Intuitive Three-Bean Delight (recipe)

Intuitive cooking.

I started thinking about this concept the weekend I went to Philadelphia to attend Christina Pirello’s 3-Day Intensive Study Program. I received an information packet a few weeks in advance of the class and it stated we would receive no recipes during the class. What?! No recipes? That’s one of the reasons I take cooking classes!  Yep, no recipes, because the purpose of the 3-day cooking intensive was not to show us how to follow recipes. It was to learn to cook intuitively–to cook with seasonal foods, to use a variety of cooking (and raw) methods, to trust our gut.

Since taking Christina’s class last month I have enjoyed cooking and food prep more than ever.  I’m buying local, seasonal produce at the farmer’s market. I’m walking out onto my deck and snipping lettuce, tomatoes, kale and herbs from my garden.  I’m prepping food in a way that makes sense for summer meals.

Last Sunday, as I was preparing food for vacation, I couldn’t decide what type of bean dish to bring along. In the cooking intensive we were encouraged to use more than one grain in a porridge–a great way to get a variety of textures and nutrients–so I decided I would mix a few beans. I looked in the cupboard–at a ridiculous collection of mason jars filled with dry beans–and pulled out three that just sounded perfect to me:  azuki (adzuki), kidney and pinto beans, and I soaked them in kombu.  Maybe it was because their reddish and pinkish hues matched? Perhaps because I thought that though, individually, the cooking times in the pressure cooker would vary, I trusted that I could determine the pressure cooking time for the trio?  I followed my gut.

Two days later, while lazing my day away, laying in the sun along Lake Waramaug, I started reading Christina Pirello‘s book Glow: A prescription for radiant health and beauty.  In the section on the five flavors of food she writes that salty foods (targeting kidney, bladder and reproductive system) can aid the body in softening the hardness of muscles, glands and other tissue. Suddenly I understood why I crave salty foods after intense workouts. (Like, oh, a marathon?! Or, these days, any workout over 45 minutes.)  She went on to list a few of these salty foods which included, wait for it, azuki (adzuki), kidney and pinto beans and sea vegetables (kombu).

Hey, maybe I’m getting the hang of this intuitive thing?

JL’s Intuitive Three-Bean Delight (PRINTABLE RECIPE)
Makes approximately 4 cups of cooked beans [click to continue…]

JL writes the blog JL goes Vegan:  Food & Fitness with a side of Kale and is writer/editor of Stop Chasing Skinny.


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