Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Magic of Beans
Not many know that I like beans. Call me a closet bean junkie but to me beans are one of those foods that I enjoy in delicious, wholesome silence. So it was with great interest that I RSVP-ed for "Magic Beans"- a lunch featuring the various canned beans from S&W.
While Jack had his beanstalk, I took the stairs to beany heaven.
Held inside cooking school, Palate Sensations, "Magic Beans" featured beans in every one of the dishes! Here's the chef busy over the food. One woman's work is many people's lunch. I'm thankful.
As a welcome drink and prelude to lunch, the Fresh Pineapple Drink was perfect. Made with S&W Sweet 16 Pineapples, canned pineapples, mint and ice, this was refreshingly sweet. I like the subtle minty touch.
Ok, no beans in this drink. But I'm not complaining because the next nine courses all have beans! :D
Starting with the Western selection:
S&W Three-Bean Salad was a protein-packed salad of crunchy cucumbers and beans. This was served slightly chilled here, but I think a warm bean salad would work too.
S&W Beans & Potato Mash was a good idea. Everyone (especially kids) likes mashed potato and the addition of beans into the mash introduces fibre, proteins and vitamins. This is an excellent way of sneaking some nutrients into the kids' diet. For those who want a creamier feel, I would recommend topping this with a good butter or yogurt.
Now comes pasta. I love pasta but oddly, I haven't thought of adding beans to it. The Aglio Olio with S&W Chili & Butter Beans was just the thing to inspire me. It was simple but tasty. Now I have to go and try whipping up some pasta and beans at home.
From the Chinese selection:
Kung Pao Chicken with S&W Garbanzo & Black Beans, anyone? A pity the chicken didn't taste like it was marinated enough and there was a sense of something missing. I think Kung Pao Chicken has to be done over a roaring flame with quite a bit of oil to release the flavours of the dried chilli. The one presented here was probably a healthier version. But yes, beans and nuts in Kung Pao Chicken works.
Sauteed Vegetables with S&W Kidney & Garbanzo Beans was one of my favourite dishes that lunch, despite my dislike for celery. There was a sweetness from veggies and mushrooms that paired well with the starchy beans.
Definitely a twist to the popular Cereal Prawns, the Cereal Coated Fish with S&W Kidney & Garbanzo Beans was interesting. Unfortunately, the dish was too sweet for my liking. Perhaps using the beans in Cereal Prawns would be worth a shot.
And lastly, from the Indian selection:
Generally not a fan of vinegary Achar Achar, I was pleasantly surprised by the S&W Achar Achar with Beans. I guess the sweetness from the pineapple syrup nicely rounded up the tangy flavours.
The last two dishes were Chicken Curry with S&W Butter Beans and Nasi Briyani with S&W Garbanzo & Chili Beans. I love chickpea (aka Garbanzo beans) curry so beans in curry was a, no surprise, good palate-pleaser. By itself, the Briyani was a tad dry for me. It was better eaten with some curry.
So yes, beans can be incorporated into many dishes, including home-cooked ones, across cuisines. And S&W beans are convenient, without one needing to spend time and effort washing, soaking and boiling the beans. Modern day ease with the full natural goodness of beans- high fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, zero cholesterol and saturated fat-free!
S&W range of beans (varying from $2.55 to $3.05 depending on which beans) can be found at various NTUC, Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets. Not every store carries the same items but Giant does have the most extensive selection. Happy bean-hunting!
Thanks to Meiling, Mansi and Kris of Bates141, and S&W for the invitation and hosting this closet-beanie cow.
S&W "Magic Beans" @ Palate Sensations
Aden (off Portsdown Road and opposite Colbar)
1 Westbourne Road
Tel: 6479 9025
Chew On This: Just in case some of you might have been worried for me after the bean-packed lunch, I didn't gas to death! In fact, there wasn't as much flatulence as I was prepared for. Apparently, soaking the beans helps to remove some of the gas-causing compounds!