Tag Archives: pulses

Meet our Featured Dietitian Anne Danahy!


Anne Danahy is a registered dietitian and nutrition communications consultant from Scottsdale, Arizona, who specializes in women’s health and healthy aging. She blogs at Craving Something Healthy, where she shares (mostly) healthy recipes, nutrition tips and information to help her readers stay healthy and age well.

Part of healthy eating, she says, includes adding beans to your diet — she calls them the “ultimate anti-aging food.” Anne encourages people to add more dried beans into their diet because beans are an often-overlooked food with so many wonderful health benefits.

She says that beans have so many nutritional benefits that it’s hard to know where to begin, but she relies on beans for soluble fiber to manage blood sugar and cholesterol and promote weight loss. She loves how versatile they are — they’re the best way to boost protein, fiber, and lots of other nutrients in both savory and sweet dishes. They’re an easy way to enjoy more plant-based meals, too.

Anne often cooks Mexican or Southwestern recipes, so she always has lots of black beans on hand. She says her real favorite, though, are cannellini beans because of their milder taste and creamy texture. They’re a perfect way to add a rich creaminess to soups and stews. She has also used them in baking and to make sweet dips, such as her Loaded Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Hummus, with a healthy twist.

Check out Anne’s recipe for Roasted Radish and White Bean Salad.

photo courtesy of Anne Danahy

photo courtesy of Anne Danahy

Be sure to follow Anne on social media!

 Red Beans and Rice!

Red beans&Rice2

Mardi Gras is early this year — Feb. 13, to be precise. Break out your beads and masks and make some red beans and rice to celebrate!

This traditional Louisiana dish was typically made on washday, which was Monday. Before there were washing machines, housewives had to do their laundry by hand. Using a ham bone from their Sunday meal, they would slow cook the beans all day while they scrubbed clothes so that dinner would be ready after a long day of laundry.

Today, washday might be another day of the week, but in some homes, red beans and rice are still the meal of choice on Mondays. Not only is this dish delicious, it is also nutritious and very economical! Our variation is not the traditional Creole recipe, but it’s still tasty.Red beans & rice 3

Red Beans and Rice


1⁄2      cup uncooked rice
2         cups cooked*, drained red kidney or pink beans or one 16-oz. can, drained
1⁄4      cup chopped onion
1         tablespoon each soy sauce and sherry
1/2     teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Cook rice according to package directions until tender. Add beans, onion, soy sauce and sherry; mix gently. Simmer, covered, 5 minutes or until all moisture is absorbed. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Makes 6 servings.

*For best results, soak and cook dry beans by preferred method.


Meet our Featured Food Blogger Averie!


Averie Sunshine began blogging from her San Diego, California, home in 2009 as a little hobby. Since then, she’s built her website, Averie Cooks, into an impressive stash of cost friendly, tasty recipes. And the best part? She uses everyday ingredients available at your local grocery store.

Her recipes are fast, easy and ready in less than 30 minutes. Averie loves sharing recipes, connecting with readers, cooking, and posting new recipes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Visit her website to see wonderful photographs of dishes that will inspire you to make something from her recipe library for dinner tonight! Try her Chickpea and Kale Glow Bowl with Dreamy Tahini Dressing, Easy 30-minute Chicken Enchilada Chili or her Roasted Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad.

Pepperoni Pizza Baked Beans

photo courtesy of Averie Cooks

photo courtesy of Averie Cooks

Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese

photo courtesy of Averie Cooks

photo courtesy of Averie Cooks

Follow Averie on social media!

Eat Black-Eye Peas for Good Luck All Year Long!


These little one-eyed wonders are known by different names: black-eye peas, beans, or cowpeas. Whatever you call them in your neck of the woods, and however you fix them, they are delicious!

Eating black-eye peas is a Southern New Year’s Day tradition that is supposed to grant you prosperity during the coming year; however, eating them all year long is not only good luck, but also good for you! Use them in Texas caviar, chili, or Hoppin’ John, but make sure you have them in your pantry to use often in your meals.

Black-eyed peas are nutrient dense and are high in folate, fiber, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, and B vitamins and are low in fat and calories.

Do you like stir-fry? Try Hoisin Black-Eye Chicken Stir Fry for a change of pace. This dish is economical, delicious, and your family and friends will love it!

IMG_5765Bayou Black-Eye Chicken is a combination of chicken breasts, mushrooms, and black-eyes for a delicious one-pot meal that is sure to please.




Meet our Featured Dietitian Mary Parsons!

Mary Parsons

Mary Parsons of Flavorrd is a food enthusiast and registered dietitian. Biology was her field of choice in college, but her experiments in the kitchen led her to combine her love of science and food in a master’s degree in nutrition. This Florida native is now living in San Diego and working for Healthy Dining doing nutrition analysis and consulting for restaurants. She maintains her website, flavorrd.com, in her free time.

“As an RD, I have been trained to appreciate eating from a scientific perspective,” she says. “Like all things in life, food and nutrition are infinitely complex, and there will always be something new to discover.”

She hopes her website will become a place where others who share her passion for food can come to share ideas, get inspiration, and discuss nutrition and the struggle to nourish our bodies and spirits.

Mary feels most Americans don’t eat enough fiber — and beans are an excellent source of this nutrient. Fiber is a critical fuel for friendly gut bacteria, and a diet deficient in fiber can lead to imbalances in the digestive system that can be a significant source of chronic inflammation.

She loves black beans because she grew up in Florida, so Latin cuisine is a comfort food for her. Plus, the deep color is a giveaway that they’re an especially rich source of the antioxidant anthocyanin.

Her advice for people who experience digestive symptoms when eating beans: Start with small amounts and gradually increase the proportion of legumes and other vegetables in the diet — it can take some time for the gut to adapt to changes. Also, soak dried beans before cooking to improve digestibility; oligosaccharides (which are difficult-to-digest starches associated with beans’ reputation as a “musical fruit”) leach into the soaking water, which can then be discarded before cooking with fresh water.

Mary graciously shared her recipe for Curried Chickpea Wraps with us!

photo courtesy of Mary Parsons

photo courtesy of Mary Parsons

Curried Chickpea Wraps

Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 3

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
salt to taste
2 cups cooked chickpeas or one 14.5 oz. can, drained and rinsed
1 Roma or other small tomato, chopped
To serve:
pita bread
plain yogurt
fresh cilantro
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown. Add the spices and salt, and allow to cook while stirring about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes, and cook for about five more minutes. The tomato will soften, and the chickpeas will begin to crisp.

Serve the curried chickpeas on a warm pita bread, topped with yogurt and cilantro.

Be sure to follow Mary on social media!

Kidney Beans: Three Versatile and Delicious Recipes

Bean Cakes copy

Native to Central America and Mexico, these little kidney-shaped beans are a wonderful source of protein and fiber. Several beans are a rich maroon color and have a meaty flavor, which makes them perfect for salads and soups. This popular variety is found almost exclusively in cans.

Light red kidney beans are similar in size and shape to dark red kidneys, and their bright red color dresses them up and makes them a great option for just about any bean dish. Light red kidney beans have an almost worldwide popularity and are much in demand for chili recipes.

I chose three Mexican-themed kidney bean recipes to share with you this month. You can find all of them in our recipe library, and all of them are easy to make, especially if you use canned kidney beans! If using dry kidney beans, make sure to presoak them and to cook them until they are soft.

Bean Burrito

Bean Burritos

Bean Cakes 1

Bean Cakes with Salsa

Party Taco 1

Party Tacos




Meet our Featured Dietitian Serena Ball!


Serena Ball, co-creator of the website The Recipe ReDux, a registered dietitian and health blogger community, likes the new and trendy way to use the bean brine from garbanzos called aguafaba. Cooking with aguafaba is about the most fun she has had in the kitchen in a long time! (For more info on aguafaba read our blog.)

Besides being a registered dietitian, Serena is a food writer and co-owner of Teaspoon Communications, a culinary focused nutrition communications group.

She recommends beans because they are nutrient rich and versatile in almost any style of cooking from ethnic dishes to served with ketchup, which is how her kids like to eat black beans! Serena believes beans are the ultimate convenience food, not only are they budget friendly, either canned or dry, but they fit into both the vegetable and protein food groups. She states that if you eat beans more often your body can develop more of the enzymes needed to digest them which help with the side effect. Her kids sing that popular little ditty like this: Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the LESS you toot…so let’s eat beans for every meal!

Her kids love this recipe because it tastes like hummus- but is as hearty as a burger!


Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus Cakes

Recipe courtesy of Serena Ball Teaspoon of Spice

Makes 6 hummus cakes


6 sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not packed in oil)
1 can (16 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 3/4 – 2   cups cooked dried garbanzo beans)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon peanut butter (or tahini paste)
1 egg
1/4 cup dry oats (quick or old fashioned)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil


  1. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup boiling water; let soften for at least 10 minutes. Reserve soaking liquid and chop tomatoes.
  2. Place beans and all remaining ingredients, except oil, in the bowl of a food processor and process, until well mixed, but not totally pureed; about 10-15 pulses. (Or use a fork to mash and mix all ingredients in a bowl.) Add sun-dried tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of soaking tomato liquid. Pulse until tomatoes are incorporated. Add the soaking liquid if mixture seems dry. (Mine didn’t need it.)
  3. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes for flavors to meld. While mixture is resting, shape into 6 patties and place on a plate.
  4. Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 90 seconds (to seal non-stick surface.) Add 1/2 tablespoon oil and heat. Fry 3-4 patties in oil about 4 minutes on the first side; flip and cook about 3 minutes on the second side – or until both sides are dark golden brown. Add remaining oil and repeat with remaining patties.

Please follow Serena on her social media!

Websites:    Teaspoon of Spice, The Recipe Redux
Facebook:   Teaspoon of Spice The Recipe Redux
Pinterest:   Teaspoon of Spice,   Serena Ball
Twitter:      Serena Ball, MS, RD
Email:          sball@teaspooncomm.com


Oh How I love Black-Eyed Peas


Guest writer Jill Nussinow,MS, RD is The Veggie Queen and served as a guest blogger, expressing her love for black-eyed peas and her pressure cooking methods!

I can’t recall exactly when I first heard about eating black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year but think that it was when I lived in South Florida. Black-eyed peas are sold fresh there in the summer time. I had not eaten them before then. When I first tried them, I knew that I had found a new bean “friend.”

Since then, my way to ring in the new year is with black-eyed peas for both wealth and health. There is something about the meaty smokiness and starchiness of black-eyed peas that appeals to me and makes me want to use them often. They have an affinity for many different types of seasonings. However, since I love smoky flavors, I often cook them with smoked paprika or give them a final sprinkle of smoked salt.

Regarding pressure-cooking, what goes for black-eyed peas works for all other beans (but not lentils which do not need to be soaked). You have the choice to soak or not to soak but I prefer soaked beans as I find that they tend to cook more evenly.

If you want to pressure cook beans from dry you use 1 cup beans to at least 2 cups liquid. The time will depend upon the type of bean. Black-eyed peas take 6 to 7 minutes at pressure with a natural release, which means you let the pressure come down on its own. Most standard beans such as black, white, pinto and kidney take 20 to 25 minutes at pressure with natural release. Can you see why I love my black-eyed peas? They are ready quickly.

To cook soaked black-eyed peas, use at least ½ cup liquid (and up to ¾ cup) for each cup of dry beans that were soaked. Always measure the beans before soaking them, not after. (Just so you know, a pound of beans is usually about 2 ½ cups of dry beans and they often expand by double or triple.) Black-eyed peas cook in just 3 minutes at pressure with natural release. The standard soaked beans, mentioned above, take 6 to 8 minutes at pressure.

The pressure cooker is a like a super steamer. If you add seasonings when you cook your beans, the flavor gets infused into the beans. The addition of onions and garlic alone enhance almost any bean.

The cooking time at pressure is the same whether you use a stove top or electric pressure cooker. It’s the fastest, easiest and most delicious way to cook beans of any type. Here is one of my favorite recipes for black-eyed peas.

Smoky Sweet Black-Eyed Peas

By Jill Nussinow, aka The Veggie Queen™

I love black-eyed peas and I don’t just reserve them for New Year’s luck. Any day that I can eat them is a lucky day.

Serves 4–6

1 teaspoon oil, optional
1 medium to large onion, thinly sliced
2–3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced red pepper
1 small jalapeno or other hot chile, minced
1–2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1–2 teaspoons mild or medium chili powder
1½ cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
4 dates, chopped fine
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can Fire Roasted tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups chopped greens such as kale, collards or Swiss chard
Salt to taste


Heat a pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric pressure cooker to sauté. Add the oil if using or dry sauté the onion for a few minutes, adding some of the water if the onion starts to stick. Add the garlic and peppers and sauté for another minute. Add the smoked paprika and chili powder along with the peas and dates. Stir to coat them and then add the water, stirring well to be sure that nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pressure cooker. Add the water. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook at pressure for 3 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally.

When time is up, carefully open the lid, tilting it away from you. Add the tomatoes and greens and lock the lid on the pressure cooker for 5 minutes. Open the cooker. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add salt to taste.

Note: You can cook this without a pressure cooker, if you don’t have one by following these directions and using 3 cups or more water, as needed instead of just 1 cup: Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Dry sauté the onion for a few minutes, adding some of the water if the onion starts to stick. Add the garlic and peppers and sauté for another minute. Add the smoked paprika and chili powder along with the peas and dates. Stir to coat them and then add the water to cover them. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Put a lid on, keeping it slightly ajar. Cook by simmering, keeping the peas covered with water, for 35–45 minutes until they are cooked through and almost all of the water has been absorbed. Drain any excess water.

Add the tomatoes and greens and cook for another 5 minutes or more until the greens are wilted. Add salt to taste.


©2016 Reprinted from Nutrition CHAMPS by Jill Nussinow, MS, RDN

Black-eyed Beans Waffles or Muffins


Black-eyed Beans Waffles or Muffins

12 oz. package Johnsonville breakfast sausage, sliced
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups Black-eyed beans, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles

Cook sausage and onion in skillet over medium high heat until sausage is browned and onion is translucent. Drain on paper towel.
Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in large bowl. Stir together eggs, buttermilk and oil until combined. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Add sausage mixture, cheddar cheese, black-eyed beans and chiles. Mix well.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle maker. Spray with non stick spray. Place a little over a cup of mixture in the waffle maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
For muffins:
Spray muffin pan or use paper liners. Fill tins a little over 1/2 full. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.


Bean Pot Stickers


Last week I was watching “Martha Bakes” on the PBS Create channel and I learned something about myself — one of my favorite kitchen habits has a fancy name! Mise en place is French for “everything in its place.” When I am about to create something to eat, I place all the ingredients on the counter to make sure they are handy and that I don’t have to stop and run to the store for something I don’t have on hand. Of course, beans are one of the most versatile ingredients in my mise en place.

If you haven’t made pot stickers before because you thought they were too difficult, it’s time to put that fear aside. These are sure to impress your family and friends. Make sure you have everything mise en place before you start!

                                                                   Bean Pot Stickers


1 pound lean ground pork
2 cups cooked*, drained red kidney or pink beans or one 16 ounce can, drained
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/3 cup diagonally sliced green onions
1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
One package gyoza or won ton wrappers (approximately 50 wrappers), thawed if necessary
Oil (optional)
Pot Sticker Dipping Sauce (recipe below)


mix ingredients

Combine pork, beans, water chestnuts, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger root, and cilantro; mix thoroughly.

assemby linePlace one tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper. (If using won ton wrappers, cut off corners to make round wrappers.)

wet edgecrimp edgesMoisten edges with water and seal by pinching together to form dumpling.

IMG_5106 Brown several dumplings in non-stick skillet in small amount of oil, if desired. Add ¼ cup water; cover and cook on low about five minutes.

Remove to serving platter. Repeat with remaining dumplings.


potsticker1Serve with Pot Sticker Dipping Sauce. Makes about 50 pot stickers.

Pot Sticker Dipping Sauce

Combine 1/4 cup each rice vinegar and soy sauce, two teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Makes about 1/2 cup dipping sauce.

*For best results, soak and cook dry beans by your preferred method.