Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Simple fare

I remember when I was a young girl, growing up in Cajun country, with our veritable feasts before us. Catfish courtbouillion with fried catfish. Duck and andouille gumbo. Crawfish etouffee. Shrimp and crab stew. Fried oyster poboys. Huge chunks of beef swimming in a rich brown gravy. We lived in a wonderland of food.

I used to imagine poor homeless men--winos or hobos, as we called them then. In my mind, I pictured them sitting before a small fire huddled over a can of beans they were trying to heat. Beans. That was my idea of rock bottom.

But with my feasting, I hit my own manner of rock bottom. Cancer. Diabetes. High blood pressure. Diseased gallbladder. Fatty liver. Now I'm eating beans trying to clean out my toxic body.

Granted, my beans are organic, don't come in cans, are sprouted for days in my kitchen before being cooked, and usually are cooked with onions, garlic, celery, sometimes tomatoes, and almost always an organic nitrite-free turkey bacon or sausage for flavoring.

Tonight, though, it was simple fare. Just plain old pinto beans that had been sprouting on my kitchen countertop for three days. A little pink Himalayan sea salt and some celery seed.

I've been taking in a bit too much meat protein and my digestive system is feeling it. So I just enjoyed the lovely, savory warmth of pinto beans, full of fiber and bulk to make me feel full.

We've already discussed beans in general in my earlier post To Bean or Not to Bean: That is the Question! But that post talked about beans in general and whether or not to eat them as a group and the importance of sprouting beans and legumes.

This post is about nothing more than the humble pinto.

Just go Google "Are pinto beans healthy?" and you'll see what I'm talking about. They are good for diabetics (slow the release of sugars into the blood stream) with a glycemic index of only 33. They are loaded with nutrients like magnesium (and a million others). With a little rice, they make a complete protein. They have soluble fiber to lower bad cholesterol, and insoluble fiber to clean out your digestive tract.

If I'd eaten more simple meals like this in my life--been less the gourmet and gourmand--I might not be writing this blog right now. I might instead be out on a three-week foray into the forest, hunting elk in Idaho, with a backpack and a kayak.

If I'd traded my cow for a handful of magic beans...

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