A few days ago a friend asked me how I used dried beans. Boy, did I have a long answer. You see, our family eats a wide variety of legumes: beans, peas and lentils. Incorporating legumes into our menu plans has expanded our culinary palette, as well as greatly saved on groceries. Not to mention, they are power-packed when it comes to nutrients. Check out Whole Foods “Guide to Beans.” This was a valuable resource to me a few years ago, when I began incorporating more legumes into our menu plans.
Pre-cooking beans and freezing has been a time-saver for meal preparation, especially during our busy work weeks. Sometimes, I cook the bean on the stove; other times in the crock pot. Most often, I use my handy dandy electric pressure cooker (LOVE this appliance). Simply pre-cook a batch of beans (pinto, black beans or garbanzo/chickpeas), allow to cool and, then, freeze in one cup portions in a zip-top bag. I toss these into soups, burritos, atop salads, as a dip base, or even as a side dish doctored up a bit!
When my friend asked the question, I compiled a list of our family favorites. Usually, I use the recipe once or twice, then I make it my own. I hope you try a few and enjoy them!
Swanson Family Favorites:
Texas Caviar (Black-eyed Peas, onions and seasonings)
White Beans and Pasta
Some Salads with/without beans (my recipes)
Sloppy (Joe) Lentils
Crockpot Beans and Rice
Mujadara (this is AMAZING. My kids love it, too, especially with homemade Naan or Roti)
Brown Rice and Black Bean Burritos
Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Stew (SO GOOD)
Crockpot Lentil Stew
Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
Spicy Sauteed Garbanzo beans (We all loved this dish)
(Try this link, if the above doesn’t work: http://tinyurl.com/4mdqtvn)
Hummus Recipes. This site gives information about hummus, as well as many recipes. Our family loves hummus, even our kids. Good way to get veggies servings in. I just leave a veggie plate out, or in the fridge, and they know they can eat all they want.
White Beans with Rigatoni
Spicy Citrus Black Beans
Refried Beans. I make my own refried beans, too, and these in a variety of recipes like burritos, or a side dish, as well as a dip for chips, veggies, etc.
Our family LOVES Indian foods, especially curries and the yummy Indian breads called Roti and Naan.
Spinach and Red Lentil and Bean Curry (I use any lentils)
Other sites I frequently browse for legume recipes:
“Eating Well” magazines has a variety of bean recipes, too. [Here]
Italian Bean Recipes [Here]
Mexican Bean Recipes [Here]
Spanish Bean Recipes [Here]