Beans are among the oldest of foods and today are considered an important staple for millions of people. They are important in the diet, and easy on the budget.

Dried beans and peas are excellent home storage items, since they store well and furnish good nutrition. The kinds recommended for storage would be a matter of personal preference. Varieties and usage differ in various parts of the country.

Pinto beans are considered in the Legume Family of food species. As a group legumes contain approximately twice as much protein as cereal grains and on a per-serving basis, about: half as much protein as lean meat. To get the most nutritional return, the incomplete protein derived from these foods should be combined with the complete protein from meat, eggs or dairy products. Beans and peas are low in fat and high in carbohydrates. They are good sources of iron, thiamine, and contain some riboflavin.

The legume family also includes nuts, which, although a good source of protein, are seldom eaten in large enough qualities "ho contribute a' great deal to protein in the diet. Perhaps the old standby, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich deserves more credit than it is given.


Black Beans: Used in thick soups, Oriental and Mediterranean dishes.

Black-Eyed Peas: Sometimes called cowpeas; used for main dishes.

Garbanzo Beans: Also called chick-peas; used for small main dish or in salads.

Great Northern Beans: Large white bean used in soups, salads, casseroles and baked beans.

Kidney Beans: A red kidney-shaped bean used for chili con carne, bean salads and many Mexican dishes.

Lima Beans: Two varieties are large Lima and baby Lima. Can be used in casseroles, soups, can be baked and used in various ways.

Mung Beans: A small round green bean used for sprouting. Oriental bean sprouts come from this bean.

Navy Beans: Small white bean; delicious in soups and baked.

Pea Beans: Baked beans, soups, casseroles; holds its shape even when cooked soft.

Pinto Beans: Beige, speckled bean used in salads, chili, Mexican foods and are delicious just plain.

Red and Pink Beans: Used especially in Mexican food.

Soy Beans: The most versatile bean; excellent for sprouting.

Peas: Good source of protein; split peas have skin removed.

Lentils: Cook in a very short time; good in soups, stews, and casseroles.



  • 2 cups navy beans
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. mustard
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 quarts water
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 minced onion
  • ½ tsp. celery salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

Soak beans in water to cover overnight; drain. Add water, onion, celery salt and cook until beans are very soft. Press beans through a course sieve. Add salt, pepper and mustard. Melt butter, blend in flour and add to the bean mixture. Heat to boiling point stirring constantly; cook for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley; serves 8 to10.


  • 3 cups sieved beans
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ½ cup cheese
  • ½ cup picante sauce
  • ½ chopped onion

Put beans, garlic salt and picante sauce in blender for 7 for 10 seconds. Add cheese and onions; continue to blend until smooth; serve.


  • 1 16-ounce can of pork and beans
  • 4 chicken pieces (any sort of chicken you like works here)
  • ¼ cup catsup
  • 2 Tbsp. peach preserves
  • 2 tsp. instant minced onion
  • ¼ tsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place beans in a 2-quart casserole dish and lay the chicken on top of the bean layer. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken and beans. Cover and bake for 1 ¾ hours; yields 4 servings.


  • 1 lb. black beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups rich chicken stock
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. oregano leaves
  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice
  • 2 medium white onions chopped

Pick over the dry beans. Place beans and water in a soup pot; cover and simmer about 45 minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer till beans are tender, usually about 1 hour. Dip out about 2 cups of bean mixture and run it through a blender or food processor to puree it; then put it back into the pot.

Put the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion, garlic, cumin, and oregano until the onions are soft. Add everything to the soup pot. Simmer about 20 minutes more.


  • 1 quart (4 cups) dried red beans
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 lb. ham or salt pork
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Soak the beans overnight in cold water; drain. Heat the beans in about 2 quarts of water, add all ingredients except salt, and boil for at least 2 hours. When beans are tender, mash them up a bit. Serve on white boiled rice with meat and vegetables on top; serves 10 to 12.


  • 1 lb. dry pinto beans
  • 1 ½ cups long-grain rice
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 (8 ounces) can tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 4 to 6 strips of bacon

Wash beans and place in a 4-quart, covered Dutch oven. Cover with water and cook until tender, adding more hot water as needed. Add rice and cook until rice is tender. In skillet heat oil, add ground beef, salt, onion, and pepper. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink; add to beans and rice. Add tomato sauce and chili powder. Mix well and put ground beef and bean and rice mixture in a 2-quart casserole or baking dish. Place strips of bacon over top and bake at 350° F for 30 to 45 minutes or until bacon is browned; serves 6.


  • 3 cups butter beans, fresh or frozen
  • 1 small chicken, cut up or parts desired
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. corn oil
  • 3 Tbsp. browning sauce or roux
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups water (more if needed)

Lightly brown chicken parts in a heavy pot. Remove chicken; sauté onions and bell pepper in same pot. Add butter beans and water; cook for about 20 minutes. Then add browning sauce or roux, chicken, salt and pepper; cook slowly until chicken and beans are tender. Add more seasoning, if desired.


  • 1 lb. dried lima beans
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • ½ tsp. dried leaf basil, crumbled
  • ½ tsp. dried leaf thyme, crumbled
  • 3 cups diced cooked ham
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1 cup chopped onion

Combine dried lima beans with cold water in a large saucepan; cover and bring to a boil. Cook lima beans for 2 minutes; remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. Stir salt and onion into lima beans; cover and cook for 30 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, seasoned salt, basil and thyme; bring to a boil.

Mix ham, celery and carrots in a 2 ½ to 3-quart baking dish; stir in lima bean mixture. Cover and bake at 350° F for 1 ½ hours, or until liquid is absorbed and vegetables are tender; serves 8.


  • 2 (approx. 16 oz. each) cans whole kernel corn
  • 1 16 oz. can lima beans, drained
  • 1 13 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped pimiento
  • A dash of ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 cups coarsely crumbled saltine crackers (40 crackers)

Drain corn, reserving liquid. Add water, if necessary, to corn liquid to make ¾ cup of liquid. In a large bowl, combine the corn liquid, corn, lima beans, evaporated milk, shredded cheese, eggs, green onion, pimiento, pepper, and 1 ½ cups of the cracker crumbs. Turn into greased 2 ½ quart casserole dish. Toss together remaining cracker crumbs and butter; sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350° F for 55 to 60 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving; serves 10 to 12.


  • ½ cup dried lentils
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. butter
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. oil
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tsp. curry powder salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups hot cooked rice

Wash lentils; place in a bowl. Pour milk over lentils and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. In a large heavy skillet, brown onion in oil and butter; add water, curry powder, and lentils with milk. Simmer for about 1 hour, or until lentils are tender; stir occasionally and add more water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add lemon juice, serve over hot cooked rice; serves 4.


  • 1 lb. dried field peas or black-eyed peas
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 to 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. dried leaf oregano salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hot cooked rice for
  • 6 sliced green onions, for garnish

Rinse, pick over, and simmer field peas in water until tender, about 1 ½ hours. Rinse and drain the peas. In slow cooker combine peas with ham bone, onion, celery and garlic. Add 1 cup water or broth. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours. Add Cajun seasoning, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 hours longer. Serve with hot cooked rice and sprinkle with sliced green onion, if desired; serves 6.


  • 4 oz. butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ clove garlic, finely minced
  • 12 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed, or about 4 cups cooked and drained
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and sauté until golden in color; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Turn heat to low and add cheese, stirring until melted. Add the black-eyed peas, chopped jalapeno and green chilies. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot in slow cooker or in a chafing dish; serves 8.

Many bean recipes are available online, in bookstores or at your local library; these are only a few very tasty recipes available.



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Monday, 22 July 2024

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