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Two Recipes: Make Beans Your Secret Nutritional Weapon During COVID-19

March 30, 2020

Mary Noon

Mary Noon

Yes, everyone is talking about buying beans. They are inexpensive, healthy and last a very long time canned or dried.  But what if you are not a fan?

There are so many unique ways to incorporate this powerhouse food into your routine without just serving up a plate of bland beans. When talking about legumes, it includes dried beans, peas and lentils.

(Sometimes these can be referred to as pulses. What the difference between the two is that legume is the plant and pulse is the edible seed of the plant.)

Legumes are rich in protein. One-half cup is equal in protein to 1 ounce of meat, chicken or fish. It is also plant protein and a centerpiece of highly rated Mediterranean, DASH and plant-based diets.  Beans, peas and lentils are rich in fiber — in particular, resistant fiber, which is an undigestible form of fiber that acts as fuel for good bacteria in the gut.

Legumes are also rich in folate, iron, potassium and antioxidants, which help protect our cells.  So we tout their benefits for many reasons, for digestive and cardiovascular health and for an overall healthy diet.

Consider trying to add more legumes to your day.

  • Add ½ cup of chickpeas to cooked rice.
  • Make tabbouleh, stirring in chickpeas.
  • Try mixing a can of tuna with a can of cannellini beans. Add olive oil and touch of vinegar or lemon juice with Italian spices.
  • Add ½ cup of dried lentils to your homemade soup during the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  • Try roasting canned chic peas with your favorite savory or “sweet” seasonings (see recipe below).
  • Make homemade hummus with any bean variety, spices and a tablespoon of olive oil to serve on toast.
  • Toss pasta with roasted vegetables like broccoli and chic peas. Be sure to dry off beans before roasting in oven and spritz with vegetable oil.
  • Make a bean burrito minus the meat.
  • Make a can of soup healthier with the addition of canned low sodium beans or chickpeas.
  • Marinated chick peas or beans are a great addition to a grain bowl or side dish at the dinner table. Add diced vegetables like onions and celery too.
  • Experiment in baked goods like quick breads, brownies and muffins by replacing ½ the fat with mashed beans for a moist low-fat version.
  • Make a cold bean salad with multiple varieties.  Add canned or frozen corn, diced peppers, onions and tomatoes for a different flare with lime juice and a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  • Try crockpot vegetarian chili (see recipe below) for a change.

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

You will need:

Baking sheet – for easy clean up use foil or parchment paper to line the pan

1- 15 ounce can rinsed and drained chick peas

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1-2 teaspoons of seasonings of choice:

  • Savory: oregano, garlic and onion powder, paprika.
  • Spicy: chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
  • “Sweet”: cinnamon and cardamom or use garam masala.

Dry beans with paper towels and add spices and oil to a bowl with the chick peas and toss. Spread onto baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Return for another 20 minutes. Check before time is up to be sure. Let cool before eating.

Crockpot Vegetarian Chili

  • 1- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes.
  • 4 cans of black, pinto, kidney beans and or chickpeas.
  • 1 diced small onion.
  • 1 diced pepper.
  • 1 diced garlic clove.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder.
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup.

Mix everything together in a crockpot and cook for 4-5 hours. Serve with a sprinkle of shredded cheese and cut scallions if desired. This is also tasty over a baked potato or with a slice of cornbread.

Mary Noon is a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Hartford Hospital.

Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor.

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