Monday, September 08, 2014

Cranberry Bean Stew, Waterless Baby Broccoli with Seitan (No Added Fat)

On Wednesday, I had soaked some cranberry beans and was planning on pressure cooking them for 20-25 minutes as the main part of a dish the next day. However, I had a new Food for Life series beginning on Friday and was out with my daughter shopping (and then eating at the store) Thursday night. I am a professional photographer and ate on-site after a rehearsal dinner on Friday and the wedding on Saturday. Yesterday, we were in Raleigh and enjoyed a meal at Irregardless CafĂ© with some friends.

The beans were patient! After being soaked overnight at room temperature, I drained the beans, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. They were fine for using today - I just rinsed once more then put in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, put enough water in to just cover the beans (keeping the volume well below the halfway point of the pot), then cooked on high for 20m. Here is what I made tonight.

  • One cup cranberry beans, soaked overnight (see above for variation)
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • Water (just enough to cover beans)
  • Half medium bell pepper cut into strips approx. 1/4" x 3/4"
  • 2 scallions cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly diced into 1/8" pieces or so
  • (Optional) Hot sauce, salt, and/or freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse and drain the beans
  2. Put the beans and bouillon cube in the Instant Pot pressure cooker and put in just enough water to cover the beans; cook on high pressure for 20m
  3. Let the pressure cooker cool down a bit (putting a moist towel on top helps) and then slowly reduce pressure and remove the top
  4. Add bell pepper, garlic, and scallion into the pressure cooker with the beans and cook another 2m under high pressure
  5. When I was ready to serve, I slowly reduced the heat then mixed in maybe 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t black pepper
I also made a waterless dish with a head of baby broccoli, stems removed, 7 ounces of seitan strips, and 2 scallions cut into 1/4" pieces. I put this all into a small Saladmaster stock pan, brought to medium heat and, when the vapor lock started rattling, I continued cooking, covered, on low heat for about 20m more.

Dinner was great! I sampled the beans right out of the pressure cooker before I added the other vegetables, and they were succulent. I need to add cranberry beans to my list of staples! I would love to serve them pretty much by themselves, as well as cook them with other vegetables.

Ideas for the future

I was out of bouillon cubes, but the beans would be even more tasty with a cube. The beans could have used some hot sauce and possibly a bit more salt. I served with a little bit of the cooking water to make it a stew, but it would also have been fine with less water and a plated side dish. The broccoli and seitan was also excellent but could have used a hint of citrus.

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