I was completely oblivious to the concept of ‘complete proteins’ until recently. If you don’t eat meat, or don’t eat a lot of meat, which is my new plan, you need to make sure you’re getting all 21 essential amino acids (12 are produced by our bodies, and 9 come from food). Animal proteins are complete proteins, as are things like hummus and pita, peanut butter and whole grain toast, or quinoa. One of the seemingly simplest complete proteins is beans and rice; it’s like they were made for each other.
But I have problems with beans and rice (no, not the kind of problems that require Beano). I’ve never been able to properly cook rice. I always follow the package instructions, cook for exactly the right amount of time, and my rice is always mushy. So I started using less water, and then my rice would stick to the pan or be too dry. Brown rice is an even bigger issue. It’s like that extra 20-30 minutes of cooking time it requires allows it to just completely turn to glue. Hence the reason I don’t cook rice that often. I’m a pasta girl, always have been; but now this complete protein thing is totally screwing me up.
My issue is twofold. Beans from a can, no problemo. Open, drain, rinse, use. But aren’t dried beans are better for you and cheaper? No matter what I do, I can’t seem to cook dried beans properly either. I soak them overnight, then boil them for an hour in my soup, I even tried cooking them on low in my slow cooker. Nothing works. They are either hard as little rocks, or completely over cooked (slow cooker method).
So I’m kind of at my wits end with this beans and rice business. Any suggestions, comments or recipes would be greatly appreciated. I really don’t want to go back to eating a lot of meat, I’m totally turned off by it now. But since making chicken takes less time than dealing with beans and brown rice, I get why people like it so much!