Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale

Good morning! Let’s get right to it. Word from the farmer is that this week’s CSA share and farm stand will contain some new goodies: tongue of fire shelling beans. This may be a whole new way to cook beans for you, but its worth a try. Beans are very rich in fiber, protein, calcium and many other nutrients that really help your body out. Plus, there are lots of different ways to enjoy them, so let’s do this.

We can start off simple, and just work with a Braised “Tongue of Fire” Beans recipe. It can serve as the basis of your vegetarian meal, or can be made as a side dish; you choose!

[taken from]

  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Baby Leeks, cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 1 Qt “Tongue of Fire” shelling beans, shelled, cleaned and cooked
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 8 Early Girl tomatoes, roasted in oven until soft, strained  through fine mesh strainer, juice reserved and skins discarded.
  • 1 Sprig Rosemary, tied with butcher twine
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme, tied with butcher twine
  • 1 Quart Vegetable Stock, to cover
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Pinch of Chili Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Begin by adding olive oil, garlic, and baby leeks to medium saucepan
with a pinch of salt. Sweat on medium heat.

2. When leeks are soft, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve hot.

4. Serve with grilled meats or alone with grilled bread.


I don’t know about you but I think that if you add garlic to anything it will only make it better. So naturally, when I found this Tongue of Fire Beans with Parmesan & Garlic Vinaigrette recipe it had to be shared.

[taken from]

  • 3 cups Tongue of Fire beans
  • carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • onion peeled and studded with 2-4 cloves
  • 1 bunch fresh herbs of choice tied together in a bouquet garni
  • salt to taste
  • parmesan cheese
  • parsley chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced to a paste
  • 2 Tb lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 Tb olive oil

Rinse the beans well and place them in a large bowl for soaking. Cover with 12 cups of cold water and soak for about 12 hours. Drain and rinse well.

Put the beans in a large stock pot; add the vegetables and herbs and 12 cups cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, and then reduce their heat so they are barely simmering. Cook until the beans are just tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how you like them. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and let cool in the liquid with the vegetables.

Combine the garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your palette.

To serve, drain the beans and place in a large pan over low heat. Add the above vinaigrette and gently warm. Plate on a platter and top with shavings of Parmesan and chopped parsley.


How about some bean soups? I thought this Thai Coconut Tongue of Fire Soup looked like something different. Maybe a nice way to change up the flavors some of us might be used to. Also: it is soy-free, oil-free and gluten-free. Win, Win, Win!

[taken from]

  • 2 cups (470 ml) water
  • 1 can (14 ounces, or 400 ml) light coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste or 3 pieces lemongrass, smashed with the flat side of a knife (or substitute 1 teaspoon other lemony herbs such as verbena or lemon balm, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
  • 1 teaspoon galangal root paste or grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • Two 1-inch-long (2.5-cm) slices ginger
  • 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced or minced
  • 1 ½ cups (375 g) cooked Tongue of Fire or kidney beans or 1 can (15 ounces, or 420 g), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (164 g) corn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • zest of ½ lime
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, plus more for serving
  • lime wedges, for serving

Put the water, coconut milk, garlic, lemon grass paste, galangal root paste, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, mushrooms,
beans, corn, and salt into a large saucepan or small stockpot. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes so the flavors can infuse into the broth.

Add the red pepper, lime zest, and cayenne and cook until the veggies are tender but still firm, about 15 more
minutes. Add the cilantro and taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Serve with the lime wedges and extra cilantro.


If you are looking to make an ultra hearty meal after a long day, I think that this last dish may be for you. It has the option of being gluten-free, dependent on the type of pasta you use, and it is also vegetarian. But as always, you’re the chef and you make the call. Alter this Pasta e Fagioli as you please!

[taken from]

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cups cooked tongues of fire beans
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 3/4 ounces uncooked pasta [gluten-free if needed] (1 1/2 cup)
  • shredded parmesan cheese, to garnish
  1. Heat a medium-large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and once heated add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Allow vegetables to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and cook about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so the paste doesn’t burn.
  2. Add the broth, beans and spices. Turn heat to high, until broth begins to boil, then reduce to medium.
  3. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, garnish and serve.
Eat your beans, folks!
Remember: “The groundwork for all happiness is good health.” – L. Hunt