Beans

Whether you’re focused on fitness goals, a plant-based diet or simply cooking more at home in the New Year, you can lean on beans to help achieve your goals and provide the foundation for a flavorful meal.

The U.S. is the global leader in quality, dry bean production thanks to state-of-the-art harvesting equipment, handling practices and production processes. With more than 10 varieties, U.S. dry beans are renowned for their nutritional qualities and low carbon footprint. Beans require less water and fertilizer compared to other protein sources while also increasing biodiversity. All of these are crucial to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To get the word out about beans, the U.S. Dry Bean Council worked with 15 culinary pros to develop dishes that highlight the flavors of cultures around the world. Here are a couple of favorites:

NAVY BEAN SUNDAL

Recipe courtesy of Priya Lakshminarayan, blogger at Cookilicious.

Ingredients:

1 cup dry navy beans

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Salt

1/3 cup coconut, shredded

2 dried red chilies

3 tablespoons split chickpeas

1 teaspoon avocado oil

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon urad dal

Cilantro for garnish

Directions: Soak dry navy beans overnight. Drain the water the next day and add fresh water. Boil soaked navy beans al dente in salt and turmeric water. Strain and put it aside. Dry roast shredded coconut, dried red chilies, chana dal lentils/split chickpeas and curry leaves until the lentils turn light golden brown. Transfer to a blender and grind to a coarse paste. Heat oil in a pan. Once it’s hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they begin to crackle, add urad dal (black gram lentil) and saute until it turns golden. Then add the ground paste and continue to saute for 30 seconds. Add the cooked navy beans and give it a light mix so that the coconut mixture coats it well.

REFRIED PINTO BEANS

Recipe courtesy of Palak Patel, blogger at The Chutney Life

Ingredients:

2 15-ounce cans pinto beans

1 cup white onion, diced

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced

4 jalapenos, finely diced

1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoons oil

1 cup salsa

1/2 teaspoon cumin

Directions: Combine the pinto beans and salsa in a large bowl. Using an immersion blender, puree the beans to your desired consistency and set aside. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and diced jalapenos and let cook until jalapenos have started to soften. Add the diced onions and cook on medium heat until onions are almost translucent, and then add the bell peppers and continue to cook until they are soft. Add the taco seasoning, chili powder, turmeric powder, scallions, cilantro and mix until well combined. Turn heat to low or add a tiny splash of water if the contents begin to stick to the pan. Add the bean mixture to the pot and combine well and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Taste for salt, adjust any seasonings and serve hot.

Discover more recipes at eatusabeans.com.

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