Tasty, Easy Bean Main Dishes
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.
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→
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 by Nava Atlas. more→
The word “borracho” was a nineteenth-century north-of-the-border term for a drunkard, and so the name of this recipe literally means “drunken pinto beans.” Simmering the pintos in beer, and embellishing with jalapeño peppers and fresh cilantro gives them a unique flavor. Serve this with tortilla or rice specialties that don’t themselves contain beans. Delicious as a side dish with Southwestern flavored dishes like Baked Rice with Cheese and Green Chiles or Tofu Rancheros. Or, you can use this as a tasty filling for soft tacos or wrap them into tortillas for simple burritos. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
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→
This is an easy version of a traditional Jamaican dish that is often simply referred to as “rice and peas” (though the “peas” are actually small red beans). I first learned to make this the authentic way from a Jamaican friend — cooking the beans from scratch and cracking open and grating a whole coconut. Coconut milk and canned beans are good shortcuts! This dish is traditionally served with sautéed plantains, a starchy, banana-like fruit. Try them if you’re feeling adventurous. You can also serve with Banana Fritters, another adaptation of a traditional Jamaican recipe. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
A sweet and spicy pineapple salsa adds an intriguing flavor element to these easy vegan quesadillas featuring convenient baby greens, prepared refried beans, avocado, and tomato. If you’re short on time, skip the homemade salsa, and use a prepared pineapple or mango salsa instead. Either way, finish the meal with a simple salad. For heartier appetites, add some cooked quiona or a baked sweet potato. Photos by Evan Atlas.
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→