You probably know that dry beans are good for us, but many people don't 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 a few ideas for adding more beans to family meals:
- Add beans and peas to your children’s 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 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 280
- Total Fat 8.6g
- Sodium 507mg
- Total Carbohydrates 40.2g
- Fiber 8g
- Protein 12.2g
This newsletter has been peer-reviewed.