Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

Answering the call of the wild burrito

Have you ever wondered why beans cause superfluous gas? I have. You see, I consumed bean stew two nights running last week (I also made a burrito with leftovers for the next day’s lunch) and if that wasn’t going to make me wonder about gas, nothing would.

Apparently beans contain a number of sugars that the human body cannot digest; we’re missing the necessary enzyme, which naturally leads to the odd trumpet solo. But after bean stew three times in two days Louis Armstrong wouldn’t be in it!

Napolina have a new tin on the go: Five Bean Salad and if you remember last week’s discourse on the requirements of eating 30 different plant-based foods in a week, you’ll know this particular tin helped me on my way to achieving said goal.


Red Kidney Beans, Black Eye Beans, Borlotti Beans, Pea Navy Beans, Baby Green Lima Beans and sweetcorn – the Five Bean Salad actually contains six veggies if we’re counting (which I am).

I hit on this bean stew recipe as a way of eating more beans. As I also mentioned last week, I’m planning on living until I’m at least 100 and according to those in the know, beans are considered the cornerstone of the longest-lived people in the world.

Last year I read an article which suggested that eating as little as a cup of beans a day can add some four years to a person’s life.

I was further surprised to note that, as well as being an excellent source of fibre and being the ideal mix of protein and carbs, beans also deliver more nutrients than any other food on planet Earth. The fact that Michael’s Extra Special Spicy Bean Stew tastes like something you’d eat in Heaven (crafted by an angel in a tall white hat), is therefore the best bonus of all. I mean, they could be the best superfood known to mankind but if they don’t taste good, they’re not getting in.

I can confirm that this concoction is so good, it’ll have you coming back for more – maybe even three times in two days.

As I write this I have another bean-y burrito planned for lunch artfully rolled with guacamole, cheddar cheese, crema, sliced radishes, chipotle sauce and salsa. Doesn’t that sound like something that would bring yer man Lazarus back to life? I also have a bag of Doritos too for added crunch. Bet you wish you were me.

Without further ado… Michael’s Extra Special Spicy Bean Stew.


• glug of olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 red chilli pepper, finely diced
• 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
• tsp of ground cumin
• half a tsp of smoked paprika
• half a tsp of oregano
• half a tsp of chilli powder
• 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
• half a tsp of honey
• tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
• tbsp of Cholula Chipotle Sauce
• 1 tin of Napolina’s Five Bean Salad
• salt and pepper
• nachos or tacos or wraps for serving

Add the oil, onions, red pepper and garlic to the pan and sweat over a low to medium heat until they begin to soften – about seven or eight minutes.

Add the spices – cumin, paprika, chilli powder and oregano – and stir fry for another minute.

Dump in the tin of tomatoes along with the honey, Worcestershire, chipotle and the bean salad (which you don’t even have to drain) and bring to a simmer.

Let it bubble away for about ten minutes (I couldn’t tell you how long this takes because I never timed it but you kinda have to hover around because you’ll need to stir the stew every now and again to stop it from catching).

You’ll know when it’s ready because most of the moisture will have boiled off and you’re left with a thick stew that you can load onto tacos etc. Taste the seasoning and adjust (it might take a pinch of salt) and it’s done. For maximum life happiness, load suggested tacos with a dollop of the bean-y mixture followed by cheese, crema, salsa and maybe a few chopped spring onions for good measure.

Seismic, and in more ways than one.

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