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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekend Cooking- Bean by Bean- A Cookbook

Bean by Bean- A Cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon
Published by Workman Publishing ISBN 978-0-7611-3241-7
Softcover, $15.95

I have seen other reviews of this book, and my curiosity was peaked. My family doesn't eat lot of beans, but I would like to incorporate more of them into our diet. (I like black beans, refried beans, kidney beans, white beans myself.)

This is a comprehensive book about beans. The author starts with Bean Basics, discussing the many variety of beans and the basic cooking methods for each type: what to look for in a good green bean, shell beans and how to cook them, soaking beans- whatever you need to know about beans is covered here, no more need to fear them.

The ten chapters cover such topics like Hummus & Starters, with such recipes as Gotcha-Hotcha Sweet-Smoky Cocktail Peanuts, Hillbilly Hummus (made with peanut butter!) and Greektown Dip from Chicago's Greektown.

Soulful Simmer Soups is a great chapter that covers the world of beans literally. There are Middle Eastern Bean Soups (Spicy Syrian-Style Lentil Soup), African Bean Soups (Nigerian Seed-Thickened Beef & Shrimp Soup Stew), Asian Bean Soups (Thai Hot & Sour Soups), Indian Bean Soups (Sambar), European (Hungarian Green Bean Soup), and the Americas (Day after Thanksgiving Turkey, Wild Rice & Rattlesnake Bean Soup).

Of course there are many chili recipes, curry recipes and a chapter on skillets and stir fries that contains an interesting vegetable hash recipe I want to try.The last chapter has desserts, with Julie's Peanut Butter Cup  Brownies that looks good and I never would have thought I'd find in a bean cookbook!

I like that each recipe has symbols next to it that states whether it is compatible for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free diets or has meat in it. That makes it easy for anyone with dietary restrictions or preferences to quickly see if the recipe is for them.

The only negative I have is that there are no photos of recipes in the book, but it is a substantial book, and I guess that photos would add to the heft of the book.

If you like beans or would like to add more beans to your diet, this is the cookbook to pick up. I can't imagine that there is any information about beans that I would like to know that is not in this comprehensive, 175-recipe book.

rating 4 of 5 stars

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food!


  1. You are the second person who has recommended this one, and I am a big CD fan from way back, so I definitely have my eye out for this! thanks!

  2. I have seen this on weekend cooking before and I have added it to my wishlist. I need to learn to cook with beans more. Who knows it could be all we can afford in the future! Here is my recipe: Irish Boxty

  3. I love this book, and like Libby, I've been a fan of CD for years. You know, I loved the book so much, I never really thought about the lack of photos. But aren't there some great recipes?

    1. I was really surprised to find so many recipes that I want to try. It's good to get out of your comfort zone!

  4. Thank you! I hadn't heard of it. I own The Cornbread Gospels, and look forward to this one. If you're interested in TCG, I wrote about it on the blog a couple times:



  5. Thanks for the review. I'd like to try more bean recipes, too. :)

  6. I have seen this reviewed on Weekend Cooking last week and ordered it. My family loves beans so this is a great addition to my cookbook library, great review, thanks! I'm looking forward to trying a few of the recipes you've listed.

  7. You are the second person to recommend this book and that's a good thing. I'm waiting for the book to come from the library. I'm getting pretty anxious to try some of the recipes.

  8. I would love to have this book for the information even more so than the recipes.

  9. This sounds great. We should have more beans in our diet and this cookbook would really help. I love that it has African soups.

  10. I eat a mainly vegetarian diet and often eat pulses. They're very tasty and much more acceptable than they were ten years ago. This book sounds interesting. I'm going to look for a copy.

  11. I am trying to get my family to eat more beans as well but not sure where to start...this book sounds perfect.

  12. We don't eat many beans at all. I might see if I can borrow this from the library to see if I can find some recipes that we might like.