Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lovin' Legumes

Legumes are types of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils.

  • Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium.
  • Contain beneficial fats
  • Contain soluble and insoluble fiber.
  • Although beans are starchy, they are also a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat.

Below are examples of commonly known beans and their uses.

Type of legumeCommon uses
Photo of adzuki beansAdzuki beans
Also known as azuki beans, asuki beans, field peas, red oriental beans
Rice dishes and Japanese or Chinese cuisine
Photo of anasazi beansAnasazi beans
Also known as Jacob's cattle beans
Homemade refried beans and Southwestern recipes — especially soups
Photo of black beansBlack beans
Also known as turtle beans, black Spanish beans and Venezuelan beans
Soups, stews, rice and beans, Mexican dishes, and Central and South American cuisine
Photo of black-eyed peasBlack-eyed peas
Also known as cowpeas, cherry beans, frijoles, China peas, Indian peas
Salads, casseroles, fritters, bean cakes, curry dishes, and Southern dishes with ham and rice
Photo of chickpeasChickpeas
Also known as garbanzos, garbanzo beans, ceci beans
Casseroles, hummus, minestrone soup, Spanish stews and Indian dishes, such as dal
Photo of edamameEdamame
Also known as green soybeans
Side dishes, snacks, salads, soups, casseroles, and rice or pasta dishes
Photo of fava beansFava beans
Also known as broad beans, faba beans, horse beans
Stews and side dishes
Photo of lentilsLentilsSoups, stews, salads, side dishes and Indian dishes, such as dal
Photo of lima beansLima beans
Also known as butter beans, Madagascar beans
Succotash, casseroles, soups and salads
Photo of kidney beansRed kidney beansStews, mixed bean salad, chili and Cajun bean dishes
Photo of soy nutsSoy nuts
Also known as soybean seeds, roasted soybeans
Snacks or as garnish to salads

Images © Dole Food Company Inc. Used with permission

Cooking with legumes...

  • One pound of dried beans yields about 5 or 6 cups cooked beans.
  • A 15-ounce can of beans equals about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans, drained.
One popular dish that incorporates beans is chili

Leah's Super Simple Chili Recipe

Makes about 6 servings. Serving size is about 1.5 cups.
About 300 calories per serving (without cheese or crackers)

  • Ground meat (must be at least 90% lean)
    •  Ground chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, or shredded chicken breast (boil raw chicken breasts to cook them then shred them apart with fork)
  • 1 medium to large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 8-oz cans tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 15-oz can Rotel or tomatoes with chilies, no salt added if available
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • If wanting to add more types of beans, add another can of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Chili powder (liberal amount), garlic or garlic powder, Mrs. Dash south west seasoning, crushed red pepper, hot sauce
    • Add the above spices to your own liking, this is how you can customize this chili recipe into your own recipe.

  1. Dice onion and cook covered in large pot on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until caramelized. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.  
  2. Cook ground meat in sauce pan, drain any fat.
  3. Add ground meat to pot once onions are caramelized.
  4. Add all other ingredients
  5. As you add your spices, make sure you taste the chili after each addition until you have perfected your recipe.
  6. Bring to boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer for at least 1 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste.

Serve with oyster crackers and cheese if desired.

Resources: Mayoclinic.com

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