If you’ve stocked your pantry with canned beans from ShopRite’s famous Can Can sale in January, you’re in luck! Not only are canned beans versatile, they can help you create delicious and healthy meals in minutes. They’re high in essential nutrients like protein and fiber and low in fat and cholesterol—not to mention that most canned beans cost less than a dollar per can, which make them a budget-friendly choice for your pantry.
If sodium is a concern, look for no-salt added versions or simply drain and rinse them before using to cut down on the sodium content and wash away excess starch. ShopRite Organic beans, Rienzi and Goya lower sodium are a few of the better-for-you options.
A variety of beans are available in the canned foods aisle, each with its own texture and flavor. Certain beans work best in some recipes, while other dishes call for any type of bean. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Chick peas – Also known as garbanzo beans, chick peas are great tossed on top of salads or as an ingredient in a three-bean salad (along with white beans and red kidney beans). Chick peas also are the base of a Middle Eastern bean dip called hummus. To make hummus, just use a food processor to pulse until smooth: 1 can drained and rinsed chick peas, 2 cloves garlic, the juice of 1 lemon, ¼ cup parsley, ¼ cup olive oil, and ½ cup plain yogurt. Before you know it, you’ll have made a delicious dip for veggies and pita chips, or a tasty sandwich spread.
White beans – Sold as cannellini, Great Northern, or white navy beans, white beans are creamy and work well in many soups and pasta dishes like escarole and bean soup, pasta e fagiole (macaroni and bean soup), or penne pasta tossed with greens and turkey sausage.
Black beans – Popular in Latin American cuisine, black beans pair well with rice dishes. Whether it’s a jambalaya or the traditional arroz con frijoles—rice and beans—they are delicious. For something different, add them to a salad with crushed tortilla chips, seasoned lean ground beef, and salsa for a healthy taco salad.
Pinto beans – Sometimes known as the “cowboy” bean, pinto beans are popular in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Open a can and serve as a fixin’ for taco or fajita night. Make a healthier version of refried beans by sautéing canned pintos with 2 teaspoons oil and 1 chopped yellow onion. Once soft and heated through, mash with the back of a wooden spoon and serve.
Red beans – Also known as red or chili beans, these are the most common beans used for chili. For something different and a sure party favorite, pulse 1 can red kidney beans with canning liquid, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 3 garlic cloves, and 3 tablespoons olive oil until smooth. Serve with whole grain tortilla chips for a zesty red kidney bean dip.
Lentils – Lentils are grouped with beans and peas as part of the legume family. They are readily available in dry form and do not need to be soaked like other dried beans. Brown lentils are best used for soups because they soften when cooked. Green lentils are a better choice for cold summer salads because they have a nutty flavor and stay firm when cooked.
Be sure to pick up a variety of canned beans during your next shopping trip and make them one of your kitchen staples. Bon Appétit!
Did you know your local ShopRite stores offer complimentary nutrition services from registered dietitians? For recipe ideas, free nutrition counseling, or other health and wellness information, contact your ShopRite nutrition expert today!
ShopRite of Niskayuna
Sarah Ender, MS, RD; 491.0050
ShopRite of Albany
Adrian Allen, RD; 708.3445
ShopRite of Colonie
Amy Imler, MS, RD; 598.4970
ShopRite of Slingerlands
Kristin Caponera, MS, RD; 708.7815
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Enjoy this hearty chili prepared with ground turkey breast, cannellini beans and green chiles. Make it a meal and serve with a mixed greens salad and cornbread.
2 lbs ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped
4 (15-oz.) cans no-salt-added white kidney cannellini beans, undrained
3 (14.5-oz.) cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 (4-oz.) cans chopped green chiles, undrained
2 tsp ShopRite garlic powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ShopRite oregano leaves
1 tsp dried cilantro
1/4 tsp cayenne
• In a 6-quart Dutch oven cook, stir ground turkey and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender; drain fat.
• Stir in beans, broth, chiles, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cilantro and cayenne; bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Ladle into soup bowls, top with cheese (if desired), and serve.
Nutrition per serving: 280 calories; 3g fat; 35mg cholesterol; 240mg sodium; 31g carbohydrate; 9g fiber; 33g protein.