Beans are an excellent source of lean protein and fiber. They qualify for two different food groups in the food pyramid: 1) Meat and Beans and 2) Vegetables. You can buy them canned and ready to go anytime for a quick recipe, or save money by buying dried beans. Using dried beans requires some planning because they must be soaked overnight and then cooked (follow package directions).
Beans can be a great, healthy and affordable substitution for meat in many recipes. Keep in mind this general rule of thumb when substituting: 1/4 cup of cooked beans is equivalent to 1 oz of meat.
Corn and Black Bean Salad
- 2 cups corn kernels (can be fresh, frozen or canned)
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup think sliced scallions
- 1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine corn, bell pepper, onions, and beans in a medium bowl
- In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients
- Toss with the corn and bean mixture
Two Bean Salad
- 1 can black beans (15oz)
- 1 can garbonzo beans (15oz)
- 2/3 cup swiss cheese, diced very small
- 1/2 cup onion
- 1 can (3.8oz) sliced black olives, drained
- 1/4 cup celery
- 1/4 cup each of chopped peppers: green, red and orange*
- 1/3 cup italian dressing or your favorite vinaigrette
In a large bowl, combine the beans, cheese, onions, olives, celery and peppers. Toss with the dressing or vinaigrette. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
* red and orange peppers can sometimes be expensive. Its okay to substitute 1/2 cup of just the green peppers. But always keep your eye out for sales on peppers at your local store.