Tasty, Easy Bean Main Dishes

Garlicky Black Bean and Summer Squash Soft Tacos

Black bean and squash tacos

The black bean base of these soft tacos has a wonderfully garlicky and smoky flavor. Yellow squash, chili peppers, and dried tomatoes add even more flavor and color. These are  easy to make and even easier to serve, as everyone assembles their own tacos at the table. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

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Chana Masala (Curried Chickpeas)

Chana masala - curried chickpeas

This simplified version of a popular Indian dish, chana masala, is a delightful way to showcase tasty chickpeas. The traditional version doesn’t usually contain green beans, but they do add color and texture to the dish. If you prefer, you can substitute a few ounces of fresh spinach or other leafy greens for the green beans. In addition to hot cooked grains, serve with fresh flatbread and a simple salad of tomatoes and cucumbers in a generous dollop of coconut yogurt. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

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Quesadillas with Black Beans, Broccoli, and Portobellas

Vegan quesadillas with black bean, broccoli, and porobella

These generous quesadillas, filled with black beans, broccoli, and portobella mushrooms, make a substantial one-dish meal that’s easily completed with a simple salad on the side. Using a judicious sprinkling of vegan cheese make these extra yummy, but if you object to vegan cheese, skip it. Note, however, that there will be nothing “queso” about these quesadillas, which are essentially embellished grilled cheese sandwiches made with tortillas (and usually embellished with other ingredients).  more→

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Curried Chickpeas with Chutney-Flavored Grains

Curried chickpeas with chutney-flavored grains

Curry-flavored chickpeas perched atop a bed of chutney-flavored grains (you can use either quinoa, bulgur, or couscous), making for an appealing grain-and-legume combination. Serve with a simply prepared vegetable — hardy greens, broccoli, or cauliflower — and a simple salad. Look for chutney in the international foods aisle of supermarkets or natural foods stores. Adapted from Vegan Express.

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Vegan Beanballs (for serving on pasta with marinara sauce)

Vegan beanballs and spaghetti

Made of beans, oatmeal (or quinoa flakes) and walnuts, there’s nothing “fake meat” about these beanballs. They’re super easy to make, too — basically you just throw everything into the food processor. While they’re baking, cook up your favorite kind of pasta. Once it’s done, add the kind of marinara sauce you like best — homemade Classic Marinara Sauce, or or your favorite natural purchased brand. Serve with a colorful salad, and, if you’d like, roast some broccoli and/or cauliflower in the oven at the same time that the beanballs are baking. Tip: set aside some of the marinara to spoon over the beanballs, once you arrange them atop the pasta. more→

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Italian Pasta and Bean Soup

Pasta and bean soup1

Like Minestrone, Italian Pasta and Bean Soup is a classic, sometimes referred to as pasta e fagiole. It’s a meal in a bowl that you can complete easily with fresh garlic bread and a big salad. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.* more→

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Jamaican-Style Spicy Beans

Jamaican-Spicy-Beans by leslie cerier

Coconut milk plus lots of onion and scallion add up to a creamy and tasty sauce for this mildly spicy bean dish. I like to cook my beans from scratch with a sea vegetable to enhance their digestion and add minerals, but if you prefer, you can start with canned beans and skip the first step. Either way, this comes together quickly once you have the beans on hand. Serve with rice, steamed vegetables, and/or a green salad for a fine meal. Recipe contributed by Leslie Cerier. Photos by Tracey Eller. more→

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Miso-Ginger Red Beans and Broccoli

Miso-ginger red beans and broccoli recipe

Red beans, broccoli, and tomatoes are enveloped in a gingery miso sauce. It’s unusual to give a bean dish an Asian spin, but the balance of colors, textures, and flavors in this dish work very well. Quinoa makes a perfect bed of grain for this dish, though feel free to serve over rice or millet, or on its own in shallow bowls. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

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