Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World's Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes by Joe Yonan

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Notes about this book

  • Jane on March 01, 2020

    I've tagged so many recipes in this book that I want to try. This is a beautiful and interesting book, especially for anyone wanting to get more into plant-based eating.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Harissa-roasted carrot and white bean dip

    • krista_jo on May 27, 2020

      This was easy and delicious and it tastes even better the next day.

    • Zosia on May 29, 2020

      I made this with coriander and I think it didn't have the same impact that mint would have had. I did like that it wasn't overly sweet and the roasted garlic, harissa and lemon added good flavour. Both flavour and colour were better the next day. I'll make it again but only when I have mint on hand.

    • ksg518 on February 24, 2020

      A great dip! I used slightly more carrots and slightly less beans but I think this is a recipe that can be altered with the amounts you have on hand. I also think it could use a smidge more lemon juice. Don't omit the mint; it takes the dip from good to great. My only complaint is that the gorgeous photo must be stylized. Even with a higher carrot to bean ratio, my dip was only a light orange.

    • inflytur on August 15, 2020

      A great dip. Think about how hot your harissa is before deciding about how much to use when roasting the carrots. The brand I use is very hot and the dip turned out a bit too hot. Next time I’ll use less than a Tbl.

    • Ksmotherman on December 28, 2020

      I was out of mint, so subbed in tarragon. It tasted very bright! The flavor was unexpected, but tasty. Tarragon makes for a very interesting substitution.

  • Fava, ricotta, and lemon pizza

    • krista_jo on June 12, 2020

      Wow wow wow wow! Made this last night and making it again tomorrow because it was so good.

  • Fusilli with white beans, cherry tomatoes, and corn sauce

    • Jane on March 01, 2020

      This was a quick prep as I had frozen corn and frozen "creamed" corn and I used canned beans. The beans, pasta and corn are low-key so the basil and Parmesan are essential to lift the flavors. This was great winter comfort food.

  • Roasted tomato and pepper soup with lady cream peas

    • Jane on March 09, 2020

      This is one of the best soups I have ever made. So much flavor! I have bags of slow roasted tomatoes in the freezer so I just needed to roast peppers, garlic and onions and cook the beans. I used Rancho Gordo yellow-eye beans which matched well. This is going to be a definite repeat - I am looking forward to the next few days' lunches.

    • mharriman on May 04, 2021

      Husband and I liked this soup rather than loved it. I did use vine ripe tomatoes that were ripe but probably not nearly as flavorful as what I’d get at a farmer’s market in the middle of summer. For the beans, I used canned northern. With the beans and red bell peppers, the recipe is a heartier tomato soup than I’m used to eating, meaning it was a good vegetarian main meal accompanied by a steamed green bean with lemon vinaigrette salad, crusty baguette and goat cheese. Sauvignon blanc wine went well with the soup. (First recipe tried from this cookbook)

    • jenburkholder on September 06, 2021

      Very tasty soup. Served with quinoa and green salad for a pleasant late-summer lunch.

  • Ratatouille cassoulet

    • mlbatt on February 21, 2020

      Cooked this in my Le Creuset braiser. The sauce dried out a bit during the long bake, but tasted fabulous (I added about 1/2 cup of water around the edges during the uncovered part of the bake, which helped). I will add water to the tomato layer in the beginning next time. And there will be a next time!

  • Lalo's cacahuate beans with pico de gallo

    • Emily Hope on August 30, 2021

      Made this with RG eye of the goats and loved the depth of flavor the recipe had -- I do deviate from the recipe in that I add salt earlier, at the beginning of the cooking process, and more of it (2 tsp.)--I think this is crucial for flavoring the beans. I also cheated a little by throwing in one leftover piece of bacon from the morning's breakfast, but don't think it changed the flavor that much. Also had to cut back on the chiles for my spice-averse family members. This is essentially a souped-up plain bean bowl and was perfect with some tortillas made with homemade masa (out of heirloom pink corn from Masienda). Also served with a roasted corn salad. Great mostly veg (except for that piece of bacon!) meal.

    • mjes on August 22, 2021

      These beans are deliberately cooked until super-soft ... then cooked some more. The cooking liquid does end up with quite a bit of flavor but I thought be beans remained bland. Pico de gallo is not a garnish but is essential to making the dish flavorful.

  • Enfrijoladas with sweet potatoes and caramelized onions

    • TrishaCP on December 20, 2020

      We loved this meal. The beans are very flavorful and the chipotle brings just enough spice to jazz up the sweet onion and sweet potato filling. The toppings are needed for the different textures (I used cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese- avocado is suggested but I don’t think I would like that soft texture topping with other soft components). I also really appreciated that Joe Yonan was straight up with how long it takes to caramelize onions (one hour and not the silly lie of “10-15 minutes” you too often see).

    • patioweather on December 05, 2020

      Everyone preferred them served taco style rather than following the instructions. A friend who normally doesn't eat onions ate all of the scraps so I guess this is very good!

  • Lentil, zucchini, and cherry tomato sloppy Joes

    • Delys77 on July 15, 2021

      Not bad for us either but definitely doesn't stick together like a regular sloppy joe so very messy. Because of this my little guy wasn't so keen as it was hard to eat for him. Flavour wise it is pretty good, but could perhaps do with a touch more spice.

    • patioweather on May 24, 2021

      I subbed carrots for the zucchini and put them in with the onions. I also doubled the sugar. At first I was not so into them but then when I finished my plate, I had to get more. This will go into the regular rotation.

  • Kabocha squash, chickpea, and lemongrass stew

    • Delys77 on July 13, 2021

      Took about an hour end to end with a fair bit of prep but a fairly short cooktime. I used a 540 ml can of chickpeas and a about 2/3rd of a can of coconut milk and the balance was great for us. I really did like the combination of flavours and thought the results were warm and comforting and quite healthy given the broad spread of plant based foods. left out the nuts as it was going to summer camp with my son. Nice dish.

  • White bean tabbouleh

    • darcie_b on May 05, 2020

      An excellent alternative if you like the flavors of tabbouleh but can't eat gluten.

    • khopkins1012 on September 11, 2020

      I liked this a lot. I made this with great northern beans.

  • Falafel fattoush

    • VineTomato on May 10, 2021

      Just ate this for lunch and really enjoyed it. I had pickled red cabbage on the side and it was the perfect addition. The tahini sauce is a bit thin, I agree with christineakiyoshi, next time I won't add as much water. It comes together quite quickly and will hopefully keep well for lunches for the rest of the week - although I will toast the pitta each day. It's my first recipe from this book I was so ridiculously excited for - can't believe it has taken me so long!

    • Zosia on May 16, 2020

      In an effort to get the onions really soft, I roasted the chickpeas for the full length of time which was a mistake as they ended up dry. A shame because their flavour was very good (I forgot I was making only a half recipe and added the full amount of spices) as were the other components, especially the roasted garlic tahini dressing.

    • christineakiyoshi on April 29, 2021

      This was very delicious! I knew I would love it because it is the perfect combination. I added a little extra tahini to thicken the dressing a bit. Will make again!

  • Pinto bean tortilla salad

    • julesamomof2 on November 10, 2020

      This was the first recipe in the book that caught my eye and it's a keeper. Although I did purchase sun dried tomatoes to make this, I changed my mind at the last minute and added campari tomatoes and I think the salad was better for it.

    • LKrishnan81 on September 24, 2021

      Make the tofu feta.

  • Root vegetable, white bean, and mushroom cassoulet

    • ksg518 on February 24, 2020

      I was really excited to try this but it was a great disappointment. It's just very bland. I know this is a vegan book with vegetarian options, but this could really use some bacon or sausage. I also think adding some acid, perhaps a pickled onion topping, would help. In addition, Yonan says to add the breadcrumb topping as the cassoulet is going in the oven. When I removed the lid halfway through, I realized the breadcrumbs had absorbed the liquid so there was no chance for a crispy topping. Perhaps the topping should just be added at the end with a run under the broiler. This will not be a repeat.

    • Skamper on April 17, 2021

      April 2021. Really liked this. Made the beans in the ip first, then sauteed and added the vegetables. High pressure for 8 mins, QR. I used about 6 oz wine and 2 cups bean stock. Next time use even less. Added grated parm to the breadcrumbs and broiled in mini lodges 3 mins on highest rack.

    • Samjbutler on February 06, 2021

      This was so delicious! I upped the quantities of spices a little, subbed out cremini mushrooms for shiitakes, and cooked it in a large 14" skillet covered with foil. The beans melded together beautifully with the root vegetables, and the mushrooms/breadcrumbs made a wonderfully crispy topping (which my kid picked off first, and then begged for more). A perfect dish for a vegetarian dinner party.

  • Quick Sungold tomato, chickpea and greens curry

    • ksg518 on October 02, 2020

      This is pretty good and certainly quick. I made as directed except that I probably only had about half the amount of greens. My biggest issue would be that Yonan tells you to smash the tomatoes once they're heated to the point of bursting. While that does give you lots of liquid, it also results in the squeezed tomato insides erupting all over the cooktop and on your hand. Yonan doesn't mention chopping the greens but I think you should especially if you're using sturdier greens. I used mizuna and frankly the greens would have benefitted from a little more cooking time in addition to being chopped. Also it's fairly mild, so I might up the curry next time. Yonan says this is two servings but when I added rice, I felt it became more like 3-4 servings.

  • Black bean mother sauce puree (Salsa madre)

    • LKrishnan81 on September 24, 2021

      The method is unusual, but produced a delicious base for several recipes in the book. Luckily the unusual steps don't involve much effort, just time. Well worth adjusting your process to try.

    • czalikowski on March 26, 2020

      This is an excellent recipe- with a surprising amount of flavor, given it uses only common pantry items. It’s clear that I will be repeating this recipe as a weekly staple!

  • Red bean, walnut, and pomegranate pâté

    • LKrishnan81 on September 24, 2021

      Super simple and addictive. Worthy of a party or holiday spread.

  • Crunchy spiced roasted chickpeas

    • LKrishnan81 on September 24, 2021

      Is is just me or does every recipe for making roasted chickpeas leave them dry and tough rather than crunchy? This recipe was no different.

    • fractal on January 24, 2021

      Works well.

  • Black lentil crackers

    • LKrishnan81 on September 24, 2021

      I truly enjoy these crackers, but have found it difficult to find the sweet spot where they're crisp but not on the verge of being burnt.

  • Smoked tofu and navy bean salad

    • LKrishnan81 on September 24, 2021

      This is delicious and evokes ham salad. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing at first, but then realized I wanted to take down the whole bowl. It might be worth sneaking this into Midwestern luncheon and see if there are any reactions. My grandmother would have adored it and asked for the recipe.

  • Lady cream pea, sweet potato, and charred okra salad

    • LKrishnan81 on September 24, 2021

      This works well when made with black-eyed peas. But I would go easy on the amount of sweet potato. It's a bit much and easily overwhelms everything else.

  • Yellow bean and spinach dosas

    • sarahawker on March 11, 2021

      The flavor is good, I did not read for comprehension so mixed the diced onion and spinach into the batter so they did not spread easily and I ended up with thicker instead of crispy dosa. The family did like them. Would use a non-stick vs. cast iron pan next time.

  • Tunisian soup with chickpeas, bread, and harissa (Lablabi)

    • Lepa on February 18, 2020

      This wasn't as good as I had hoped. It seemed a bit too dry; more liquid would have been welcome (maybe that's my fault). Two tablespoons of cumin are listed in the recipe but the instructions only mention one tablespoon. Maybe that would have made a difference? Not bad but also not a repeat.

  • Nigerian stewed black-eyed peas and plantains (Ewa riro and dodo)

    • Lepa on February 12, 2020

      I was really excited to make this stew and ordered palm oil and grains of selim (I've never used either) so it would be authentic. Unfortunately, it was just okay. I left out the scotch bonnet chile because I was concerned it would be too hot for the kids so that may have affected the end result. I think I would have liked more tomatoes and didn't love the taste of the pureed red pepper paste here. My kids liked it fine but not a repeat.

  • Hot and creamy white bean, spinach, and artichoke dip

    • inflytur on September 10, 2020

      Wonderful flavors. I can't speak to how closely this resembles the dairy version in texture because I decided to leave out the vegan cream cheese in order to make it easier to use as a cold dip/sandwich spread and was glad I did.

  • Crispy hoppin' John with smoked tofu

    • inflytur on January 01, 2021

      Even though I didn’t stick strictly to the recipe, this is a very good recipe. I served it as regular Hoppin’ John instead of making the rice patties. The black-eyed peas were absolutely delicious.

  • Cuban-style orange-scented black beans

    • fractal on May 25, 2021

      This was excellent. We made it with Rancho Gordo aycote negro beans.

    • patioweather on October 15, 2020

      We absolutely loved this. Made in the Instant Pot with Rancho Gordo Midnight Black Beans and a variety of small peppers instead of bell peppers.

  • Perfectly simple and light hummus

    • patioweather on November 14, 2020

      This is going to be my go-to hummus recipe. It is extremely low effort, contains no oil, and tastes delicious. My partner said he prefers it to his usual supermarket hummus.

    • christineakiyoshi on February 17, 2021

      Easy recipe and super creamy. Love that it is no oil.

  • Winter salad with cranberry beans, squash, and pomegranate

    • Skamper on March 12, 2020

      This was a bit of a disappointment. Not difficult, really, but a lot of steps for a fairly blah result, imo. Note, though, I missed pomegranate season and I think that would have been a nice addition.

    • dc151 on November 06, 2020

      I liked it. Would get shelled seeds next time - tried to roast my own. Also left out the rice. Definitely needs the pomegranate to give a burst of flavor

  • White bean brandade

    • Ksmotherman on November 07, 2020

      Used vegenaise instead of chickpea aioli, and granulated onion instead of raw onion. Loved it, and it reminded me of the flavor of twice baked potatoes. Served it on crusty homemade beer bread. This is my absolute favorite from this book.

  • Roasted beet hummus bowl with turmeric tahini and peanut dukkah

    • Ksmotherman on November 07, 2020

      This was a last minute dinner, and served more as a guide than a strict recipe. I discovered I was short on ingredients. As a result, the hummus was made using one can chickpeas, one can black beans (using the quick hummus directions). Didn't have enough beets, so I roasted broccoli in cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Made the peanut dukkah, and served with toasted bread. Everything tasted good!

  • Chinese-style noodles with black beans and shiitakes

    • Ksmotherman on January 13, 2021

      So easy, and really good! Made it mostly per recipe with slightly more mushrooms, and swapped soy sauce for tamari. Easy to adjust spice level; as written, has just a slight hint of spice. Cucumber matchstick topping was perfect, don't skip it; they provided a cool refreshing contrast to the noodles.

  • Orecchiette with borlotti beans, bitter greens, and lemony bread crumbs

    • Ksmotherman on December 28, 2020

      Flavor was good, but it seemed a bit dry. Maybe should have added more liquid. I did a mix of radicchio and baby kale for the bitter greens, might try just arugula next time.

  • Chickpea and quinoa chorizo

    • Ksmotherman on December 28, 2020

      Fantastic faux meat for tacos, and very easy to make. Reheats well. I served them in tacos with fresh salsa and black velvet beans from the Decolonize Your Diet cookbook.

  • Molletes with shiitake bacon, feta and arugula

    • Ksmotherman on December 28, 2020

      Such a good recipe! One of my family's favorites from this book. The refried beans are delicious, made them exactly per the recipe. We prefer the shiitake bacon a bit less sweet though, do cut the maple syrup a bit.

  • Chickpea-tarragon salad sandwiches

    • Ksmotherman on December 28, 2020

      Delicious and easy meal. Tarragon added great flavor.

  • Paella with chickpeas, green beans, and shishito peppers

    • spatterson88 on February 13, 2021

      We halved the recipe and it made more than 4 servings. I also used pickled shishitos, and that added quite the kick!

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    Recipes use a colorful mosaic of beans from Lady cream peas to red lentils. International dishes such as Chinese-style noodles with black beans and shiitakes will take us around the world of flavor.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0399581480
  • ISBN 13 9780399581489
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Feb 04 2020
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 288
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

A fresh, modern look at the diverse world of beans, chickpeas, lentils, pulses, and more--featuring 125 recipes for globally inspired vegetarian mains, snacks, soups, and desserts, from a James Beard Award-winning food writer

Beans are emerging from their hippie roots to be embraced for what they truly are: a delicious, versatile, and environmentally friendly form of protein. With heirloom varieties now widely available across the United States, this nutritious and hearty staple is poised to take over your diet.

Enter Joe Yonan, food editor of The Washington Post, who provides a master base recipe for cooking any sort of bean in any sort of appliance--Instant Pot®, slow cooker, or stovetop--as well as 125 recipes for using them in daily life, from Harissa-Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip to Crunchy Spiced Chickpeas to Smoky Black Bean and Plantain Chili. Drawing on the culinary traditions of the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, and the American South, and with beautiful photography throughout, this book has recipes for everyone. With fresh flavors, vibrant spices, and clever techniques, Yonan shows how beans can save you from boring dinners, lunches, breakfasts--and even desserts!


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