When I was a child my granny used to make beans a lot, especially dry beans. Maybe it was the beginning of my mild OCD but I used to love helping her sift through the beans, discarding the gross ones. That was my introduction into dry beans; before then I only knew of canned beans.
As I got older and began to learn more about food and the processes that allow certain products to sit on supermarket shelves for months and years on end. Particularly the things that go into foods that would normally be refrigerated but have been magically made to sit on the shelf indefinitely.
Often canned beans are salty, which can be remedied with a thorough washing, to remove most of the salt. But the other problems include that they are stored in potentially dangerous cans and who knows how many of the nutrients have been cooked out of them, which you will worsen by cooking them yet again to your desired tastes.
Granted dry beans do require a bit more work, but they are totally worth it because you can control the ingredients and the flavor profile of the beans. Just rinse and soak the beans a day in advance and they can simmer on the stove or in a slow cooker, making them a relatively hands off meal.
So I made a big pot of white beans and decided to make some nachos. I took advantage of the beautiful apples and decided to mix white beans with a Granny Smith apple for a twist on traditional black or kidney bean nachos.
Before you go a “yuck” on me, it sounds weird but they were so delicious and we didn’t feel like we were going to burst when our plates were cleared. You can always add chicken breasts or ground turkey if you must, but honestly they were incredible without any meat.
2 cups white beans
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
4 scallions, sliced
½ tbsp. olive oil
3 tomatoes, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup light Edam cheese
½ bag organic tortilla chips
1 lime juiced & zested
2 tsp. each cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika and chili powder
1/3 cup liquid from beans
¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro
For Nacho Toppings
- Preheat oven to 300° F.
- Soak dry beans for 12 to 24 hours then season with salt, pepper and bay leaves and cook for 50-80 minutes or until beans are soft.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat then add in 3 scallions, 1 garlic clove and apples.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until apples are tender and garlic is browned.
- Add in beans and spices and stir.
- Stir in water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Place tortilla chips on a large baking sheet and place in oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
- In a small mixing bowl combine 1 scallion, tomatoes, garlic, 2 tbsp. minced apple, lime zest and juice and parsley or cilantro.*
- Season with salt and pepper then toss ingredients until blended. You can make the salsa first and give the flavors time to marinate.
*Add 2 oz. tequila for an all grown up salsa and for a seasonal salad add peaches or pineapple to your salsa.