Dave's Vegetarian Bean Bake

Think lasagne, change the white sauce into an egg, parsley, garlic and sour cream mix, and substitute cooked beans for the pasta. For meat sauce, think diced mixed vegetables. I'd already done something like this using potatoes instead of pasta, and I was looking for something with a slightly better GI rating - i.e., it takes longer for the resident carbohydrates to release all their sugar into the blood stream. Beans are excellent in this respect, and chickpeas or chana dal (wild chickpeas) even better. In fact you could substitute chickpeas for beans in this recipe if you wanted.

You will need

2 cups uncooked beans or chickpeas

3 eggs

50-80g sour cream

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

handful chopped parsley

generous teaspoon of garlic paste or equiv. finely chopped fresh garlic

1 large onion, chopped

Freshly chopped chilli (rocoto or jalapeno) to taste, or chilli powder to tatse

1 capsicum, chopped - red gives a better visual effect, otherwise suit yourself.

1/2 cup frozen peas

12 stuffed olives, chopped (optional but delicious)

1 stick celery, chopped

handful green beans, topped and tailed and chopped

2 cups grated cheese

small handful of grated or powdered parmesan

500g Five Brothers or your favourite pasta sauce, or even tomato puree. (WARNING - some pasta sauces incorporate a little bacon. If you are a committed vegetarian, check first.)



I use a small baking dish or flat casserole about 250mm diameter, and about 75-100mm deep.

Blend the egg, cream, garlic, salt, pepper and chopped parsley together. Set aside.In the morning, put your beans or chickpeas on to soak in about 4 times the volume of water. My personal preferences with beans are for turtle beans or baby limas, but I don't think there's a lot in it. About a couple of hours before dinner, put the beans on to boil in about three times their soaked volume of new water, and top up from time to time as necessary. Bring to the boil and set to simmer from there on. They are done when a bean can be easily squished by the tongue against the roof of the mouth. Crisp beans are the kiss of death, but stop before they fall apart. 40-60 minutes depending on bean type should see you through.

Blend the egg, cream, garlic, salt, pepper and chopped parsley together. Set aside.

Place a third of the pasta sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and add a layer of half the beans followed by a layer of half the cheese, and finally a layer of mixed vegetables and pour out about half the egg mixture over the layered combo. Repeat for the remaining half of the ingredients, top with the last third of pasta sauce and add a final sprinkling of parmesan on top.

Place in a 180C oven and cook for about an hour, or until the centre is firm and the cheese on top toasty brown.




Blackeye beans (cowpeas) do not require soaking. Nor does chana dal. They can be cooked from scratch in about 40-50 minutes. I still prefer black turtle beans (soak for about 6 hours) as both chana and cowpeas have a slightly harsher texture and turtle beans, besides being more tender, also cook a little faster than haricot or kidney beans, and, I reckon, have a belltter flavour. Not a big deal, and if I'm short of time I do it the fast way.







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