Spinning the Bean Wheel

I’ve been trying to cook less meat lately, not because meat isn’t delicious but mainly because of all I keep reading about how our affinity for eating cows is destroying the planet.  I also know I could never personally kill an animal and eat it; I’d learn to eat grass before I would do that, so maybe it’s time to step it up on the leafy greens scene.

I usually cook at least one vegetarian dinner a week and the rest have some kind of meat in them, but I’d like to reverse it and cook mostly vegetarian with one meat dish a week.  I have lots of recipes and ideas for vegetarian dishes, but they have been met with a lukewarm response from three of the boys living here.  Kevin isn’t picky, God bless him.

There are plenty of vegetarian dishes the boys will eat, namely all those that involve pasta, cream sauces, and cheese, with the occasional white tortilla thrown in.  I have tried whole wheat, oh how I have tried to sneak it in, but their Wholesome Goodness alarms go off and they go to bed hungry those nights.

I decided that if we are going to get serious about this, my boys are going to have to learn to like beans.  Beans are going to get them the iron and protein they’ll be missing from meat, plus fiber.  Sounds like a beany good time.  To get us started down Bean Road, I decided we needed some kind of a game, so behold: The Bean Wheel.


We played this game last Sunday, kind of making up the rules as we went.  Each person got to spin and they had to try the bean they landed on.  Everyone else could try it if they wanted but that was optional.  We kept track of who tried which bean.

The boys were excited to play the game, so I hid my surprise and we started spinning and sampling. 


(We made a makeshift spinner using a pencil and a paperclip.)


Rocco actually tried and liked all the beans.  Go Rocco!  Vincenzo politely tried them all but I don’t think he liked many of them.  He’s too polite to admit it even now, three days after playing.  And Leo?  Here’s what his experience looked like:




We could tell a bean was particularly bad if it made his right eye close all the way while his left stayed open, slightly twitching.  I couldn’t believe how many beans he was willing to try, considering every bean he ate made his eyes do that.  Even the Feeling Hurter smoothie didn’t do that to his face!

In the end, I rewarded the kids with a kind of bean I knew they would all like:


The bean game was followed, naturally, by several fragrant hours and plenty of fart jokes, like this one:

Q: What do you call a person who never farts in private?
A: A private tutor.

Now I’ve got about eight cans of beans in my fridge to get through this week and I just discovered we’re all out of Bean-o.

Wish us luck!

Shrimp & avocado in tamarind sauce
Red beans & rice
Sliced papaya
Chocolate chip cookies

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