During winter, it can be hard to eat healthy, especially for vegetarians and vegans. Most fruits and vegetables are not in season, and meat is one of the only available protein sources. If you are struggling to find a new source of protein and vitamins, beans are the answer. There are thousands of types of beans. Local supermarkets hold a large variety of beans. From black to pinto to fava, beans are a healthy addition to your diet.
Beans also contain large amounts of fiber, a type of carbohydrate that aids digestion and improves the overall function of the intestines. Fiber also helps to curb hunger, making you feel full even when eating less. The copious amounts of vitamins and minerals in beans makes them the perfect health food.
Cooking with beans is easy and fun to do. Here are a few delicious recipes for meals using beans:
Savory Garbanzo Beans and Spinach
Recipe from Tastemade
2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 (6 oz) container baby spinach, washed
Saute bacon in a high-sided skillet. Once the bacon is browned, add the garlic and saute. Remove the bacon and garlic, but leave the fat. Add the drained garbanzo beans into the pan. When they begin to brown, add the paprika and coat the beans. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the beans and add the spinach. Once the spinach wilts, add the bacon and garlic and stir. Remove from pan. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.
Warm Lentil Soup
Recipe from Martha Stewart
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
14.5 ounces low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 cup cooked lentils (from a 15-ounce can), rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Cook onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, adding salt and pepper to taste, until the onion softens. Add broth and bring to a boil; cook for five minutes. Add lentils and cook until the soup thickens. Stir in the red-wine vinegar and finish with more salt and pepper.
Roasted French-Style Green Beans
Recipe from Food Network
4 pounds fresh green beans, topped and tailed
16 slices thin bacon, cut into tiny pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the green beans on greased baking sheets. Chop bacon and onions and place evenly over beans. Drizzle the olive oil on top and add salt and pepper. Toss the beans so that they are evenly coated in oil. Bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the beans are browned. Remove from sheets and enjoy.