Friday, February 06, 2015

Navy Bean with Fennel and Brown Rices (No Added Fat)

I love Navy beans and how creamy they are.  Based on cooking them this past September, I thought that I'd make a similar dish. They take 25-30 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot if they haven't been soaked and 20-25 minutes if they have been; I soaked but still thought I'd cook for 30m (as we say in our FFL classes, there's no such thing as al dente beans). I rarely pressure cook rice, though this past October and May had good results, and decided to try cooking the beans with brown rice. Here is what I did:

  • 2 1/4 cups Navy beans
  • Ample water to soak beans (maybe 5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup brown rice (I used 1/4 cup Jasmine brown and 1/2 cup long-grained brown)
  • 1T minced ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1t black sesame seed
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 cups water - 25m
  • Another 1/4 cup water
  • 1T miso (or 1/4 t salt)
  • Small shallot finely (1/8" - 1/4") diced (few tablespoons)
  • Between 1/8 and 1/4 cup fennel bulb chopped to 3/8" cubes
  • 2 small carrots cut into 1/4" slices with larger diameter slices also quartered (approximately 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped into 1/4" cubes
  • 2T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 t (or to taste) of each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 2t fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 small baby bell peppers or 1/2 small bell pepper cut into small strips approx. 1/4" x 3/4" (about a quarter cup)


  1. I soaked the beans overnight for about 17 hours in ample (room temperature) water, several times, as convenient, rinsing and replacing fresh water.
  2. When I was ready to cook, I drained the beans, rinsed, and added to the Instant Pot.
  3. I added the rice, ginger, cumin, turmeric, black sesame seed, bouillon cube, and 2 cups of water, and cooked for 25m under pressure.
  4. I slowly released pressure and opened the pot.
  5. The rice and beans were good! They did need seasoning but, of course, more was coming. It was nicely cooked and tasted good. The water was just about fully absorbed, so I decided to include another 1/4 cup of water in the recipe.
  6. I added that 1/4 cup of water, along with the miso, shallot, fennel, and carrot, and cooked for another 3m under pressure..
  7. I let the pot sit for a while and then slowly let out remaining pressure so I could open it.
  8. I added the onion, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, oregano, and lemon juice, as well.
  9. I sampled and it was good but needed a bit more of a texture, I thought, so I added the bell pepper.


The beans, predictably, came out well. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it is to cook rice and beans together.

Ideas for the future

My Dad is visiting, so I've been skipping garlic, since he doesn't eat it. This dish would go nicely with garlic. Adding some 3/8" or even 1/2" chunks of potatoes would also be nice, as might a bit of wine cooked into the dish.

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