Here’s a simple soup of quick-cooking red lentils, embellished with tender greens. It’s a warming homemade soup you can have on the table in less than 45 minutes. Once you’ve done the onion-garlic sauté, there’s very little additional work to do! Serve with fresh pita, croutons, or crispy pita chips that you can crumble right into the soup. The recipe yields a flavorful but mild soup; see notes on seasonings following the recipe if you’d like to kick it up a few notches.
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.
Here’s an easy salad with a Southwestern flair. A tasty combo of avocado and pinto beans, this goes well with simple quesadillas and other tortilla specialties that don’t themselves contain beans. This also makes a great portable lunch along with stoneground tortilla chips and some seasonal fruit. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→
There has rarely been a comprehensive collection of vegetarian or vegan recipes, in print or online, that didn’t include at least one recipe for chili. Bean-based chills are warming, hearty, and inexpensive. They’re as welcome for everyday meals as they are for parties and potlucks. They freeze well and are also a great lunchbox option. Here’s a handful of chili varieties to choose from. more→
Lentil chili is deliciously offbeat, especially with the addition of sweet potato. Smoky spices, intended for grilling, are readily available in the spice section of supermarkets, and add a bold but not overly hot flavor to the stew. I like to serve this with fresh greens, steamed or sautéed and a simple slaw-style salad. Stone-ground tortilla chips and some salsa are also welcome! more→
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 hearty lentil soup features a slew of compatible ingredients, including potatoes, cauliflower, and spinach or arugula. It all melds together in a garlicky, mildly curried broth. Add a fresh flatbread and a simple salad for a satisfying meal. 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→
This satisfying soup features lentils, potatoes (and optional sweet potatoes) and greens, a trio of compatible ingredients in a mildly curried broth. This is a wonderful soup to come home to on a cold late fall or winter day, so make it on a quiet Sunday and enjoy it when you come home from work the next day. It’s also a good choice to pack in a Thermos, to take to work or school. more→