Plain Red Beans

Plain Red Beans

Vegan, garlic- and onion-free, and migraine-friendly beans for all purposes, from Cajun red beans and rice to refried Tex-Mex beans. Designed for FODMAP Challenge – Galactans.

By, variation of Russ Parsons’ method featured in the Los Angeles Times “Don’t soak your dried beans! Now even the cool kids agree” (September 11, 2014)

Those of you who have been following the Twinkie FODMAP Challenge this summer know that galactans is right around the corner. Galactans are legumes and beans, and next week I will be challenging kidney beans to a duel.

Why kidney beans of all beans? Well, I have tested the easier to digest lentils and garbanzos already. I love chili with kidney beans and red beans and rice. And, I am currently also doing the migraine-prevention diet, and kidney beans are one of the few allowable beans on that plan.

This weekend, I scored a lovely, one-pound bag of fresh, red kidney beans from the local farmer’s market, grown by Gundermann Acres out of Wharton County, Texas. Immediately, I came home and cooked those crescent-shaped beauties using a modified version of a method I read about recently by Mr. Parsons. He really knows his way around the science book and the kitchen! Perfectly easy, oven-cooked, one-pot beans that were fork-tender were the end results. And I hope that is a foreshadowing of a perfect FODMAP challenge for me next week!


  • 12 cups filtered water
  • 1 lb fresh red beans
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position oven rack on the lowest section to allow room for Dutch oven.
  2. In large Dutch oven, add water. Place pot on stove top. Heat at high heat until water comes to a boil.
  3. While waiting for water to boil, rinse beans thoroughly.
  4. Add beans to boiling water. Add salt and bay leaf. Turn off stove top heat. Place lid on pot. Place pot into preheated oven.
  5. Bake beans in 30-minute intervals, stirring and checking water level at each interval. With fresh red beans, the baking time should be about 1 hour.
  6. At 1 hour, remove a small spoonful of beans, allow to cool, and sample. If fork-tender and with the bite that you prefer, then remove pot from oven and turn off oven. If they need more time, then bake a little longer…but not too much in order to avoid mushy beans.
  7. Transfer pot to countertop. Ladle out beans into serving bowl, leaving behind cooking liquid. Discard cooking liquid.
  8. Serve at your leisure. These are beans, not a soufflé. They can be served hot, cold, room temperature. If not using right away, then be sure to properly refrigerate or freeze beans.


  • If fresh beans are not available, then use dried beans. They key is to not overnight soak the beans before cooking. I repeat, DO NOT overnight soak. Simply check the cooked beans every 30-minutes until they are fork-tender, which should be approximately 2 hours for dried beans.
  • Store beans in storage container, covering with 1 inch of water, in refrigerator for up to three days and in freezer for up to three months.
  • Use in your favorite bean salad, Texas City-Ranch Chili, Cajun red beans and rice, or Tex-Mex refried bean dish.
  • It is imperative that the beans be salted prior to cooking.
  • Red beans or kidney beans are not low-FODMAP. Only use these if you are in the challenge phase or have successfully challenged beans.