You know that guy that likes to just wear sweatshirts and jeans. He reads the paper really slowly and generally has an easy smile but doesn’t say too much. Hates spending money. Pretty happy wherever he is, but doesn’t like being rushed. Has a lot to offer but is often overlooked because he seems like..you know…like just joe or homer or whoever. Oh him. And you’re not sure you’d like to be married to him because it might get kind of boring after awhile. Or so you assume. And you’ve heard that he might have a bad habit or two but still you’re kind of turned on by his simplicity. For me, that’s the bean. The unsung hero of the whole foods world who’s often overshadowed by flashy pomegranates, sexy avocados, trendy farro and exotic spices with lounge-singer names like Saffron and Coriander. Take another look. You want low cost? Versatility? How about “enriches the soil its grown in”? The bean’s got it. Or are you dazzled by factoids like: low in calories, high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals? Research that links consumption to lower risk of some diseases? Beans are your guy. Oh wait. Maybe you’re shy about mentioning the farting thing. I’m telling you, if you’re getting gas from your beans you haven’t been treating them right. Like forgetting to let them have a long soak. Trying to rush them while they’re cooking. Eating them out of cans. Don’t do it. They appreciate hands-on cooking with TLC. Ya gotta let them take their time. Throw Cumin or Kombu or whoever in the pot with them to keep ‘em grinning. Add a little salt toward the end, maybe a little vinegar or salsa (to aid the digestion) and you’ve got a real fun cheap date.