Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Eat Beans: Amazing Plant Protein Powerhouse

Bean Facts, Recipes, and Ideas

Want a delicious meal that’s filling, easy to make, healthful, and saves you money? Bean dishes are a powerhouse of plant-based protein, fiber, folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium.

This post has been updated 3/24/2022

There are dozens of varieties of beans, and each comes from seeds of one of the genera of the flowering plant family Fabaceae.

Beans and legumes (pulses) must be cooked thoroughly, so allow ample time to cook them. Here are step by step directions for cooking dried beans.

Organic dried beans cost less, are more flavorful, and have a creamier consistency that most canned ones. 

If you're short on time, use canned beans that are packaged in BPA free cans. 

Research shows people who incorporate pulses in their daily eating plan are 22% less likely to be obese, versus people who don’t eat them. 

Bean consumption is associated with greater nutrient intake, reduced systolic blood pressure, and lower body weight. 

Beans are naturally low in saturated fat, when they are cooked without oil, lard, or butter. 

Beans star in many ethnic recipes and vegan dishes including tacos, black bean soup, soba noodle stir fry with beans and greensnachos, bean burgers, and hummus.

Vegan Recipes, Serving Ideas at Colors 4 Health

Beans are healthful, economical, and a more eco-friendly source of protein than meat or dairy.

Look below to see 2 of my favorite bean recipes to get you into a "beany frame of mind."

Creamy, Vegan White Bean, Garlic, and Ginger Salad Dressing
Creamy, Vegan White Bean, Garlic, and Ginger Dressinglad Dressing


1- 15 oz. can organic Cannellini or Great Northern Beans

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic chopped

1 chunk fresh ginger peeled (about 1 inch round) chopped

a sprig of fresh basil chopped

freshly ground black pepper

Optional seasoning: parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, or any spice you like. I often select a combo of a pinch of turmeric and one of black pepper for cancer prevention and anti-inflammatory effect.

What to do:
1. Blend all ingredients (including optional seasonings) in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.

2. If the consistency is thicker than you like, slowly add drops of water or lemon juice. Blend again. Then, correct seasoning. Use immediately or refrigerate and use within 5-7 days.

This oil-free dressing is appetizing on salads, sandwiches, and as a sauce on fresh steamed veggies. Beans made this way are creamy, taste decadent, yet add no empty calories.

Bean Facts, Recipes, and Ideas

Next up is

Vegan Chili: Easy, Flavorful, and Protein Rich

Bean Facts, Recipes, and Ideas

The lively flavor of this recipe comes from basic pantry ingredients including beans, vegetables, and spices. This dish is simple and inexpensive to make, gluten free, and loaded with plant-based protein, fiber, and spicy goodness.

Feel free to use any variety of beans you like. Leave out or add additional vegetables or seasonings, and discover how adaptable and forgiving this chili dish can be. 


1 medium yellow or red organic onion chopped

2 or 3 cloves garlic chopped

1 organic red pepper chopped

2 organic carrots chopped

1- 15 oz. can organic Black Beans, 1- 15 oz. can organic Kidney Beans, one can organic Pinto Beans or select 3 cans of any beans you have on hand(drain and rinse beans)

Food Tip: I use organic ingredients whenever they are available. Organic fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and beans and legumes taste better, don't pollute our planet or our bodies, the nutrient count is higher than conventional products, and they are not genetically modified. More reasons here.

1 small can organic chopped tomatoes (BPA free can) with juice

1 small can sliced or chopped organic mushrooms (drained and rinsed)

1 bag (1lb) frozen organic corn kernels 

1-2 jalapeño peppers (use gloves to take out the seeds and cut in half, then chop fine). Omit this ingredient, if you like a milder chili. Use a few teaspoons of mild salsa instead.

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup water

1 to 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice 

4 teaspoons gluten free low sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 in. knob fresh ginger peeled and grated

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Optional seasoning: parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, or any spice you like. I always include a combo of a pinch of turmeric and one of black pepper. This combo has anti-inflammatory benefits.

What to do:

1. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, put in chopped onion and sauté dry over medium heat until soft (about 2 minutes). Add chopped garlic, red bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms, and stir. 

Continue to sauté for 2 more minutes. If necessary add a drop of water at a time to prevent food from sticking. 

2. Add chili powder, cumin, half to a whole (depending on how hot you like it) jalapeño pepper finely chopped, and optional seasonings. Stir until fragrant, which should take approximately 1 minute.

3. Add three cans of beans, 1/2 cup water combined with low sodium soy sauce, and bay leaf. If you're using cooked dried beans, use approximated 4 1/2 cups cooked dried beans.

4. Let the mixture come to a simmer (covered). Add diced canned tomatoes. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes. 

Bean Facts, Recipes, and Ideas

5. Add corn kernels and lemon or lime juice and cook 5-7 minutes more until corn is tender. Correct seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste. Remove chili from the heat.

6. Plate and garnish with lime slices, cilantro sprigs, avocado or guacamole, red onion, red radish, or any fresh green you have available.

7. Serve with steamed brown rice, and a tossed green salad with creamy white bean vegan garlic and ginger salad dressing. 😋

Bean Facts, Recipes, and Ideas
This photo shows vegan bean chili mixed with brown rice

Relax and have fun in the kitchen. This simple to prepare recipe yields 4 large or 6 moderate servings, and contains approximately 10 g of protein in every portion. 

Leftovers make a great snack. If you prefer, freeze chili for up to three months. When you crave chili again, defrost and heat for an easy to prepare meal.

It's been great sharing bean tips and ideas with you, and I appreciate feedback and comments. 

What bean dishes do you favor? Please comment below. Do you eat beans because of their good taste, excellent nutrition, or both?

I read every comment and email I receive.

Just remember to put no links in your comment, as it won't be published that way.

If you can, share the love on social media.

I post on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please add to your online reading list. I offer wellness and color tips at the place where a healthy lifestyle and colors intersect.

This post is a feature at Senior Salon Pit Stop Blog Party #300

So Excited, Honored, and Delighted!

This post has been shared at Senior Salon Pit Stop#299

This post has been shared at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link up #407

This post has been shared at Happiness-is-homemade-link-party-462

This Post is Shared at What's-for-dinner-Sunday-link-up-402

This post has been shared at Full-plate-Thursday-581

This post has been selected as a feature at #TFT  Delighted and Excited!!!

This post has been shared at Meatless-Monday with Link-up #1

This post has been shared at unlimited-link-party-29

This post has been shared at benefits-of-spontaneity-at-the-hearth-and-soul-link-party

This post has been shared at unlimited-link-party-28

This post has been shared at a-themed-linkup-61-for-vegan-recipes

This post has been shared at Weekend

This post has been shared at dare-to-share-472

This post has been shared at thursday-favorite-things-party

This post has been shared at taking-stock-at-the-hearth-and-soul-link-party

This post has been shared at dreaming-of-summer-at-the-hearth-and-soul-link-party

This post has been shared at unlimited-link-party-27 Post is #90


  1. It all sounds so delicious! You made me very hungry!,

  2. It all looks so delicious you made me very hungry

  3. So delicious thanks for sharing this innfo

  4. I love pulses and always enjoy incorporating them in recipes. Everything looks delicious, especially the vegan chili - and I was fascinated with the Salad dressing!I've never made dressing with beans before - what a lovely, healthy idea! Thank you for sharing with the Hearth and Soul Link Party, Nancy.

    1. Thanks April for your positive response. Have beautiful day.

  5. I didn't start appreciating beans until I got older.. now I eat them ALL the time. I love all the recipes you've shared. Definitely gotta give that vegan chili a try!

    1. Thanks Anaiah. When you give the vegan chili a try, please let me know how it was. We just made this recipe yesterday and it was yummy. Have a good evening and lead a colorful life.

  6. My husband would love that chili! So colorful and I love that you made it gluten free!

    1. Please let me know when you make it Leslie. Love feedback about my
      recipes and yes. I often share gluten free recipe ideas. Have a lovely day!

  7. Love these recipes! Beans are so affordable and such an important staple of a healthy, diverse diet.

    1. You are correct Lindsey and appreciate your visit and comment. Have a lovely afternoon and eat more beans.

  8. Thanks Laura. Beans are a swell addition to any kind of eating plan. There are many types of beans and each adds fiber, vitamins and minerals, and flavor to foods. So eat more beans.

  9. Nancy,
    Great post about beans and love all your recipe suggestions. I'm excited about the oil-free dressing.

    1. Thanks so much Judee. Enjoy eating that fat-free bean dressing and chili. Both recipes are gluten free as well.

  10. We love beans in our house! I've never made a bean-based dressing before, so I'm looking forward to trying that out.

    1. Thanks Beth. Please let me know how you like the dressing. Have a beautiful weekend.

  11. I love beans! Thanks so much for linking up with me at A Themed Linkup 61 for Vegan Recipes. Pinned!

    1. Thanks for your comment and hosting! Love new recipes and this link party is a fun resource for me. Happy Tuesday. Hugs, Nan

  12. Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Link Party 28. Pinned again!

    1. Hope my readers take a look-see at your party. Have a great day.

  13. Visiting from Grammy's Grid Themed Link up - What a great post!! Lots in it and the recipe looks nice and easy!! Pinned.

    1. Thanks so much for the visit, comment, and social share. Appreciate it so much! Wishing you a fun day.

  14. Nancy,
    Great post and love this bean dish. Congratulations, you are being featured on Thursday Favorite Things Party. I hope you stop by.

    1. Thanks so much Bev for hosting #TFT and picking my post as one of the features. Delighted and honored. Have a beautiful day.

  15. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at A Themed Linkup 62 for All Things American and Patriotic from my previous linkup for Vegan Recipes!

  16. Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Link Party 29. Pinned again!

  17. Yes!!! Beans!! Thanks for linking up to the Meatless Monday linky. Have a wonderful week. Hope to see you at next weeks party too!

    1. Thanks so much Helen for your comment and visit. I'll be back with other yummy recipes as soon as I have them. Hugs, Nan P.S. and I'll re-share about your blog party.

  18. Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party - have a great week!

    1. Thank you so much for hosting this fun blog party. Have a great week as well.

  19. Love beans in all shapes and forms.
    Thank you for linking to and participating and sharing at SSPS 299. See you again next week!

  20. I need a bit of help with the digestion, but beans are a favorite around here, especially with my husband! My favorite find in a market is a new to me bean to try. Thanks for sharing with us at SSPS!

    1. Try putting a teaspoon of baking soda in the pot with the beans while cooking them. This makes beans easier to digest. Have a great Sunday and be well.