Beans, beans, beans, beans! Don’t click away. The beans worked for Jack growing that beanstalk and beans will work for us, creating strong, healthy bodies.
In my pantry I like to keep dry beans. Specifically, lentils and garbanzo beans (also known as chick peas) because they come in handy for quick, creative and just plain hearty meals. I soak the beans, pick out any thing that may not be a bean (rocks, hard dirt) and then cook ’em up. The great thing about lentils and chick peas are – they are super versatile – you can use lentils for spaghetti, faux meatloaf or burgers and chick peas to create an awesome curry, tasty chick salad or even brownies. In addition, these legumes are packed with nutrients, as shared below by Healthline –
One cup of cooked lentils:
Protein: 17.9 grams
Fiber: 15.6 grams
Folate (vitamin B9): 90% of the RDI
Manganese: 49% of the RDI
Copper: 29% of the RDI
Thiamine (vitamin B1): 22% of the RDI
One cup of cooked chickpeas:
Protein: 14.5 grams
Fiber: 12.5 grams
Folate (vitamin B9): 71% of the RDI
Manganese: 84% of the RDI
Copper: 29% of the RDI
Iron: 26% of the RDI
From looking at these numbers you can see my family and I are getting protein. So no need to worry!
A quick go-to meal I make with lentils is —>>> Lentils & Rice (Quinoa)
I soak one bag of lentils for at least 3-4 hours; overnight is ideal.
After soaking, I rinse thoroughly and put the lentils in a pot.
Add salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, sliced onion and diced garlic (these are items I always have on hand). I cover the beans with spring water and cook on medium-low for about an hour, stirring throughout.
While the lentils are cooking, I throw the rice / quinoa in my pressure cooker and go about my business. The rice takes about 25 minutes to cook. So when the lentils are done, it is time to prepare the plates. Sometimes I may wash and chop kale, place it on the plates (or in the bowls), then add rice and top with lentils. The heat from the lentils and rice softens the kale but maintains its vibrancy and the nutrients are not cooked out. I always include veggies, whether they are on the side or thrown in the pot with the lentils.
And there my friends you have a quick tasty meal.
**You can add whatever fruits, veggies or starches you like – I may add tomatoes, avocado, cabbage, potatoes, radishes – just depends upon what I have on hand. Be creative. Jazz up the beans with your herbs and spices. Then sit down and enjoy (and come back and comment how much you liked it).