EZ Bean Recipes
Beneficial, bountiful beans! Not only are beans heart-healthy and loaded with fiber, but they are an inexpensive way to stretch your family meals. There’s a bevy of beans out there: black beans, great northern beans, navy beans, kidney beans and MORE! Frankly, I’ve tried them all and I haven’t found a bean I didn’t like!
Here are some EZ Free Style Bean recipes. By Free Style I mean I’m giving you my base recipe, but it’s up to YOU to decide how to alter the ingredients to your personal taste. Tailor the ingredients for you and/or your family. For example, for bean soup, if you hate green peppers, skip them and increase the onions or add cherry tomatoes, spinach or something else. Get creative, Free Style recipes are perfect for you to basically change to your liking (or leave them as is).
In both these recipes, either a little bit of leftover kielbasa (I use turkey kielbasa) or crumbled cooked bacon can really boost the flavor and take it from ho-hum to yum yum!
BASIC BEAN SOUP (serves 2):
Add in a large sauce pan coated with cooking spray or olive oil:
1/3 of a green pepper, chopped
1/3 of a white onion, diced
1” to 3” piece of kielbasa sliced into rounds
Saute until peppers and onions are slightly tender and translucent, then add the following:
(1) 14.5 oz. Can of Chicken Broth (you can also use vegetable broth, but chicken is more flavorful)
*(2) 15.5 oz. Cans of beans — you choose the beans (rinse and drain beans)
¼ teas. Dried oregano
¼ teas. Dried basil
salt/pepper to taste
Optional: toss in some shredded carrots, diced tomatoes or try other veggies you may have leftover.
Kielbasa Substitute: Add 2 or 3 slices of cooked crumbled bacon while soup is simmering instead of kielbasa. Or add a cooked leftover hot dog (sliced into rounds).
*Optional: You can use 2 cans of the same beans, but I prefer 2 different beans such as 1 can of white beans and 1 can of kidney beans – YOU choose – all are good!
Simmer on low heat. If you like your bean soup thin, leave as is. If you like a thicker, heartier soup, mash some of the beans with a masher or large fork while simmering. The more beans you smash and mash, the thicker the soup becomes. Adding a dash of half and half will also give your a richer soup. EXPERIMENT!!
Continue simmering on low heat (15-25 minutes to let the flavors draw together). Serve with oyster crackers or crusty bread. Optional: toss on some shredded cheese or a dollop of sour cream.
PERKY PINTO BEANS (serves 2):
This versatile recipe makes a great side dish as is OR serve over rice OR use to stuff a taco.
In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray or olive oil:
1/3 cup diced white onion
1” to 2” piece of kielbasa or other sausage sliced into rounds
½ (more or less to your liking) of a fresh, finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
Once onions/jalapenos are tender, ADD:
(1) 15.5 oz. Can of Pinto Beans (rinsed and drained)
1/3 cup of water
½ tea. oregano
½ tea. paprika
Salt/pepper to taste
Substitute: Instead of kielbasa, add 2-3 slices of cooked crumbled bacon while simmering.
Optional: EXPLORE. Try adding corn and/or diced tomatoes, salsa, or something else – you decide.
Simmer bean mixture for 15 – 20 minutes on low heat until piping hot – serve.
Enjoy the versatility of fabulous beans. Keep an assortment of canned beans as a pantry staple to whip up an easy dinner or side dish — be creative and you’ll find your possibilities are endless!