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Bring on the beans; the lowly bean is basic when it comes to lowering cholesterol.

A pop quiz. In the good old westerns, what did the dog-tired, hungry cowpokes rustle up for grub after spending a long, hot day on dusty plains and lonesome prairies? Beef Wellington? Duck a l'orange? Alaskan king crab legs?

Maybe a tin plate full of hot and hearty beans?

Nutritionall speaking, the cowboys hit a bull's-eye. High in complex carbohydrates and protein, beans have long been prized as a high-energy food. Because beans digest more slowly than many other carbohydrate foods, they satisfy hunger longer and don't take a toll on the waistline-a cup of beans scales in at only about 230 calories.

Heart-healthy consumers will also be glad to note that beans are low in sodium and fat. In fact, the soluble fiber in beans actually helps lower blood cholesterol levels. Beans, as vegetables, have no cholesterol and just a smidgen of fat.

Trim some of the fatty meats and high-calorie snacks out of the daily routine. Replace them with the best bean recipes that we have ever collected for your culinary review.

Calico Beans won the unanimous vote of the editors. A combination of kidney, lima, and green beans, joined with a hickory-flavored barbeque sauce, Calico Beans is the perfect crowd pleaser and is an economical main dish.

Nothing celebrates the benefits and good taste of beans like 15 Bean Soup. Follow the simple soaking directions in the accompanying sidebar.

Guests on the way? Company Beans and Rice Eggplant Parmigiana is a vegetarian delight.

Whatever the occasion, chances are that one of the following bean recipes will fit in nicely.

Calico Beans

(Makes 16 servings) 1 2/3 cups fresh or canned 16-oz. can)

each cut green beans, wax beans,

kidney beans, lima beans, baked

beans in tomato sauce, and white

kidney beans 4 slices chopped and browned lean

bacon, drained of all fat 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 jar (12 oz.) hickory barbeque sauce Drain all beans except baked beans in tomato sauce. Mix all ingredients in lidded, 4-quart casserole. Bake in 350 degree F. oven with lid on about 1 hour. Bake with lid off an additional 30 minutes.

Party Tacos

(Makes 10 tacos) 1/2 pound lean ground beef 1/3 cup chopped onion 1 2/3 cups drained red kidney or

pink beans, cooked or canned

(16-oz. can) 1 cup mild taco sauce 8 ounces canned stewed tomatoes or

3 fresh tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped green

pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired 1/4 teaspoon oregano 1/8 teaspoon each crushed red pepper

and ground cumin 10 taco shells 2 1/2-3 cups shredded head lettuce 1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese In skillet, brown ground beef and drain off excess fat; add onion and cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients except taco shells, lettuce, and cheese; mix well. Simmer 5 minutes. Fill each shell with 1/4 cup filling. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven 5 minutes. Top with 1/4 cup lettuce and 1-2 tablespoons cheese.

Self-Control Chili

(Makes 4 servings) 2 tablespoons canola oil 3 cups cooked ground soybeans 1 large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon cumin seed 6 teaspoons (or more) chili powder 2 medium cans low-salt tomatoes or

6-8 fresh tomatoes 3 cups cooked soybeans, whole, or

3 cups cooked chili beans or

1 1/2 cups each In large skillet combine oil, ground

Preferred Hot-Soak Method

and Quick-Soak Method For each pound of dry beans, any variety, add 10 cups hot water. Remember, beans will rehydrate to at least twice their dry size, so be sure to start with a large enough pot. (Note: Up to 2 teaspoons of salt per pound of beans may be added to help the beans absorb water more evenly.) Heat to boiling; let boil 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside at least one hour (Quick-Soak Method), but preferably four hours or more (Preferred Method). The longer soaking time is recommended to allow a greater amount of sugars to dissolve, thus helping the beans to be more easily digested and cutting down on embarrassing digestive gas). Whether you soak the beans for an hour or several hours, discard the soak water. The recipes tell approximately how long it takes to cook the beans, but it is impossible to give accurate timing information because much depends on the cooking altitude, the variety, the hardness of the water, and the age of the beans. The best rule is to test often during cooking, then come to your own decision when beans are tender and taste "done." Remember, when beans are used in a salad or are to be cooked further in a casserole, you will probably want to leave them slightly undercooked. soybeans, onion, and garlic, and brown lightly. Transfer to large pot. Add oregano, cumin seed, chili powder, tomatoes, and whole portion of soybeans. Cover with water and bring to boil; lower heat and simmer at least 1 hour.

15 Bean Soup

(Makes 8-10 servings) 1 package (16 oz.) Hurst (registered trademark) 15 Bean

Soup or 15 Beans & Lysine Soup,

available through The Saturday

Evening Post Society 1 1/2 quarts water 1 medium onion, chopped 1 medium can tomatoes or 3 fresh

tomatoes 2 stalks celery, chopped Red pepper or 2/3 teaspoon chili

powder Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 small clove minced garlic, if desired Wash beans thoroughly; place in pan or kettle and cover with water. Soak according to "Preferred Method." Drain; add 1 1/2 quarts water. Bring to boil. Simmer slowly 2 1/2 -3 hours. Add onion, tomatoes, celery, red pepper or chili powder, lemon juice, and garlic. Simmer another 30 minutes.

Company Beans and

Rice Eggplant Parmigiana

(Makes 8 servings) 1/4 cup flour 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 eggplant, peeled and cut in 1/2"

slices 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil 1/2 pound lean ground beef 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1 2/3 cups drained small white beans,

cooked or canned (16-oz. can) 1 can (16 oz.) chopped tomatoes or

6 fresh tomatoes, chopped 8 ounces tomato sauce, canned or

homemade 1/4 teaspoon crushed oregano 2 cups cooked rice 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Dip eggplant slices in seasoned flour. Fry in oil until tender and lightly browned. Drain well on paper towels. Arrange eggplant slices in 13" x 9" x 2 " baking dish. Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in same skillet. Drain excess oil. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt; simmer 20 minutes. Sprinkle rice evenly over eggplant; pour sauce over all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F. 20-25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Vegetable Bean Salad

(Makes 6 servings) 1/3 cup carrots, cut julienne style 1 2/3 cups drained kidney or pink

beans, cooked or canned

(16-oz. can) 1 2/3 cups drained small white beans,

cooked or canned (16-oz. can) 3 tablespoons each chopped green

pepper and sliced celery 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon each sugar and salt, if


teaspoon Italian dressing or

oregano or basil Dash pepper Lettuce wedges Cook carrots in boiling water about 3 minutes or only until crisp-tender; drain. Combine carrots, beans, green pepper, and celery. Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Pour over bean-and-vegetable mixture; toss to combine. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain; reserve oil dressing. Serve with lettuce wedges; pass reserved dressing.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Perry, Pat
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Apr 1, 1989
Previous Article:Life by the Mississippi.
Next Article:Medical mailbox.

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