Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giant limas run amok in columnist’s kitchen

I met my first Giant Peruvian Lima Bean on a salad bar at Whole Foods in Austin.
Salad was sold by weight, so I got just a few because they were compelling in size. I’d put one in my mouth at a time to savor the experience. I then found them in the bulk beans and bought less than $3 worth to make for my dad’s prerequisite lima bean and rice Father’s Day dinner. The big pot full fed us all for days.
Giant limas are big raw, and expand to about quarter size when cooked. My Googling revealed that these beans are named for Lima, capital of Peru, and are also called butter, curry, Madagascar, lab, Cape Pea or pole beans.
They were my best beans, ever, cooked with Cajun seasoning. So creamy, I’m planning to get my hands on more and whip them into a spread for bread or crackers. I haven’t yet looked for them in local stores.

Too hot for gumbo?
I’d just taken a walk along the seawall at high noon and felt baked, when I saw that Diana LaBorde in our advertising department had brought gumbo. Her samplings, no matter if she or her husband cooked it, is something to be relished. I couldn’t seem to wait for the microwave, so I enjoyed a chunk of chicken from my mug, and ended up eating the whole serving at room temperature. It was that good.
So you see, it’s never too hot for gumbo.

Even though SooFoo takes about an hour to cook, I still consider it fast food. Put it in the pot and tend to something else until it’s time for a healthy serving of delicious. Brown rice and lentils, wheat berries, oats, buckwheat and more make a solid meal for any time, according to creator Maurice Kanbar. I cooked a purple onion into mine for lunch, but he suggests adding cinnamon for a breakfast booster. He says SooFoo is Super Good Food and I agree. I loved the flavor, the health aspect and the colors and textures in my blend. I served it over home-grown bean sprouts to give crunch to the creamy feel.
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