Healthy MyPlate-Inspired Bean Recipes
This vegetable-packed minestrone soup recipe is inspired by a popular Weight Watchers vegetable soup recipe. It makes a big pot of soup, so keep some in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and freeze the rest in single-serve portions. That way you always have an easy, delicious vegetable soup to start your meal or to eat for lunch. Think of this vegetable minestrone recipe as a starting point for other healthy soup variations, too: toss in leftover chopped cooked chicken or whole-wheat pasta or brown rice to make it more satisfying.
Here's a burrito inspired by San Francisco's super burritos that come packed with meat, beans, rice, cheese, guacamole and salsa. We've kept this home-style version a bit simpler to make and a whole lot healthier with brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas and a more reasonable serving size. We recommend wrapping it in foil--the traditional way to serve it--so you can pick the burrito up and eat it without it falling apart, peeling back the foil as you go. Serve with a cold beer and vinegar-dressed slaw.
Vegetarian Quinoa & Squash Casserole
An aromatic mixture of garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, allspice and cayenne flavors this vegetarian quinoa and squash casserole recipe. Frozen squash is a super-easy topping.
Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup
Who wouldn't want to eat their vegetables when they're tucked into a fragrant broth with bits of tasty chicken and spiked with a shot of fresh lime and cilantro? This healthy chicken vegetable soup seems even richer with the smoky flavor from roasted poblano peppers and garlic. Serve this healthy chicken soup recipe with tortilla chips.
Traditionally, this Italian pasta recipe combines pasta and pesto with potatoes and green beans. In our recipe for Spaghetti Genovese we give pesto a nutritional boost by adding spinach and toss it all together with fiber-rich whole-wheat pasta for a warm, comforting weeknight meal. Serve with escarole and radicchio salad.
Italian Wedding Soup
This Italian Wedding Soup recipe is Italian comfort food at its best, and this easy soup recipe lends itself to countless variations. Substitute spinach, chicory, chard or any other leafy green for the escarole or kale, and any leftover cooked (or canned) beans for the white beans in this healthy Italian wedding soup recipe.
Beef & Bean Enchiladas
These beef enchiladas, topped with a zesty green and red homemade sauce, are perfect for a party or a potluck. To cut calories and saturated fat we fill them with 90%-lean beef bulked up with chopped portobello mushrooms and beans. Although white-flour tortillas are traditional in San Antonio, we go for whole-wheat or corn tortillas to add a little fiber.
Smoky Black Bean Soup
This will probably be the most hauntingly delicious black bean soup you've ever tasted. The coffee adds a slightly toasty, woodsy background note. The optional ham hock adds smoky, salty ham flavor. Serve with a mixed green salad or a grilled cheese sandwich with pickled jalapeños. Recipe by Joyce Hendley for EatingWell.
Black Bean & Chipotle Tostadas with Creme Fraiche
If you love breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros, you'll love this tostada with seasoned black beans on crispy tortillas with scrambled eggs on top. Pass salsa or hot sauce to go with it.
Bean & Barley Soup
This hearty bean and barley soup tastes like it has simmered for hours, but actually it's quite quick to throw together. Plus this recipe for healthy bean and barley soup freezes beautifully. If you have cooked barley on hand, omit the quick-cooking barley and stir in 1 1/2 cups cooked barley along with the broth in Step 2.
Grilled Sea Scallops with Cilantro & Black Bean Sauce
Here, Chinese fermented black beans are stir-fried with garlic and ginger, flavor-enhanced with Chinese or Japanese rice wine, and blended into a delicate puree that makes a delicious dip to complement all sorts of grilled seafood, including plump sea scallops. Sweet mirin counterbalances the saltiness of the beans.
Butternut Squash & Tomato Posole
Posole is a traditional Mexican stew most often made with pork and hominy (dried corn kernels that have been treated to soften the hull) cooked in a fragrant chile-based sauce. In this quick vegetarian recipe, we rely on the meatiness of pinto beans and butternut squash combined with hand-crushed whole tomatoes to make a satisfying stew.
Zesty Shrimp & Black Bean Salad
Loaded with fresh tomatoes, peppers and cilantro and seasoned with cumin and chile, this shrimp and black bean salad recipe has all the flavors of a great fresh salsa and is a quick and easy no-cook recipe. Serve with tortilla chips or fresh corn tortillas.
Cincinnati has a unique spin on chili--they serve it over spaghetti. Typically the chili is just made with meat, no beans, but we couldn't resist adding beans to add fiber and nutrients. Serve with sliced cucumber and red onion with lemon juice and olive oil.
Three-Pea, Cashew & Tofu Stir-Fry
Pressing tofu before making this tofu stir-fry recipe gives it a chewy, satisfying texture. Three green peas--sugar snaps, snow peas and shelling peas--balance it out with brightly flavored crunch. Hoisin--a dark brown, thick, spicy-sweet sauce made from soybeans and a complex mix of spices--gives the stir-fry rich depth of flavor with just one ingredient. Look for it, as well as chile-garlic sauce, in the Asian section of the market.
Ribollita, a traditional hearty Tuscan soup, typically uses day-old bread to add body and thicken the broth. This ribollita recipe uses a bean mash, which keeps the soup gluten-free and adds fiber. Garnish with extra-virgin olive oil or pepper and grated Parmesan.
Southwestern Salad with Black Beans
Here we top salad greens with black beans, sweet corn and grape tomatoes and bring it all together with a tangy avocado-lime dressing for a Mexican-inspired salad. Try this salad for a take-along lunch. To keep the salad greens from getting soggy, pack the greens, salad toppings and dressing in separate containers and toss them together just before eating.
Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham
This yellow split pea soup has fresh ginger to give it a bright flavor. Use the best ham you can find to get the most flavor.
Grilled Tempeh Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing
This bold sesame-ginger dressing recipe is perfect with this salad of grilled tempeh, pineapple and crisp snow peas. If you can't find mixed Asian greens, try another spicy green, such as arugula.
Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew
This chicken stew, generously seasoned with the Ethiopian spice mix berbere, is loaded with tomato and red lentils. Depending on brand, berbere spice blend can be rather spicy. For a less spicy stew, start with 3 tablespoons spice blend rather than 5.
Chopped Tandoori Chicken Salad
Tandoori chicken is a traditional Northern Indian dish of spiced yogurt-marinated chicken cooked in a clay oven. In this tandoori chicken salad recipe we grill chicken and toss it in a salad with grilled tomatoes and cucumber.
Very Green Lentil Soup
Lentils seem to go well with just about anything, and here they play well with a collection of greens and some cumin and coriander to add a gentle spicy note to this soup recipe. The result is a hearty winter soup with layers of flavor. Both French green lentils (available in natural-foods stores and specialty markets) and more commonly available brown lentils are delicious in this soup. The French green lentils hold their shape better when cooked, while brown lentils will start to break down a bit.
Braised Greens & Cannellini Bean Panini
A creamy spread of cannellini beans cooked with onion, garlic and white wine is the perfect match for tender braised greens. Press the two between pieces of crusty whole-wheat bread and you have an outstanding vegan panini.
Summer Succotash Salad
This summer salad is based on the Southern favorite, succotash, and is a fresh-tasting combination of butter beans, corn, summer squash and tomatoes. Butter beans, the same species as lima beans, are the bean of choice in the South. When they're in season you may be able to find them fresh--shell them yourself. Or use frozen butter beans, baby lima beans or even edamame.
Curried Lentil Stuffed Squash
In this stuffed squash recipe, a spicy red lentil curry stew fills acorn squash. If you find them at your market use tasty jarred piquillo peppers in this.
Walnuts and fresh marjoram accent these vegan lentil burgers. Substitute oregano for marjoram if you like. Serve with a smear of whole-grain mustard and roasted sweet potato wedges.
Homemade Chorizo Tortas
A torta is the Mexican version of a panini--a pressed sandwich made with crusty bread that can have an endless array of fillings. For this one, we make our own chorizo-inspired filling by spicing up ground pork or turkey. Use a panini maker if you have one (and skip Step 4) or use our technique for making pressed sandwiches without any special equipment. Serve with a mixed green salad.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies
These mini vegetarian shepherd's pies feature lentils, carrot and corn, crowned with a velvety mashed potato topping. The recipe can also be made in a broiler-safe casserole dish. Serve with a spinach salad with oranges, walnuts and red-wine vinaigrette.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.
Penne alla Primavera
Penne tossed with spring vegetables, such as carrots, morel mushrooms, asparagus, peas and fava beans, along with loads of fresh herbs is a perfect example of Mario Batali's rustic approach to great-tasting Italian food. When both fava beans and morel mushrooms are in season, by all means use them in this recipe. But if you can't find either of those, substitute what looks best. Basic cremini mushrooms will work and frozen lima beans are a good option. Recipe adapted from Molto Gusto by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner (Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers, 2010).