Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Simple Dinner Ideas with Beans!

Legumes are a great food – full of protein, fiber and nutrition. With a simple pot or two of beans, you can basically put together a full week of nutritious meals – quickly and simply! Here’s how!

CROCKPOT COOKED BEANS

It only takes 3 minutes of your time to get your beans cooked using this twenty-four hour method. You just start it one evening to be ready to eat the following evening for dinner. Place 2-4 cups dry beans (pinto, black, navy, kidney, adzuki, etc.) in a crock pot, add 3 times more hot or boiling water (example: 3 cup beans to 9 cups water). Cook on high for the first several hours, then on medium or low for the remaining time adding more water as needed (crock pots do vary, so you may need to adjust cooking time and temperature). It’s best to wait and add salt and seasoning to the beans within 30 minutes before serving.

Here are some great dinner ideas to use the beans:

1) Seasoned Beans – just add salt, pepper or dried red pepper, minced garlic, chopped onion, etc. and serve with cornbread or bread, and fresh cut vegetable sticks.
2) Chili Beans – add salt, 1-3 tsp. chili powder or taco seasoning to taste, plus a package of crumbled tempeh, Soyrizo (soy chorizo), or Veggie Ground (available at health food stores); serve with cornbread or rolls, and fresh cut vegetable sticks.
3) Layered Taco Salad - layer on individual plates: baked corn chips, cooked pinto or black beans, diced avocado, chopped red bell pepper, green onion, chopped lettuce, sliced black olives, salsa or hot red pepper sauce, guacamole, and whatever else you like.
4) Black Bean Stacks – layer on individual plates: cooked brown rice, cooked black beans, shredded lettuce, diced avocado or guacamole, chopped red bell pepper, sliced black olives, chopped green onion, alfalfa sprouts, chopped cilantro, salsa or hot red pepper sauce, and whatever else you like.
5) Bean Burritos or Wraps - mashed and seasoned pinto beans in a whole wheat tortilla wrap with alfalfa sprouts, guacamole, salsa or hot red pepper sauce, diced purple onion, diced red bell pepper – with cut veggies on the side, as desired.
6) Pasta, Bean, Veggie Stir-Fry – cook a 12-16 oz. package whole grain pasta spirals (Tinkyada, brown rice spirals, or Eden, Kamut vegetable spirals are great); lightly stir-fry your favorite vegetables (diced purple onion, diced red bell pepper, broccoli florets, snow peas, etc.); add your favorite cooked and drained beans (black, kidney, pinto, adzuki, cannelloni, etc.); stir-fry with the drained pasta; season with salt, garlic, pepper and more; serve with a green salad!
7) Baked Potato Bar: Open potatoes on individual plates; top with Seasoned Beans or Chili Beans (see #1 or #2), then top with chopped green or purple onion, diced red or green bell pepper, sliced black olives, fresh cut corn, diced avocado, chopped parsley, or whatever you like.
8) One Pot Bean Stew: Follow the Crockpot Cooked Beans recipe using only 2 cups dry beans; 30-40 minutes before mealtime, add 2-4 C. water (depending on water amount on pot already), bouillon or broth seasoning, salt and any other seasoning. Add any of the following: diced potatoes, diced carrot, chopped onions, diced garlic, sliced zucchini or yellow squash, cut asparagus, cut green beans, broccoli florets, cut corn, or whatever you have and like. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, and serve with a green salad.

To learn more about how to put great healthy meals on the table in about 10 minutes, contact me to book your own workshop this month at contact@erleentilton.com.

For more great dinner ideas, see Creatively Complete Dinners.... for the Healthy Leaner Lifestyle series. To pre-order this book, go to http://erleentilton.com/store.htm .

For your best health,
Erleen Tilton

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My wife is Brazillian and we eat beans everyday. She swears by them

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