Dry Beans: A Family Friendly Meal

Are you looking for a way to stretch your food dollars and still eat well?  Why not try dry beans in your family meals.  Each half-cup serving of dry beans provides 6-7 grams of protein yet costs about 20 cents per serving.

A single half-cup serving of cooked dry beans counts as one, one-ounce serving of lean meat in the USDA Food Pyramid Mean and Beans group, and as a full serving of vegetables in the Vegetables group.

Looking for a minimal calorie- high nutrient food in your healthy eating plan?  There are only 100 to 120 calories in a half-cup serving of beans.

A half-cup serving of cooked dry beans provides about 25-30 percent of the Daily Value of dietary fiber which may reduce the risk of colon cancer and may reduce blood cholesterol.  The slower release of glucose and the increased satiety from beans may also to enhance the effectiveness of weight-reducing diets.

A half-cup serving of beans contains less than 1/2 gram of mostly polyunsaturated fat and no cholesterol.  It also provides 36 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of 400 micrograms of folacin and 11 percent of the RDI for thiamin.

One half-cup serving of cooked dry beans contains large amounts of iron, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, calcium, and zinc.  Great taste and power packed nutrition are found in dry beans.

Pizza Beans

  • 1 lb. pinto beans
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Rinse beans and remove any foreign objects.  Cover with water and soak overnight in the refrigerator.  In crockpot, combine all ingredients except the 2 cheeses.  Cover and cook on high 6-7 hours until beans are tender.  Top with mozzarella and parmesan and cook 10 more minutes or until cheese melts.

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

  • 1 lb. dry kidney beans
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves

Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.  In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.    Rinse beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water.  Stir cooked vegetables into beans.  Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley and Cajun seasoning.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.    Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Vegetarian Hoppin' John

  • 1 Tbsp. light olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed, or 2 cups cooked (about 2/3 cup raw)
  • 2 cups chopped ripe, juicy tomatoes plus 1/4 cup water, or 16-oz. diced tomatoes, undrained

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Sauté the onions over medium heat until translucent.  Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onions are golden.  Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and thyme; cook until the tomatoes have softened a bit, about 5 minutes.    Add the rice and black-eyed peas, and season to taste with salt and lots of pepper.  Stir well, then simmer, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes.  If the mixture seems dry, add a bit of water or cooking liquid from the peas.  Serve at once.