Vegetarian Month: Got Beans?

Beans, peas and lentils are all legumes–a type of vegetable that are great alternatives to meat.

Legumes are high in protein, folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. Since they are also high in fiber (soluble and insoluble), legumes aid digestion and lower cholesterol. Eating legumes at least four times a week reduces the risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer, studies show.

Now, That’s Using Your Beans!

Meals are more satisfying with legumes. Since they’re convenient and versatile, it’s easy to add them to soups, casseroles, stews, stir-fry recipes and pasta dishes. Here are some more ideas :

  • Jazz up a salad with chickpeas or black beans
  • Include lentils in quesadillas
  • Puree beans to use in dips and spreads
  • Use black beans in burritos and tacos instead of meat, poultry or fish
  • Satisfy the craving for something crunchy with roasted soy nuts.
  • Spread hummus (pureed chickpeas with lemon, oil and spices) on sandwiches
  • Add chickpeas, black beans, soy beans and kidney beans to chili

Please share your recipe makeover with legumes in the comments. And stay tuned next week to “go nuts.”

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