Tasty, Easy Bean Main Dishes

Barbecue-Flavored Baked Beans

Barbecue baked beans

The subtly sweet and tart flavors of this baked bean dish make it homey and comforting. This is delicious served with fresh cornbread or fresh rye bread. Add some simply prepared greens (kale, collards, or chard), broccoli, or green beans. A colorful salad completes the meal. more→

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Refried Pinto Beans (Frijoles Refritos)

Few dishes are more basic to southwestern cuisine than the beloved Frijoles. A good helping of them is a standard sight at lunch, dinner, and sometimes even breakfast. Here’s a simple vegan preparation (though they’re no longer  prepared with lard as often as they once were, still, take care to ask if you have them in a restaurant). Serve alongside the southwestern egg dishes in tortilla specialties that don’t themselves contain beans, such as Stacked Squash and Bell Pepper Enchiladas. more→

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Big Quesadillas with Refried Beans, Spinach, and Avocado

A sweet and spicy salsa adds an element of surprise to these easy quesadillas.

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Black-Eyed Peas with Spinach and Herbs

Black-Eyed Peas

Here’s an easy and unusual recipe that highlights fresh spinach. If you use baby spinach, you can skip stemming, making the recipe even quicker than it already is. This Persian recipe is a Sabzi—referring to a recipe using greens and herbs, ingredients so typical to this cuisine. Serve with a fresh flatbread and a salad of chickpeas and tomatoes. more→

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Sephardic Stewed White Beans

Small white beans cooked in a savory sauce is a common Sephardic dish, served all year round for holidays and every day meals alike.

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Southern Lima Beans

Lima beans have long been, and are still, more widely used in the South than elsewhere. They’re often called “butter beans” and combining them with tomatoes, as in this Creole-influenced recipe, is a common way of preparing them. more→

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Stewed White Beans with Fresh Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes on table

Here’s a simple and tasty late summer dish. Tomatoes and navy beans are a companionable pair, especially if you use the optional vegan sausage to bridge their flavors. Serve with a simple potato dish and a big colorful salad. more→

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Caribbean Pigeon Peas and Rice

Pigeon peas

Traditionally, this is made with pigeon peas —cute, round, and tan, also known as gungo peas or gandules. They’re a staple in markets with big Latin and Caribbean communities. If you can’t find them, no worries, use red beans — another island favorite. No harm will be done. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled — it’s bright and refreshing either way. Recipe and photo by Ellen Kanner. more→

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