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4 simple vegetarian bean dinners

By Hilary Meyer, September 14, 2009 - 11:18am

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4 simple vegetarian bean dinners

I’m trying to eat more vegetarian meals, so I’m obsessed with beans. And the bean recipes I’ve been making have made it incredibly easy. I thought I would feel less satisfied without having meat as part of my dinner, but beans fill me right up. Since they’re packed with fiber I never feel hungry after a meal. And my wallet isn’t suffering either—a can of beans is much cheaper than a pound of chicken or beef (and a pound of dried beans is even less expensive!). Now that’s what I call satisfaction.

Here are a few of my favorite vegetarian recipes with beans:

Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad – Here’s a great make-ahead dinner—and leftovers are welcome for lunch the next day. If you make it ahead, don’t add the salt and pepper until just before serving. That way, the salt won’t render the vegetables soggy and the pepper won’t lose its bite. Make it a meal: Scoop up this salad with warm corn tortillas.

Bean Bolognese – Fiber-rich beans stand in for the beef and pork in this surprisingly rich-tasting vegetarian take on pasta Bolognese. Without the meat, the dish has only a third of the fat and 80 percent less saturated fat. To make the perfect meal, serve with a peppery arugula salad and warm, crusty Italian bread.

Catalan Sauteed Polenta & Butter Beans – This dish is a satisfying vegetarian meal complete with spinach, beans and polenta, inspired by classic Spanish flavors.

Middle Eastern Chickpea Platter – This recipe combines the flavors of two Middle Eastern favorites—hummus and baba ganouj—in one easy dish. Serve it family-style, letting diners take their own favorite combination of ingredients. Serve with tabbouleh or a green salad tossed with lemon vinaigrette.

Do you try to eat vegetarian meals? What are your favorites? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Food Blog, Budget meals, Dinner, Eating green, Quick meals, Vegetarian

Hilary Meyer
EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: Do you try to eat vegetarian meals? What are your favorites?

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