What To Make With All Those Beans!

The empty store shelves speak for themselves when we wonder what everyone has stocked up at home. An unsuccessful attempt to replenish my white bean supply had me thinking there are a lot of beans to be had out there, so here are three different ways to enjoy all those beans that require very little time to throw together and just a couple ingredients, most of which you likely already have.

Please note these are not recipes I just pulled off the internet. I have been making these for my family for a long time, and in doing so I have tweaked things without much regard for precision. So while I am including measurements remember they are sometimes estimates. I encourage you to “eyeball” your ingredients as well – unlike baking, cooking doesn’t have to be an exact science to taste great!

Black Beans and Rice with Sauteed Beet Stems

Did you know beet stems are just as edible as the greens and bulbs?? They are high in fiber, minerals and antioxidants, making every.single.part. of the beet incredibly nutritious, versatile and one of my favorite vegetables.

Start by washing your bunch of red beets and cutting off the stems; wrap beets in plastic and store in the fridge (more tasty ideas on what to do with those coming soon!). Cut the greens from the stems. Cut the stems into 1/2 inch chunks, and gently cut the greens into smaller pieces. Keep stems and leaves separate as they will be cooked at different times.

You will also need:

  • Olive oil

  • 1 minced shallot

  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves

  • 1.5 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • Juice of one lemon

  • Salt and pepper

Place a skillet over medium heat and add about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add beet stems and shallot and cook together, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the greens and cook until they begin to wilt. Add garlic, vinegar and lemon juice and give it a good stir. There shouldn’t be any excess liquid in the pan. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

I serve this warm over brown rice with canned, rinsed black beans, and there are NEVER any leftovers!

White Beans and Rice with Mushrooms and Spinach

We only eat shiitake mushrooms, but they can be expensive so feel free to substitute another “meaty” mushroom here, such as portobellos. When you remove the mushroom stems, place them in a bag and leave in the freezer until you are making your next broth.

I find myself making this when the huge container of spinach in my fridge is about to expire.

You will need:

  • Olive oil

  • 3-5 minced garlic cloves

  • ¾ - 1 pound mushrooms sliced and stems removed

  • 3-4 handfuls of spinach (10-12 oz pre-washed bag of spinach should be enough)

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • White wine

  • 1-2 cans of drained and rinsed Great Northern Beans or Chickpeas, depending on how many beans you want in your dish

Warm a large skillet and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Add garlic and stir around for a minute or two. Add mushrooms and stir occasionally until they are soft and cooked. Add spinach a handful at a time to avoid it spilling over the side of the skillet.

Once the spinach starts wilting you can add another handful. I usually end up with 3-4 handfuls.

Sprinkle balsamic vinegar around the pan (about 1-1.5 tablespoons), give it a good stir and add about a half cup of dry white wine. Give it another good stir, let it cook for a couple minutes and then add your beans.

Add salt and pepper to taste, stir it up and serve warm over brown rice.

Red Beans and Rice with Tomato Chili Sauce

Adding ground turkey to this dish can make it feel more like a turkey chili. If you do use ground turkey, aim for 1.5 – 2 pounds, and cook it with the onions and green peppers in the first step.

You will need:

  • Olive oil (omit if using ground turkey)

  • Small chopped onion

  • Chopped green pepper

  • 2 cans drained and rinsed kidney beans

  • 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Warm a large skillet and add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook onions and peppers, stirring periodically, until soft then stir in remaining ingredients.

Simmer for a few minutes to heat through and then serve warm over (or mixed together with!) brown rice.

By Kim Hadermayer, FitGuana Group Fitness & Personal Trainer


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