How many different ways can you eat beans? What comes to mind? If you think your options are limited to baked beans and chili, you are in for a surprise! You can make many different kinds of meals with beans.
While you hunker down at home in response to the coronavirus pandemic, you may be trying to limit your trips to the grocery store. As such, you are likely stocking up on shelf-stable or freezer foods. Dried and canned beans are a healthy and inexpensive option. Search for beans on NutritionFacts.org, and you will find nearly 200 videos touting the benefits of adding beans to your diet. As noted in My 4 Favorite Types of Beans article, they are rich in protein, high in fiber, low in fat, and contain no cholesterol. They are also versatile.
What kinds of meals can you make with beans? Let’s count the ways.
1. Beans as Soups and Stews
There are many different kinds of bean soups, stews, and chilis. A few of my favorites include:
And while we are talking about beans, we should mention other legumes such as lentils. This lentil soup recipe makes a hearty meal:
2. Beans as Salads and Bowls
The popular 3-Bean Salad isn’t the only way to enjoy beans in a salad. As I explain in my post on How to Make a Perfect Salad, a salad isn’t complete without a few beans sprinkled on top. Some of my preferred combinations include:
What’s the difference between a salad and a bowl? The term bowl usually refers to a combination of ingredients served in the same dish. Bowls can range from cold salads to warm pasta dishes and everything in between. They can be recipes on their own or a combination of leftovers. I often add beans to leftover side-dishes to make a meal.
Here are a few of my go-to recipes that feature beans:
3. Beans as Burgers and Patties
Beans are usually a key ingredient in veggie burgers and patties. You can also use them to make veggie loaves, but I find the patty route to be quicker and easier. Here are a few select recipes:
4. Beans as Sandwiches and Wraps
Beans also make great sandwich spreads and fillings. Recipes I have on repeat are:
- Black Bean Wrap
- Vegan Chickpea Salad (in a wrap or on toast)
- Cucumber Sandwich with Turmeric White Bean Spread
5. Other Meals to Make with Beans
Beans can be used in so many different ways! I hope you found these suggestions inspiring and helpful. What is your favorite way to enjoy beans?