simplify some of the great recipes out there, i am on a quest to find out how!***
1. Our Kitchen - we spend a lot of time in the kitchen: cooking, cleaning, art and craft projects, preschool... It's a rather large kitchen, and though we don't need all of the cupboard space, or the two ovens, or trash compactor, it's fabulous for parties and activities of various sorts. The kiddos do most of their creating in our kitchen/dining area. For an article i've written about our art area & supplies, click here. As for me, I also use the kitchen to do my creating and painting. I've even got all of my paint supplies stashed in a couple of the cupboards:
2. Counters - So Carl grew up in a house where the kitchen counters were basically only used for cooking/preparation. Not me. Mine is probably 1 1/2 times smaller and our counters were always full of cooking items, recipe boxes, cd's, pen/pencil holders, toaster... So when we were first married we met one of our first differences over how our kitchen should look/be organized. I had started to set it up and soon found that it was considered a "cluttered" kitchen. News to me...i tried to bend until it came to my KitchenAid Mixer. That was where i broke down. I loved my new, beautiful "artisan pistachio mixer" that i'd received at my bridal shower, and thought it was a symbol of pure domesticity. (I was working full time back then and rarely used it). In the end, mostly everything was "put away," but my mixer has remained on the counter. Since then there are a few other acceptable items, including these canisters below for beans, rice, flour...(i have twice as many on another counter).
The beloved pistachio mixer...if i could do it again, i think i'd buy a Bosch. But the kids and i use this nearly everyday. And it looks fabulous on the counter!
3. Spices/Herbs - I have a fetish for spices and herbs. If I am at the grocery store/World Market/Williams Sonoma etc., and i feel like splurging, I buy a new spice or herb...:) Pictured below are my all time favorites (yes, they do vary, but these are the most constant):
I really don't know if i could live without any of these. I prefer the Spice Hunter, but there are lots of great spice peeps out there.
Along with other great features in the kitchen, there is this handy dandy spice cupboard (with a deep corner cupboard behind it). I think anyone who likes spices should definitely have one of these beauties. Or maybe a couple (i have another spice rack that sits on the counter, as well as a Tupperware box filled with spices...these are the ones i use most frequently, and no, i can't reach half of them without my step stool). I hope to have one of these in our next home as well.
4. Cooking must haves - Pictured below are some more cooking items that i don't think i could do without:
coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, chili paste, olive oil, almond milk, almond butter, fish sauce, Real Salt, and i forgot to include in the photo: coconut milk.
For most of these items i am not picky, but others i prefer certain brands:
Real Salt - So many think that salt is "bad" for you, but i believe that "bad salt" is bad for you :). Real Salt contains more than 50 trace minerals, is found near Redmond, Utah (which is minutes from where my father grew up in Sanpete, County, Utah), my next door neighbor's brother is the owner, and you can buy it on Amazon. There's more to say...if you're interested click here.
Almond Breeze - by Blue Diamond Growers. For various reasons, we don't buy cow's milk anymore. We use almond milk on our cereal, to drink, and i cook with it. It comes in various flavors (vanilla, unsweetened, and chocolate), though we mostly use the unsweetened. I just love it.
5. Cookbooks - When i really want to splurge, i have an itch to buy a new cookbook. (no, i'm still not very good at sticking to the recipes, but the beautiful pictures help me at least try) Here are my latest favs:
Cooking Light's Slow Cooker - I haven't been able to successfully Slow Cook for the past 8 1/2 months, the smell the encompasses the house makes me throw up, or i can't eat it once it's finished. I even tried hiding it in the back bathroom and cooking in the garage, but the smells still found their way in... So i'm excited to get back into the Slow Cooking thing. This is a great book with all kinds of flavors and healthy ideas. One of our favs is the Vegetable and Chickpea Curry. Yum!
The Herb Bible by Jennie Harding - a great little resource.
America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook - when i just need a bit of guidance in trying something new, this book usually hits the spot.
How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson - another great shower gift from the lovely Nancy Wishart in my home ward. I've received a lot of inspiration from this one.
Mary Engelbreit's Dining Out Cookbook - a great shower gift from my roomies: Jenn, Nance, & Amos. It has all kinds of dishes for you to eat outdoors. One of my favorite recipes comes from there, a spicy cilantro pesto covered shrimp pasta dish...yummy
James McNair Cooks Southeast Asian - My favorite in this one so far is a Thai stuffed Eggplant dish. Usually for inspiration...these recipes are complex and require many ingredients, so simplification without losing the taste, is the goal here.
6. Cooking Sites - When i need inspiration cooking-wise, i usually turn to:
Some favorite cooking blogs:
- Delightfully Gluten Free - my sister-in-law's sister in law, Cassandra's brain child of a blog :)
- Smitten Kitchen - some delicious food adventures
- Gluten Free Girl - even has her own cookbook on Amazon
- Lee Lou Ann - just darn inspiring
7. Our One Day Kitchen -
8. Current Cooking Goals - Some of my latest desires are to improve/learn more about:
- wheat free bread making
- more food storage in my daily ingredients
- homemade pesto
- homemade granola
- homemade almond butter
- grinding my own grains
- wheat free cookies that stay together :) (been working on this one forever)
So if for some reason, you're still with me...i'm not going to tag anyone in particular. If you'd like to participate here are the rules that i pretty much broke (sorry, not too good at following recipes or rules):
The Rules: 1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.2. People that are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.3. At the end of your post tag 8 people and include their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment on their blog to tell them they've been tagged, and to comment back and read your blog for the whole story.
My rules: write on 8 things about you if you want: fashion, laundry secrets, why you think the Lakers should win/lose the championship, guilty pleasures,...whatever!
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Garlic- 2 cloves
Pine nuts - 2 tbsp
Parmesan cheese freshly grated- 1/4 cup
Good quality extra virgin olive oil- 2 tbsp
For mincing, you will need a sharp mezzaluna, but I replaced it with a
There is only one step. Mince till you get a fine mince of the ingredients. Heidi recommends starting with the garlic and 1/3 rd basil. Keep adding the ingredients in parts till everything is minced. Start with garlic, then basil, followed by pine nuts and cheese.
At this point I kept it in the refrigerator.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Lettuce of your choice
2 tablespoons feta cheese
2 tablespoons diced tomatoes
¼ cup tortilla strips
½ cup voodoo dressing
½ cup hot chicken breast diced (you can grill or bake it)
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup chili paste
2 tablespoons red pepper
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ cup sesame oil
1 cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup soy sauce
1 ½ cup white sugar
¼ cup minced garlic
1/3 cup pureed ginger
Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix! The dressing mix makes 8 cups of dressing so you will need a bottle to put it in. Yummy!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
1 1/2-2 lbs steak, sliced into small pieces
3/4 cups artichokes, quartered
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 box of Near East couscous (toasted pine nut)
· 1/3 cup soy sauce
· 1/2 cup olive oil
· 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
· 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
· 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
· 3 tablespoons dried basil
· 1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon ground chili pepper
1. Marinade steak in bag or covered bowl in fridge for at least 3 hours.
2. Place steak and artichokes on kabobs and grill for 8-10 minutes (for medium well) on low heat.
3. Prepare boxed "toasted pine nut" couscous from Near East , with mushrooms added.
So easy, so tender and flavorful. We ate it with some freshly cut fruit. I can just imagine how good it would taste with a Mediterranean salad: fresh greens, kalamata olives, feta cheese...
Monday, May 5, 2008
So with all of that in mind here is my latest eastern concoction...not meant to be authentic by any means...but definitely delicious!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Wow. This just warmed my heart...soo yummy!
1-1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut into bit sized pieces
2 slices bacon/pancetta, thinly chopped (i used 2 small italian sausage links)
2 cups cooked pasta (i used brown rice spirals)
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
1 1/2 cups marsala cooking wine
3 cups spinach, rinsed
1-2 small zucchini, chopped
1. In a large sauce pan, cook bacon/pancetta, drain any fat.
2. Add olive oil, garlic, and chicken and saute (4-6 minutes).
3. Cover and simmer with butter and then add the marsala, lemon, and thyme. Simmer another 8 minutes until wine sauce has thickened, covered. Add zucchini and parsley, cover for 2 minutes.
4. Serve over pasta and spinach leaves. Salt to taste. Serves 4.
Depending on how soft you like your spinach, you could place the spinach in your sauce pan and cover for a minute to wilt...without heat. It was delicious!
3 cups water
2 cups dry Great Northern beans (i used a cooked, tri-bean version with kidney, pinto and white)
3 large carrots, coarsely chopped
12 ounces lean boneless lamb, cut into cubes
8 ounces bulk Italian sausage (i used a portabello mushroom, chicken & turkey sausage)
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley ( i used dried parsley)
2. Add red wine, celery and carrots, and saute 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, water, and remaining spices. Simmer for another 25 minutes covered. Serve topped with avocado and your favorite homemade biscuits. Makes 6 servings.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
1 large red grapefruit
1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
Four 6-ounce skinless trout fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
8 large sage leaves
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/4 cup water
1. Using a sharp knife, remove the peel and bitter white pith from the grapefruit. Working over a medium bowl, carefully cut in between the membranes to release the sections into the bowl. Squeeze the remaining grapefruit juice into a separate bowl.
2. In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of the pumpkin seeds until coarsely ground. Put the flour, egg and ground pumpkin seeds in 3 shallow bowls. Season the trout fillets with salt and pepper and lightly dust them with flour, tapping off the excess. Dip the fillets in the beaten egg, then dredge them in the pumpkin seeds.
3. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the sage leaves and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the sage leaves to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Add 1/4 inch of the vegetable oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Carefully add the trout fillets and fry over moderately high heat until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Divide the fillets among 4 plates.
4. Discard the oil and wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Add the fresh grapefruit juice and water to the skillet and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the grapefruit sections and simmer the sauce for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper and spoon the sauce and grapefruit sections over the trout. Garnish each fillet with 2 sage leaves and serve immediately.
1 Can Japanese or other short-grain white rice
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 15 ounce can unsweetened light coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
large mango, sliced
In 3 quart saucepan, heat rice, sugar, salt, and 3 cups of water to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Increase heat to medium; stir in coconut milk and cook uncovered until rice is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasional.
Transfer rice pudding to serving bowls; cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight to serve cold. Top with mango slices and toasted coconut before serving.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
1 tsp vegetable oil (coconut oil would work gr8 here)
3 lemongrass stalks, touch outer leaves removed, bottom 5 inches halved lengthwise and sliced
3 shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
8 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tbs fish sauce
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk, well shaken
1 tbs sugar
1/2 lb white mushrooms, cut into 1/4" slices
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
3 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 serrano cilies, slices thin
2 scallions, sliced thin on the bias
1 lime, cut into wedges
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Add the lemongrass, shallots, cilantry, and 1 tbs of the fish sauce; cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, 2-5 minutes (the vegetables should not brown). Stir in the broth and 1 can of coconut milk; bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reuce the heat to low, and simmer until the flavors have blended, 10 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids in the strainer. Rinse the saucepan and return the broth mixture to the pan.
2. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Stir the remaining can of coconut milk and sugar into the broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, 1-3 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat.
3. Combine the lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 tbs fish sauce in a small bowl; stir into the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cilantro, shiles, and scallions. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
This has got to be one of the most popular desserts we make each day. It is a tofu-based pie, but you’d never know it since the texture is so creamy. The sweetness from the coconut is very appealing, too. Be sure to make a high-standing rim of crust to hold the generous amount of filling for this pie. Although the filling will move slightly in the center when done, as the pie cools the filling will become firm and creamy.
2 (12.3-ounce) containers vacuum-packed extra-firm silken tofu (such as Mori-Nu)
1 cup maple sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons arrowroot
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
oat pastry crust
Position the rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Blend the tofu, maple sugar, coconut milk, 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, oil, arrowroot, vanilla and almond extract in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour the coconut mixture into the baked pie crust.
Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup shredded coconut over the pie. Continue baking for 15 minutes, or until the coconut is golden and the filling is set around the edges but still moves slightly in the center when the pie dish is gently shaken. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely. Cover the pie and refrigerate until cold. Cut the pie into wedges and transfer to plates. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over, and serve.
The pie will keep for one-day, covered and refrigerated.
Monday, March 17, 2008
1 can coconut milk
1 large egg
2 cups breadcrumbs (use your favorite bread)
4-6 portobello mushrooms (sliced)
1 large eggplant (sliced into ½” rounds)
3 tbs butter
3 tbs olive oil
3 tsp capers
3 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs parsley
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease baking sheet (I use coconut oil)
2. To make Schnitzel:
Whisk together milk and egg in wide, shallow bowl. Spread bread crumbs on a large plate. Dip eggplant, zucchini, & Portobello into milk/egg mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs. Set on baking sheet. Bake vegetables 10 minutes. Flip them and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and breadcrumbs are brown. Set aside.
3. To make Lemon-Caper Sauce:
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until butter begins to brown. Stir in oil and capers, and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat, and add lemon juice and parsley.
Serve vegetables immediately with sauce on top.
3. Add asparagus and cook until tender (3-4 min)
Remove chicken and all but 1 ½ cups chicken broth
2-3 tbs raw/turbinado sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. green curry paste
2 cans coconut milk
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Mix and heat together. Thicken with 2 T. cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water. Use sparingly until just barely thickened.
In a saucepan sauté:
2 cups chopped celery
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
3 limes, juiced
Stir sautéed vegetables and chopped chicken into coconut milk mix. Simmer 20 min. For a filling meal, serve over brown rice.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Bean eaters are associated with smaller waist sizes and a 22% lower risk of obesity. They also take in less “bad” fat and one-third more fiber than those who avoid these nutritional gems.
Beans have such an amazing nutrition track record. One cup of beans provides a whopping 13 g of fiber—which is half of what we need daily—with no saturated fat. Beans are loaded with protein (about 15g per cup) and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most women fall short on—calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies also tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers. And surprisingly, red, pinto, and kidney beans are the highest antioxidant food, beating out both blueberries and cranberries. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Rd
Prevention – February 2008—pp 85-87
The new U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guideline using the Eating Right Pyramid suggests, that the foods lowest in fats, oils and sugars (fruits, vegetables, dry beans and grains) should make up the largest portion of our daily meals. The benefits of using beans on a daily basis have recently been promoted because studies show beans help to reduce cholesterol while providing excellent nutrition. When combined with nuts, seeds or grains, they form a complete high-fiber vegetable protein. Most beans contain only 2-3% fat. Beans are the perfect food for a fat-restricted diet. You may never have to count calories again. Beans contain no cholesterol, and they can help lower your cholesterol level because they are one of the richest sources of fiber! Most beans contain at least 20% protein and are high in carbohydrates which provides longlasting energy. In addition, beans provide essential B Vitamins and Iron. Adding beans to your daily meals insures total nutrition, and with our wide selection of beans you should be able to find the right flavor for you.
Here’s a great website that will tell you about the nutritional content of all different types of beans and recipes to use them in.
But what about ...Some people hesitate to eat beans because they can produce too much intestinal gas. Gas develops as indigestible carbohydrates in beans pass into the large intestine, where bacteria break down the carbohydrates and produce gas. A product called Beano taken with or just before eating provides a protein that breaks down these carbohydrates, preventing or reducing gas formation.
Cultures that traditionally use beans abundantly tend to use herbs and spices said to fight flatulence. These include turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, anise, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, rosemary, lemongrass, garlic and basil.
If you really want to improve the quality of your diet, think beans. A hearty and satisfying alternative to meat, beans are low in fat, and rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, zinc, copper, and potassium. As for fiber, no other food surpasses beans. Just a half cup of cooked beans provides 4 to 8 grams of fiber — up to four times the amount found in most other plant foods. Beans also help maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. As an added bonus, beans keep you feeling full and satisfied long after the meal is over — a definite benefit if you're watching your weight.
Because beans are a natural product, packages of dried beans sometimes contain shriveled or discolored beans, as well as small twigs and other items. Before cooking, sort through your beans and discard any discolored or blemished legumes. Rinse the beans well, cover them with water, and discard any that float to the top.
There are two methods used to soak beans in preparation for cooking. If you have time — if you intend to cook your dish the next day, for instance — you may want to use the long method, as this technique is best for reducing the gas-producing oligosaccharides. If dinner is just a couple of hours away, though, the quick method is your best bet. Keep in mind that not all beans must be soaked before cooking. Black-eyed peas, brown and red lentils, and split peas do not require soaking.
The Long Method
After cleaning the beans, place them in a large bowl or pot, and cover them with four times as much water. Soak the beans for at least four hours, and for as long as twelve hours. If soaking them for more than four, place the bowl or pot in the refrigerator. After soaking, discard the water and replace with fresh water before cooking.
The Quick Method
After cleaning the beans, place them in a large pot, and cover them with four times as much water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, and continue to boil for two minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. After soaking, discard the water and replace with fresh water before cooking.
To cook beans for use in salads, casseroles, and other dishes that contain little or no liquid, clean and soak as described above, discard the soaking water, and replace with two cups of water for each cup of dried beans. When beans are to be cooked in soups or stews that include acidic ingredients — lemon juice, vinegar, or tomatoes, for instance — add these ingredients at the end of the cooking time. Acidic foods can toughen the beans' outer layer, slowing the rate at which the beans cook. You'll know that the beans are done when you can mash them easily with a fork. Keep in mind that old beans may take longer to cook. The use of hard water can also lengthen cooking times. During long cooking times, periodically check the pot, and add more liquid if necessary.