We know that dry beans are good for us, but many people do not realize how delicious they taste! Beans are an inexpensive MyPlate protein option that can boost the flavor of family meals. Examples of dry beans include kidney, black, pinto, and garbanzo. Dry beans are available both in the dry form in sealed bags and precooked in cans. If you are looking for quick, canned beans should be at the top of your list.
Here are ideas for adding more beans to family meals:
- Add beans and peas to your favorite pasta dishes, tacos, casseroles, stews, and side dishes.
- Make “Mexican Pizza” by topping whole-wheat pita bread with refried beans, tomato salsa, spinach, and shredded low-fat cheese.
- Make food fun. Add kidney and pinto beans in chili and serve it in a baked sweet potato “chili boat.”
- Let children mash beans in a plastic baggie, and then make a “Smashed Bean Burrito” (using a whole-grain tortilla, spinach, and their favorite veggies).
- Bean dip or hummus – Purée garbanzo beans and serve with veggie sticks.
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ small onion, scrubbed with clean vegetable brush under running water and diced
- 1 cup low-sodium canned black beans, drained (or any type of canned dried bean)
- ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 4 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Wash hands with soap and water. Heat heavy skillet over medium heat. Add oil and sauté onion and seasoned salt until onion is tender.
- Add beans and heat through, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer mixture to clean bowl.
- To make quesadilla, spray non-stick spray in a heavy skillet. Add one tortilla. Spread with 2 tablespoons cheese, ½ of bean mixture then 2 more tablespoons of cheese.
- Top with second tortilla. When cheese is melted and bottom of tortilla is golden, flip to other side. Brown for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to cutting board or plate. Cut into wedges and serve. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- Serving Size (1/2 of a quesadilla):
- Calories 250
- Total Fat 11g
- Saturated Fat 4.5g
- Cholesterol 15mg
- Sodium 470mg
- Total Carbohydrates 29g
- Fiber 7g
- Total Sugars 2g, includes 1g Added Sugars
- Protein 10g
- Vitamin D 0%
- Calcium 10%
- Iron 10%
- Potassium 8%
This newsletter has been peer-reviewed. It was reviewed and updated in 2023.