Quick Recipes and Easy

Beans for Dinner: High Protein, Cheap and Delicious

Beans are seeds that contain everything necessary to bring a new plant to life, so they are nutritional powerhouses for us as well. They provide vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, and are very high in fiber. They are excellent sources of the essential fatty acids and are the best plant source of protein. Most supermarkets carry a wide variety of dried and canned beans. They are equally nutritious. Dried beans are usually more economical, but they take longer to prepare. Canned beans are more convenient. It’s your choice. Try them in these simple recipes.

Chuckwagon Beans
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup canned tomato sauce
1 teaspoon bouillon granules or 1 bouillon cube
2 tart apples, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup dried cherries or golden raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar, or to taste (or use artificial sweetener to taste)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring, or to taste
3 cans (16 oz.) pink beans, undrained
Cooked whole grains (optional)

Combine all ingredients except beans and whole grains in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes (add a small bouillon if it gets too dry). Add the beans and simmer 10-15 minutes more. Serve over whole grain if desired.

6-8 servings

Note: You’ll find bottled liquid smoke flavoring either in the spice section or the sauces section of your supermarket (near barbeque sauces, Worchestershire sauce, and so forth.)

Fastest Beans and Rice
1 16-ounce can black beans, undrained
2 cups cooked brown rice or other whole grains
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
pinch cayenne, to taste
2 teaspoons bouillon granules (optional)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley or cilantro
Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer 3-5 minutes; or microwave for 3 minutes.

4-6 servings

Black Beans from Scratch
1 pound dried black beans
2 onions, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz. can plum tomatoes, cut in pieces
4 teaspoons bouillon granules
2 teaspoons tabasco sauce, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 orange, quartered (unpeeled)
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
Cooked brown rice (optional)

Soak the beans overnight in water to cover. Drain and rinse. Cover the beans with water (1″ over the beans) in a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer 1 hour. Add the remaining ingredients except the parsley and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender, adding more water if needed. Remove bay leaf and orange quarters and serve over brown rice; sprinkle with parsley.

6-8 servings

Note: This is a excellent basic recipe for cooking dried beans, to be used in many ways. Serve them over brown rice, accompanied by a green salad. Or puree some of the beans in a blender to make a tasty soup, stirring in a small bouillon to the desired consistency.

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Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at drmirkin.com DrMirkin.com

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