What Are Some Recipes for a Novice Bean Cooker?

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Q: I just read the “Good Question” responses to Can You Help Me Learn to Love Beans?, and it was extremely informative as far as cooking them.

I’ve been a bean-hater my entire life, but my experience with beans is limited.

My mom was not much of a cook, and made stinky pots of pinto or navy beans with jowl bacon, cooked all day long, which I wouldn’t touch. The odor of them cooking made me ill. The only other beans I’ve tried are baked beans (the sweeter, the better, for me), and lima beans (gross). I do like hummus. That’s about it.

I’m ready to change that now, as I want (and need) the health benefits of beans in my diet, and I’m trying to cut out meat. Can you please recommend a few simple but flavorful recipes I could try as a beginner (oven-cooking, preferably), and recommend which types of beans I should start with? I’m not afraid of flavor at all, but as you noted in the other question, it’s the texture that bothers me.

Thank you for your articles. I realize I’m a little late to the game as far as finding your website, but better late than never!

Sent by Sandy

Editor: Sandy, welcome to the wonderful world of beans! Here are a few posts that have lots of recipe ideas for cooking beans to get you started. I would recommend just trying as many types of beans as you can to find out what you like! I would also recommend buying some heirloom beans, like Good Mother Stallard from Rancho Gordo, and cooking them simply to see how tasty just plain heirloom beans can be.

Readers, any tips on cooking and learning to love beans?