It’s #ProTipTuesday!  This weeks ProTIP is coming from yours truly….and I am “spilling the beans” so to speak, on how a bean filled pantry can provide even the busiest of schedules the tools to get a quick, healthy meal on the dinner table. #NoExcuses 

NO BEANS ABOUT IT ….. 

Keeping certain items on hand in the pantry gives us the option to enjoy a home cooked meal no matter how busy (or ehem…disorganized) we might be.  Besides pasta, tomatoes and rice, one of my favorite go to pantry items is beans. You can generally find various types of beans (both canned and dried) in my pantry.

Not only are beans a tasty, versatile food, they also provide a tremendous amount of nutritional value to our weeknight meals.  As one of the healthiest foods you can eat, beans help prevent a multitude of disease including cancer. And that old saying about beans…. well it’s true, they really are good for your heart. Adding them to your soups, salads and pastas will not only provide you more fiber than whole grains, but it will also provide good amounts of protein, calcium, and iron (just to name a few…).  With all these health benefits, it’s no wonder the USDA recommends we eat 3 cups of beans a week.

THESE RECIPES ARE “FULL OF BEANS” ……

Incorporating beans into your weekly menu is really not that hard to do.  My favorite beans are chick peas, kidney beans and lentils. In fact, some of my favorite dishes are made with beans.  Below I’ve compiled a list of quick and easy dishes that can be made with different types of beans. Whether you need a salad, a soup or a meat free meal there is hopefully a bean recipe in there for you!

→ Summer Zucchini and Ceci Salad :

A light and refreshing, no cook, low fat salad made with zucchini and chickpeas 

Zucchini Chickpea Salad

→ Pasta e Fagiole

Classic Italian Pasta and Beans Soup

Pasta and Beans

→ Spiral Zucchini and White Beans

Spiralized zucchini made with white beans and optional spaghetti

White Bean Zucchini Pasta

→ Tuscan Bean Cakes

White kidney bean cakes made tomatoes, shallots and thyme 

White Bean Cakes

→ Pasta e Ceci

A hearty pasta dish made with mezzi rigatoni and chickpeas

Chickpeas and Pasta

→ Vegetable Bean Tostada

20 Minute meatless tostada made with vegetables and refried beans

Vegetable Toastada

→ Escarole and Lentil Soup

Slow cooked lentils with escarole soup

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

 

These are just a few of my bean recipe favorites.  If you’d like to get more recipes to make once your pantry is “Full of Beans”, just click on the search button and type in BEANS. You will find more bean recipes in the blog archives. Happy, healthy cooking!

Don’t forget… you can make a terrific homemade meal in minutes with a well stocked pantry!