Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Navy Bean with Potato, Madagascar Pink Rice with Spinach (No Added Fat)

I never used Navy beans in my cooking before I started pressure cooking last year. I was amazed at how creamy these beans come out, such as this past September. 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 and ended up cooking for 26 minutes.

A little over a week ago, I prepared a tasty Navy Bean with Fennel and Brown Rices dish. I thought that I would take the recommendation to use potato with navy beans. Instead of using small pieces of potato, I went with larger 3/4" cubes and cooked for the entire time that the beans cooked. I also doubled the amount of onion, skipped the rice, modified some of the spices, and used beet stem and bell pepper. Here is what I did:

  • A little over a cup of Navy beans soaked overnight in ample water
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes cut into 3/4" cubes (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1T minced ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1t black sesame seed
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup onion chopped into 1/4" cubes
  • Medium bell pepper cut into 1/4" cubes (approx. 1 cup)
  • Stems of 4 beet roots cut into 1/4" lengths (a bit over a cup)
  • 1/4 t salt or to taste
  • 2t fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. I soaked the beans overnight for over 12 hours in ample (room temperature) water
  2. When I was ready to cook, I drained the beans, rinsed, and added to the Instant Pot.
  3. I added the potato, ginger, cumin, turmeric, black sesame seed, bouillon cube, and 1 cup of water, and cooked for 25m under pressure.
  4. I slowly released pressure and opened the pot.
  5. I added the onion, bell pepper, beet root, an salt, and cooked for another minute under high pressure.
  6. I slowly released the pressure, added the lemon juice, and served.
I also made some Madagascar pink rice (1 part rice to 1 3/4 part water plus a vegan bouillon cube) with baby spinach leaves and salt.


The dish was delicious! I loved the bean and potato combination. The liquid was just right - slightly moist but firm.

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. The potato pieces were cooked, it seemed, to perfection; I should experiment with other potato dishes with other combinations of vegetables. The beet stems in this dish didn't contribute anything, really, except, of course, its healthful properties. The flavor wasn't objectionable but not so harmonious, either. I'd skip the beet stem, but wonder what beet root would be like here. I like using black sesame seed as it's a good calcium source, but I didn't like the texture it added in this dish. On the other hand, the simple 1-minute cooking of the bell pepper was great to create a pepper that was easy to eat but still a bit crispy.

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