January 6th Is National Bean Day

January 5th, 2012 by Craig Mullins

While it’s not written in stone as indisputable fact, it’s believed that National Bean Day was created in honor of Gregor Johann Mendel, an Austrian botanist whose work is credited for forming the foundation of genetics studies. Working with an estimated 28,000 garden pea plants over a period of seven years, Mendel stumbled upon and got the ball rolling on what would come to be known as the laws of heredity.

Gregor Johann Mendel died on January 6, 1884.

While I’m not totally sure why a man who studied peas is paid homage with a day about beans, I’m willing to accept it as a reason for celebration anyway.

My favorite types of beans are jelly beans, of course; but I am also a fan of black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, re-fried beans, and green beans – especially if they’re cooked but still crunchy and smothered in butter and fresh Parmesan cheese.

So how does one celebrate National Bean Day? As you do any other American holiday…by eating!!

From what I can tell, incorporating beans into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner is the proper way to spend National Bean Day.

I searched through a bunch of bean dish recipes, and somehow managed to narrow them down to one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner.

BREAKFAST: Black Bean Cheese Omelet

1/4 cup coarsely chopped kidney beans
1 chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 minced garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shredded cheese

– Sauté the beans, onion, tomato, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and celery salt in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil until the liquid has evaporated. Set aside and keep warm.

– In a bowl, beat eggs and salt while heating remaining 1 teaspoon oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add eggs to skillet.

– As the eggs set, lift the edges, letting the uncooked portion of the egg flow underneath.

– When the eggs are nearly set, add the vegetable mixture across one side.

– Fold the side without the mixture over to cover the mixture.

– Sprinkle with shredded cheese and cover the skillet. Let it stand for 1 to 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

LUNCH: French Cut Green Bean Salad with Bacon

What You’ll Need:

4 to 5 cups (about 20oz) of frozen French cute green beans
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Salad greens
4 to 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

– Cook the green beans then drain and allow them to cool.

– Combine the vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper with the cooled beans.

– Toss the green beans with the salad greens then garnish with the crumbled bacon.

DINNER: Hot & Spicy Beef Chili

What You’ll Need:

15oz canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chili pepper
10 to 15 ounces Zesty Chili Style diced tomatoes, un-drained
8oz tomato sauce
Chopped onion and/or shredded cheese for garnish

– Brown ground beef in skillet and drain.

– Add chili pepper, tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans.

– Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

– Sprinkle with chopped green onions or shredded cheese.

Do you have a favorite bean recipe? I would love to know what it is and why you love it so much! Let me know in the comment section below!

Beans In History:

– In the 5th century, St. Jerome warned nuns that eating beans would affect their digestive system negatively and cautioned against eating them for they “tickled the genitals.” I’m guessing it was the Saint’s polite way of the telling the ladies that eating beans would cause flatulence.

– Thomas Moffett, a British physician in the 16th century, issued a warning to the public that although eating fava beans at the beginning or middle of a meal with salt, pepper, and butter was safe, it was better yet to avoid them altogether because they “encreaseth the seed to lusty wantons.” In other words, they give you gas.

– In 1843, just before the US-Mexican War, 176 soldiers from the Republic of Texas escaped imprisonment but were recaptured by Mexican forces. President Antonio López de Santa Anna showed his version of mercy and chose to execute only 10% of the captured soldiers. His “fair” way of choosing those to be slain was by holding a “bean lottery” during which 17 black beans would be drawn and 159 white ones. Those who picked the black beans were killed on the spot; the remaining prisoners were held captive until September 1844.

national bean day

Leave a Reply