no soak beans

no soak beans

I have to admit I’ve gotten lazy about cooking beans. Part of the trouble with cooking beans from scratch is all that washing, soaking, discarding of water and cooking involved. Mine usually boil over on the stove as well, making an atrocious mess. Add to this that they are easily available and cheap to buy in cans these days, it is easy to see why I stopped.

So when I came across a shared post from the LA Times on the Where’s the Beef Facebook page about cooking beans without soaking, I was intrigued. I had also just bought a set of lovely new 600ml round ceramic dishes with lids, so I gave them their first road test by cooking some beans.

I made two kinds, some borlotti beans and some cannellini beans.

I gave the beans a quick rinse, put them in their dishes, covered them with boiling water, added a small amount of salt and then cooked them slowly in the oven until they were tender. I’ve cooked them a couple of ways, at a constant 150 deg C for a longer time, as well as in the oven with other dishes at a higher temperature for an hour, then turned the oven off and left the beans in to cook on stored heat. Both ways have worked brilliantly.

Frankly, they are a revelation. They are definitely the best beans I’ve eaten in a long time. They taste really, really good, the texture is beautiful, and unlike canned ones they taste more of the bean than salt.

I ate my first batch while they were still warm with some chopped fresh tomato from the garden, some spring onion and a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. But to be honest they are pretty damn delicious, just straight out of the pot. I’ve also eaten them with some mashed roasted tomatoes or roasted red pepper relish folded through as instant baked beans on toast for breakfast. Since my first batch I’ve made them another three times using borlottis, a four bean mix and chick peas. They are so easy.

Fresh from this success, I’m even going to give ful medames another go. I ate some in Sydney at Cafe Shenkin, but my last attempt to create them was a dismal failure. They were still hard after much cooking on the stovetop.

There’s still room for canned beans for the emergency meal, but cooking them like this is likely to become a regular event for me.


5.0 from 1 reviews
no soak beans
prep time
cook time
total time
serves: 1½ cups
  • 150 grams dried beans
  • ⅓ tsp salt
  • boiling water to cover
  1. Preheat the oven to 150 deg C
  2. Rinse the beans to remove any dust, and place them into a small ovenproof dish with a lid
  3. Add the salt
  4. Cover with boiling water approx 1cm over the beans (ie the beans should be submerged)
  5. Put into the oven and cook until tender.
  6. Check every 30 minutes to make sure there is enough liquid and give them a stir.
The beans can take between 1½ - 2 hrs to cook depending on a number of factors such as the type of bean and how long they have been stored. They can also be started at a higher temperature with other things in the oven and then the temp lowered or the oven turned off and the beans left to continue cooking on stored heat.


not really haloumi, but so good

tofu halloumi

One of the cheeses I miss is haloumi, that dense, fried, salty, cheese hit eaten with lemon.

I need to state up front that I am not a huge fan of nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute. I know people say that it tastes like cheese, but really, for me, it tastes like yeast that’s reminiscent of cheese. So I approached this recipe with some skepticism. No it isn’t exactly haloumi, but yes it is good.

It is made from frozen tofu, that is thawed, pressed and marinated before frying. I found the recipe at Cooking with Plants. I’ve tweaked it a bit to use less nutritional yeast, but otherwise it is the same.

The texture is reminiscent of haloumi, chewy and dense, but without the squeak (lovers of haloumi will know what I mean). The flavour, though very yummy, is not exactly like haloumi, but it does pack a great salty, crispy, chewy punch which fits the bill nicely in a salad.

I ate mine with a green salad with some fresh tomatoes from the garden. I also ate the remainder on sandwiches over the next few days. It makes a good burger, with its firm texture, so I think I’ll experiment with the thickness and some other flavourings as well next time.


vegan haloumi
prep time
cook time
total time
recipe type: cheese
cuisine: vegan
serves: 4
  • 1 350 gram block of firm tofu
  • ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 tbs oil for frying (I used olive oil)
  1. Freeze the tofu overnight then thaw it the next day. This freezing process changes the texture of the tofu, making it chewier.
  2. Press the water out of the tofu by placing it on a tea towel with a chopping board on top. Place a heavy weight on top of the board. (I used my mortar which weighs a ton!)
  3. Slice the tofu into ½ cm slices.
  4. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl except the oil and water. Add enough of the water to make a paste.
  5. Brush the paste on both sides of the tofu slices and leave to marinate for a few hours (if you can wait)
  6. Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the slices over medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side. They will crisp up.


savoury corn and chilli muffins

savoury muffins

I love savoury muffins, much more than the sweet kind.

Savoury muffins make a great snack, a good meal with a side salad and work well in a lunchbox where 10 seconds in a microwave will revive them, making them great for taking to work. They also freeze well.

These ones are my favourite. I used to make them before I was a vegan. They have a Mexican themed flavouring with smoky chillies, tomato, corn and coriander. They also have ZUCCHINI in them, which is a bonus since I am now struggling to keep pace with the zucchini bounty. :)

Muffins are really easy to make, just chuck all the dry ingredients in a bowl, throw the wet ingredients in, stir briefly until just combined and cook for 20 minutes. You can put anything you like into a muffin (within reason) and they’ll almost certainly be delicious.

I ate these ones warm,  with some Butter Me Up from Half Pint Vegan Dairy and some red pepper relish.


savoury muffins
prep time
cook time
total time
recipe type: vegan
serves: 12 large muffins
  • 1½ cups self raising flour
  • ¼ cup grated vegan parmesan style cheese (I used Vegusto Piquant)
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • ½ dried chipotle chilli chopped finely
  • 10 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • ¾ cup corn kernels
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg replacement (I used Ogran No Egg)
  • 1 cup of liquid (stock, water, non dairy milk)
  • 3 tbs oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
  2. Roughly combine all the ingredients in a large bowl except the egg replacement, liquid and oil.
  3. Mix the egg replacement, liquid and oil in a small bowl.
  4. Add the llquids to the dry ingredients and mix until just barely combined.
  5. Drop the mixture into a greased muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.


« Older Entries