As a flexitarian, a significant portion of my diet is composed of beans which are a great source of protein. I prefer dried beans over canned because, not only are they “fresher” (in a sense that less is done to them before you get them), they are significantly cheaper. The problem with dried beans is the need to soak them. Just about every bean needs to be pre-soaked before cooking; usually overnight. That requires you to plan ahead, which doesn’t always happen.
My trick to avoiding this complication is a magical little device called a pressure cooker. I have to admit, when I first received this as a gift from my sister, I was quite unimpressed. “What am I going to do with this thing?” Answer: speed soaking beans. Stick in some beans, some water, cook for the appropriate time, viola! Good to go in less than an hour.
Pressure cookers are not a new invention. In fact, they’ve been around for quite some time with a bit a bad reputation. Old pressure cookers use to be quite messy but more importantly dangerous with the risk of exploding. Not today. Of course, anything under incredibly high pressure is in risk of exploding, but advances in technology and design has made this virtually impossible.
If you decide to buy a pressure cooker, I strongly recommend a stove-less version. Much more convenient. To top it off, pressure cookers are great for many other things, such as canning and general quick cooking. Check it out. It can be a worthy investment.