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Bean By Bean A Cookbook Paperback – 13 Mar 2012

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Bean By Bean A Cookbook + Beans, Grains and Pulses: 150 Wholesome Recipes: All You Need to Know About Beans, Grains, Pulses and Legumes Including Rice, Chickpeas, Couscous, Bulgur Wheat, Lentils and Quinoa + The Bean Book (Essential Vegetarian Collection Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Workman (13 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761132414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761132417
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 2.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Wriggler on 22 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this because I love cooking with beans and wanted to acquire some more recipes. On this note the book certainly delivers, though not all the recipes contain beans! I've cooked Boston Mountain Baked Beans, Buttermilk Cornbread, Jamaican Beans and Rice, and Lumberjack Soup. The book contains over 175 recipes that are international in origin, spanning India, Mexico and New England.

Not all of the recipes are vegetarian and it's not immediately clear which are until you read through the ingredients. Generally the meats used are bacon or ham and alternatives are suggested.

A number of ingredients, for example teff flour, peanut butter chips don't seem to be available in the UK (or at least I don't know how to get hold of them). However I don't mind substituting ingredients and crossing my fingers for a good result. You will also need to acquire a set of US measuring cups (or use a small tea cup) but I find measuring ingredients in this way speeds up the cooking process. In addition, no photos are provided, but this did leave space for more recipes.

Those technicalities aside, I thought this was a lovely heart-warming cook book. It is written by Crescent Dragonwagon (!) and the writing is very engaging, with some recipe introductions running to a couple of pages, providing a historic and social context. Cartoons and line drawings are dotted throughout. I actually sat down and read it for about an hour when it arrived.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Veronica Acosta on 30 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is about to change our lifes.
Honestly, I've never thought beans were so versatile.
There are not only recipes, I find it very entertaining with good tips and info.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Danny Bond on 2 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quite simply one of the most interesting and enjoyable cookbooks I've ever read. Written with insight and passion. Brilliant.
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By Brian on 22 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 0 reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Dragon 20 May 2012
By Eitan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been going through a beans-and-grains phase for the past few months. Soaking, cooking, and freezing are pretty much part of my routine - but I tend to get into a rut in terms of recipes, once I find something I like, is easy to make in a pretty big quantity, and my family will eat. So we eat a lot of mjaddarah (with rice or bulgur) and bean/vegetable soups, or cold salads with beans and greens. I tend to flavor cooked beans with cumin/coriander, chilis, and stuff like that, and cold beans with coarse salt, a lot of lemon, and olive oil, as well as either fresh parsley, coriander, or mint. It's just the way I roll.

I ordered this book hoping to learn something about beans and to get some inspiration for new ways of cooking beans, and I find it to be a really successful book. So far I've tried quite a few of the recipes, and all of them have been just excellent. as a pretty experienced home cook, I know how to read a recipe and to adjust the quantities and seasonings in order to suit our tastes, but the first time around, I usually make the recipe as it's given. The recipes in this book are easy to follow, they mostly contain ingredients that one can get easily enough, and they turn out great. Also, the author gives a lot of variations without overwhelming the reader. In most cases, it's easy to vegetarianize or veganize the few meatist recipes according to one's habits, and I guess that omnivores can also figure out how to add bacon if they're in the mood. Incidentally, I am so happy this book focuses on simple real foods and not on highly processed faux-meat - that's one of the things that tend to be a big turn off in some popular vegan cookbooks. I plan to make my way through more recipes in the near future.

The author's writing is a pleasure to read - it's personal and funny, on the one hand, but it's never irritating, cute, or over the top. It's very knowledgable, but without being dry or didactic. To use Holden Caulfield's test, the author is someone you'd probably like to chat with on the phone (or over a coffee/tea/beer/glass of wine).

I would really recommend this book to anyone looking to get more beans and grains into their diet or to someone who is vegetarian/vegan and is not interested in basing their nutrition on french fries and pasta or on expensive processed foods. The great thing about beans is that they're cheap, healthy, and tasty - and Crescent Dragonwagon's wonderful book will go a long way in making them accessible to home cooks.
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Good Legume Cookbook 9 Mar. 2012
By George Erdosh - Published on
Format: Paperback
The 175 recipes in this bean cookbook, Bean by Bean covers the foods of every continent ranging from very simple to sophisticated. The author, Dragonwagon, gives a 22-page introduction about beans and other legumes, everything you need to know from growing to cooking. The book is a medium-format trade paperback, inexpensively produced using green only for color to offset the black-and-white text. Simple, cutsie sketches using green and black break up the text. The writing is good though the frivolous humor is not to everyone's taste. The recipes are very good covering the spectrum from appetizers through hearty casseroles, even some sweets using beans. The many sidebars, some more than a page long, give useful information, facts, quotations, personal stories and even folk songs. Each recipe comes with recipe tags denoting vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and those containing meat. Many give a variation on the recipe. Ingredients are mostly readily available. Though the author promotes using dry beans, many recipes start with canned beans and, unfortunately, she doesn't give conversions. Because of uninterrupted text, recipe layout is not user-friendly forcing the cook to flip pages back and forth during cooking. The well cross-referenced index is excellent. (As appears in Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review.)
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Trying to add more beans and less meat into your diet? This is a great cookbook choice! 30 Jan. 2012
By Sandra M. Cipriani - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the new year, I've decided that I don't want to go totally meatless, however, I do want to add in more vegetarian meals to my week. I have dried beans, however, sometimes I don't know quite what to do with them. This book has given me ideas on how to make healthier and tastier meals with beans. The chili section not only offers different recipes for chili, it also includes recipes for cornbread to eat with your chili. My first recipe out of this book was for Boston Baked Beans (go figure)made out of my crock pot. It had very simple ingredients and came out tasting wonderfully. Much better than what you would get out of any can! This cookbook will be good for all seasons.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
errata needed 18 Jan. 2013
By cooker - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was in the market for a bean cookbook so requested this one from the library. The recipes looked interesting, so today I made the Vegetarian Black Bean Chili. I think there are serious problems, like maybe they put "tablespoon" where it should read "teaspoon"? She has you make the beans first and add 3 tbs of ground cumin and 2 tbs. of ground coriander and 2 tbs of salt to one pound dried beans (after they've cooked). Then after the beans have cooked a little more you mix this with sauteed onions & potatoes, and the recipe instructs you to add more tbs. of salt, coriander and cumin. Fortunately I thought no way, and didn't add any more, and I am very glad of it. Even so it is really salty. Also the directions for using dried chilies are a problem. I'd never used dried chilis before so was intriqued. She says to put them in a heavy skillet at high heat to toast and it should take about 10 min. When I followed these directions they burned terribly and filled the house with smoke as well. I then checked online and one site said use medium heat and it should take about 20 sec to toast them!.. and that seems much closer to correct. I tossed my first batch and tried again at reduced heat and just until they seemed to have gotten warm and some of the moisture removed... about like when toasting nuts. Then I blended them and added them and I think it has worked and I'm glad to have tried it. Also, the recipe called for 8 pasilla chilies AND 8 new mexico chilies. I used 3 of each because I was so leery of her quantities on cumin, coriander and salt. Maybe 8 would be good, I have no idea, but 3 seems good too. So I'm a little concerned about trying any of the other recipes after this experience. With all these modifications, it seems like the chili will be very good, but how is one to know how to modify it, and why should you have to. I tried to find an errata, but didn't. Does anyone know if there is one?
92 of 111 people found the following review helpful
I like the idea of this book better than the recipes 27 Jan. 2012
By Megoola - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I preordered this book after reading an article in The Salinas Californian featuring this book and a recipe. I am following the vegetarian version of a plan (The Four Hour Body)in which I get to eat beans with every meal 6-7 days a week, so I have been looking for more variety.

One might expect this book to be 100% vegetarian, as I did, based on the cover recipes being vegetarian and the author's prior works. The table of contents doesn't make the inclusion of non-vegetarian items apparent. One must read halfway through the verbose introduction or carefully examine the index to see that some recipes are not. It's not a deal breaker for me, but may be unappetizing for others.


I don't object to the book including vegan, vegetarian and "meatist" options. I just think that it should have been apparent by reading the cover. I originally rated this book at 4 stars based on reading it. Now having worked my way through a variety of recipes, I'm finding that the premise is good but the recipes are just okay.

The Black Bean Fauxjoada Vegetariana (196-197)calls for cooking the beans with a halved orange. This directly contradicts the advice an page 19-"Never-except in the case of black soybeans and large limas-should you add salt to beans until they are tender. The same goes for any acidic ingredient (vinegar, lemon juice, even tomatoes. Why? These ingredients toughen the outer coats..." The result, overly firm beans and an orange flavor more reminiscent of the pith than any other aspect of an orange. I did not expect it to be sweet, just not pithy.

CD'S Beans & Greens Pasta with Lemon, Garlic & Chile (273) was just so-so to me but my husband hated the way the cooked greens overwhelmed the rest of the dish.

The "Crisping" Marinade & Method for Oven-Baked Tofu (250) was moderately successful. I combined it with an asparagus-based stir fry.

The only clear winner in my household so far is the Huevos Rancheros (270) the recipe is a welcome short-cut to getting dinner on the table quickly. I tried it with both salsa verde and a roasted tomato salsa.

As for product recommendations in the book:
*Despite what it says on page 9, fresh liquid Beano isn't available in the US. Only tablets and meltaways are. Source: [...] Also, it says all over Amazon that this product is discontinued. "Note: Expiration date is 10/10 Beano drops are no longer made by the manufacturer. Any drops found anywhere will be expired."
*The No-Bacon Bacon Salt suggested on page 112 was nearly $4 for a 2 oz. container at Nob Hill. It tastes more like those fake bacon salad sprinkles than bacon. I tried it straight and again in Crescent's Vegan Take on Ruth's Southern Country-style Green Bean Soup with Potatoes (113).

After 3 weeks or working through this book, I think I have exhausted the best options. I'm moving on to How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.
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