GRAND FORKS — Award-winning cookbook author and blogger Molly Yeh is partnering with Northarvest Bean Growers Association to promote the group’s Beans for Life campaign.
Northarvest, with headquarters in Fargo, launched the effort to promote the benefits of eating dry, edible beans and to provide consumers with recipes and tips on how to maximize their flavor profiles. The organization is made up of producers across North Dakota and Minnesota and is North America’s largest supplier of dry beans. Yeh is the host of the Food Network show “Girl Meets Farm.”
“As an avid bean lover and wife to a bean-growing Minnesota farmer, I am energized around the idea of giving one of my favorite foods their big moment,” said Yeh, in a news release. “Our hope is that we can help educate and inform others on the health and wellness benefits of eating dry beans through simple, easy recipes, that also happen to be delicious.”
Recipes, tips and the health information included in the Beans for Life campaign can be found online through Instagram and at www.beans4life.org. Yeh contributed a few of her recipes, and others come from Northarvest members or dieticians that work with the organization.
In a Monday morning, Nov. 16, phone call, Yeh said she is looking forward to sharing some of her creations with people who are looking for inspiration in the kitchen.
“I am really excited about the kale, white bean and pancetta cobbler,” she said. “It’s a delicious dish for Thanksgiving or for Christmas or any holiday, and it's one of my favorite ways of incorporating white beans, so you can get that creaminess.”
Beans are a healthy and affordable food to use in home cooking, according to Yeh, adding that they can lend a hand in menu planning for families during the coronavirus pandemic.
But Yeh said she didn’t always love beans. As a child, her family didn’t often eat them except to occasionally put a can of beans in chili. She began using them in her cooking after meeting her husband, Nick Hagen, and then moving to his family’s rural East Grand Forks farm. The couple moved to the region from New York, where they were studying at Julliard, in 2013.
“It's only actually been since I moved here that I really learned to love not only canned beans, but dry beans, and I learned how versatile and convenient they are,” she said.
Yeh is the author of “Molly On The Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm.” The cookbook was recognized by The New York Times as one of the top releases for the fall of 2016 and won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Judge’s Award.