Easy Meals With White Beans

by Shelley Frost

    A can of white beans boosts the iron, folate and fiber content of meals. Navy, cannellini and Great Northern beans are readily available white bean varieties that work well in a range of dishes. Using the canned version instead of dried beans saves you time on your meal prep. Try adding white beans into your child's favorite meals for a healthy improvement.

    Stews

    White beans work in nearly any type of soup or stew. Replace rice, noodles or other types of beans in your favorite recipe with white beans. The beans also augment vegetable soup to add protein. Instead of the traditional kidney bean chili, use white beans with a vegetable or chicken stock base. A can of green chilies, tomatoes and spices boost the flavor the white chili. Chicken pairs well with a white chili recipe.

    Vegetarian Burgers

    Slightly mashed white beans combined with breadcrumbs, eggs and your choice of seasonings give you a vegetarian substitute for the classic burger. Finely chopped vegetables pump up the health value of the vegetarian burgers. Press the mixture into miniature patties before pan-frying in a few tablespoons of oil. If the mixture seems dry, add more mashed beans or another egg. For a mixture that is too wet and sticky, stir in more breadcrumbs. Serve the kid-sized bean burgers on small buns with all of the traditional burger toppings, including tomatoes, lettuce and cheese. For condiments, opt for the traditional ketchup and mustard, or add some pizazz by using a creamy dressing.

    Dinner Salad

    White beans add mild flavor and nutrients to your favorite dinner salads. Use chopped and washed packaged lettuce to save time on the meal preparation. Top the salad with your favorite chopped vegetables and rinsed white beans, patted dry. The white beans serve as a versatile base for nearly any flavor of salad dressing you choose. The beans also complement your favorite tuna salad recipe for additional protein and fiber. Scoop the tuna salad onto a lettuce bed or on a tortilla, pita or bun for a quick meal.

    Pasta Substitute

    Replace the pasta in your favorite pasta recipes with white beans for a healthy variation. If you use dried white beans, cook them according to the package directions. Stir in your favorite pasta sauce, steamed vegetables and meat, such as sausage or chicken. Stir gently so the beans don't get squashed. Serve the pasta substitute with a side salad topped with creamy dressing and garlic bread for a complete meal.

    About the Author

    Shelley Frost started writing professionally in 2007. She specializes in parenting and education topics. Frost gained her experience in various positions in the education field, including classroom teaching and tutoring. She holds a BA in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

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