Farmers Group Touts Lentils & Other Healthy Legumes

Farmers group touts lentils, other healthy legumes
By Blake Nicholson
Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:06 p.m. MDT

BISMARCK, N.D. — Lentils are a hot topic among gourmets these days, with recipes for them popping up in most major food magazines.

Lentil and other legume farmers hope to capitalize on this interest and convince consumers and food producers to use them in breads and cookies as well as the more traditional soups and stews. To do this, they've formed a new marketing venture aimed at promoting the health and other benefits of lentils, dry peas, garbanzo beans and other so-called "pulse" crops.

"They're barking up the right tree," said Brad Barnes, associate dean of culinary education at The Culinary Institute of America.

Growing interest in Indian and other international cuisines, along with greater awareness of intolerance to gluten, a protein found in many grains, have fostered an interest in lentils and legumes, Barnes and others said. A general push toward eating healthier also has made high-fiber, high-protein, low-fat legumes more appealing, said Tina Ujlaki, executive food editor at Food and Wine magazine.

"I think a lot of people are trying to move meat to the side of the plate rather than the center of the plate," Ujlaki said. "More people are trying legumes, vegetables. Also, people are trying to cut costs, and these ingredients are not that expensive.

"There's big bang for your buck moneywise and healthwise."

The interest comes at a good time for farmers, who have seen production of lentils and dry peas rebound after drought ravaged the crop in 2008 in the top two producing states of North Dakota and Montana. The U.S. had record crops last year, producing 1.7 billion pounds of dry peas and 590 million pounds of lentils, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Right now, most of the market for the two crops is overseas, with two-thirds or more of U.S.-grown peas and lentils being exported, said Eric Bartsch, general manager of Bismarck-based United Pulse Trading Inc. Much of the demand has been in drought-ridden areas of India and other parts of South Asia as well as Turkey.

"Demand in the U.S. is still not huge, but it is growing," he said. "We see it as definitely becoming a major part of our markets in the future."

Domestic demand has increased with the growth of ethnic minorities, but Barnes said more people of all races have become interested in Indian and other foreign foods. The Internet has made it easier to research international foods and find ingredients.

"With the information pipeline out there, it's certainly easier for someone interested in food to discover Morocco," he offered as an example.

"Global flavors and perspective in food and the culinary arts are growing every day," he added.

Farmers hoping to capitalize on this interest have formed the American Pulse Association, a joint venture of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council and the US Dry Bean Council. Chief executive Tim McGreevy said he expects new research and other efforts "will have a huge impact on domestic consumption here in the next five years."

One priority for his group is encouraging research to support ideas about legumes' health benefits. Another focus is getting the crops used more often in mainstream food manufacturing.

"We're heavily weighted toward traditional uses of these products, which is soups and stews," McGreevy said. "There hasn't been extensive research done on how these pulse flours can be worked into breads, tortillas ... muffins, cookies."

Industry leaders are holding a planning session this week, in Beltsville, Md., with about 50 science and industry experts. After they come up with specific plans on how to proceed they will seek funding from agencies such as the Agriculture Department and the National Institutes of Health, McGreevy said.

Ujlaki and Barnes said products made with legume flour would probably be attractive to people who are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease, a digestive disorder triggered by proteins found in wheat, barley and rye.

"If you go to a health food store, you'll see half the cookie aisle is gluten-free, half the crackers are gluten-free," Ujlaki said.

The final part of the American Pulse Association's plan is to promote legumes' environmental benefits. Unlike corn and other crops that require a lot of expensive fertilizer, legumes put nitrogen back into the soil.

Beau Anderson, who farms in northwest North Dakota and teaches farm management at a Williston college, said they fit in well in crop rotation plans farmers use to protect soil and stem off plant diseases. They also require less work with emissions-spouting farm equipment, McGreevy said.

"The United States and the world are crying out for improvements to our health and to our environment," said Cindy Brown, vice chairwoman of the American Pulse Association. "Pulse crops offer tangible solutions to these problems."


GREAT website! Check it out!


Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes - Delicious!!

1 cup wheat
1 cup water
1 1/2 T. Honey or sugar
1/2 t. Salt
1 cup Milk
3 eggs
1/2 t. baking powder

Cover wheat with about 1 cup water and soak in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, drain the water and blend softened wheat with 1 c. milk in a blender for 2 - 4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend another 2 - 3 minutes. Cook on hot griddle. Serve w/ Maple Syrup and Whipped Cream as a bonus!


Oven -Baked Lentils and Rice - from March's Pot Luck Dinner

from Jennifer Hansen

2 small onions
2 cans chicken broth
1 3/4 c water
1/2 white wine (I just use water)
1 1/2 cups dry lentils, rinsed and picked over for stones
1 cup dry brown rice (not quick cooking)
1 red pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
15 grinds ground pepper

Chop onions. Mix ingredients together in a large baking dish. Set timer for 90 minutes and bake uncovered. After 90 minutes of baking, sprinkle mozzarella or Swiss cheese over top and bake until cheese melts.

Learn how long a food item will stay good on this website


Several Recipes using Legumes

Curried Lentils with Chicken

1 cup brown lentils
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 (14 ounce)can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
4 cups cooked diced chicken or turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
Cooked basmati rice

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the lentils and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until the lentils are just tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the curry powder to onions and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the cooked lentils, tomatoes, chicken (or turkey) and salt. Cook, stirring often, until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Serve over basmati rice.

Serves 4.

Black Bean Enchiladas


* 1 cup of cooked black beans
* 3 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 cup of chopped black olives
* 1 cup of chopped green olives (use the salad kind, they don't have anything stuffed in them)
* 1 dozen white corn tortillas
* ½ cup warm vegetable oil
* 1 small can of whole green chilies, cut into ½ strips
* 2 lb Monterrey jack cheese cut 8 oz. into ½ inch thick x 2-3 inch strips, divided, reserve
* 2 cups Chili Verde Sauce
* 1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, reserved, shredded

Mix beans, garlic, olives. Set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the oil. Dip tortilla into oil quickly drain onto paper towel covered plate. Place tablespoon of the bean mixture in the center of the tortilla. Add strip of chili and cheese. Roll up and repeat the process. Assemble the Enchiladas in a 9” x 13” inch baking pan and pour a little of the Verde Sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Pour remaining Chile Verde Sauce over the enchiladas and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6

White Chicken Chili - Another version of this delicious recipe!

Prepared by Liz Edmonds


* 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 small white onion, diced
* 6 to 8 small garlic cloves, minced or crushed
* 1 (7-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained
* 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans,undrained
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 2 teaspoons dried oregano
* 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
* 1 cup sour cream, plus additional for topping
* 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* Chopped fresh cilantro
* Chopped tomatoes

1. Cook the chicken by the desired method. Cool and tear into pieces.
Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic,
and cook and stir until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add
the chicken, chiles, beans, broth, chicken bouillon, cumin, oregano, and
cayenne. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Chili can be made ahead to this point
and refrigerated or frozen for serving later.
3. Add the 1 cup sour cream and cheese, and continue cooking until the
cheese is melted. Keep warm until serving.
4. Serve in bowls and pass cilantro, tomatoes, and additional sour cream.
Serve with ciabatta bread. Broil it a couple of minutes until crisp. Let your family
or guests tear the bread instead of serving it sliced. Pass the butter.
Variation: For a thinner chili, the consistency of soup, add more chicken broth,
up to 6 cups total

White Creamy Chicken Chili - delicious!!

1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion or 1 TBSP dried onion flakes
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 14 oz cans Great Northern Beans (you can use Pinto Beans if you like)
OR use:
3 c. cooked Great Northern Beans
1 can diced green chilies
1 can chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. whipping or heavy cream (use half and half for a lighter cream)

Saute first 3 ingredients in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the next 7 ingredients to the chicken mixture. Bring to a boil. simmer for 30 min. on medium-low heat. Add sour cream and whipping cream. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat later.

Brownies (secret ingredient: black beans)


1, 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup agave syrup
½ cup self-rising flour or whole wheat flour
½ cup egg whites
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp mini semisweet chocolate chips


In a food processor, mix all brownie ingredients (except chips) together. Chop on high, until smooth. Clean off sides and blend for another 20 seconds. Add the chips in and stir well. Spread into the 8x8 baking dish. Cook for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 1 hour in dish at room temperature.



6 oz cream cheese
¼ cup agave syrup
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips, melted.


Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly spray a 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. With a whisk attachment on an electric beater and blend all ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread evenly over the top of the cooled brownies. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the 2 tbsp of chips with a 2 second spray of nonstick cooking oil. Using a spoon, swirl the chocolate on top. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy. Don't forget to have seconds!

Winter Lentil Vegetable Soup

"This soup has very little fat, is cheap and easy to make and delicious. Our family practically lives on it in the winter and I usually double the recipe. Sprinkle grated cheddar on top if you wish. If you can't hang around long enough for this to cook, put it in a slow cooker."


* 1/2 cup red or green lentils
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 2 cups shredded cabbage
* 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 3 carrots, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, crushed
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/4 teaspoon curry powder


1. Place the lentils into a stockpot or a Dutch oven and add water to twice the depth of the lentils. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse lentils; return them to the pot.
2. Add onion, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, chicken broth, carrots and garlic to the pot and season with salt, pepper, sugar, basil, thyme and curry. Cook, simmering for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until desired tenderness is achieved.

Really Good Pinto Bean Pie

1/2 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 heaping cup mashed, cooked pinto beans
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter, softened
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
whip cream or ice cream for topping

Beat sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and butter until creamy. Add pinto beans -- blend well. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 375 for 20 min. Reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream.

Black Bean & Lentil Veggie Soup

I made this delicious soup for my snowshoers recently. As we all came off the trail from snowshoeing for a few hours, I pulled my Slow Cooker out of my Jeep, unburied it from the box and newspapers that I had used to insulate it while we were on the mountain. It was still piping hot! About 20 of my snowshoers devoured this soup in just minutes and it didn't take me much time to make it!

Here's how I made it:

2 c. dry black beans, rinsed
2 c. dry lentils, rinsed
2 c. celery, cut in small pieces
2 tbsp. dry onion flakes
1 tbsp. DASH
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 c. dry pearl barley
2 c. beef stock (optional)
8 c. water

Put the following in a 6 qt. Slow Cooker

Water and black beans
Cook overnight for about 7 - 8 hours on low setting
In the morning, add lentils, celery, dry onion flakes, Dash, salt, black pepper, cayenne, pearl barley and continue to cook for 2 more hours, then serve!

Green Beans w/ Olive Almond Relish - Super delicious, less fat

1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp. prepared green-olive tapanade
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Steam green beans approx 8 min.
In a bowl whisk together the tapanade, lemon zest and juice.
Place green beans in a bowl, drizzle the tapanade mixture over them and scatter almonds on top.

Nutrition Facts/Serving:
72 calories
6 g. carbohydrate
5 g. fat

One of my favorite Soups! Ham Lentil Barley Soup

This soup is SO easy, healthy, delicious and inexpensive!

2 c. Dry Lentils
1 c. Dry Pearl Barley
1/8 c. dried onion flakes
Black Pepper
Ham Bone

About the Ham bone: If you have ham for dinner or for a party, take the leftover ham, quickly wrap it up, use it immediately OR freeze it for a later date. If you want, ask the meat specialist in your grocery store for a ham bone. Cost is $3 or less. Many people will throw the ham bone away with plenty of delicious ham still on it. Be bold and ask them what they plan to do with the ham bone and ham leftovers. If they are going to throw it away, ask if you can wrap it up and take it with you.

Mango and Black Bean Salsa

2 c. cooked black beans
11 oz. can corn with peppers, drained
15 oz. can mango slices, cubed
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup oil and vinegar salad dressing

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat. Serve as an appetizer with crackers or tortilla chips, or as a side salad. Serves 4-6

Black Beans and Rice

2 c. cooked black beans
1 (8 oz.) can Salsa
1 cup uncooked Rice
1 (12 oz.) can Corn
1 (8 oz.) can Tomato Juice
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup grated Cheese (optional)
1/4 cup Water

Drain beans and corn. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (except the cheese). Pour into a 9x9 baking dish. Top with grated cheese. Cover and bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Confirm that rice is tender before removing from oven. Tasty rolled in a warm tortilla garnished with sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, etc. It may be served cold as a salad.

Corn and Bean Salsa Salad

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 c. cooked black beans
11 oz. can corn, drained
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp minced onion, chopped

In large bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley and mix well with wire whisk. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.


3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1/2 cup dried onion
1/2 cup dry lentils
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup evaporated milk

Combine chicken broth and pumpkin in a Dutch oven. Add onion, lentils, and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Mash lentils or puree with a hand blender. Add milk; simmer 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.


1/2 cup split green peas
1/2 cup lentils
1/4 cup dried onion
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/3 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup long grain white rice
1 teaspoon salt
4 beef bouillon cubes

Combine ingredients and add to 2-1/2 quarts boiling water. Return to boil. Cover; simmer about 1 hour or until peas and lentils are tender.

VARIATIONS: Dried vegetables may be added to the mix. Increase water, adding twice as much water as dried vegetables when cooking. A can of chopped green chilies or 8 ounces (2 cups) of beef, sausage, or ham may also be added. One or 2 cans of mixed vegetables may be added the last 15 to 30 minutes of cooking.

Pantry Soup Mix can be assembled ahead of time and stored in an airtight container or dry heat processed. It can also be layered in jars or cellophane bags and used as gifts.

Best Ham and Bean Soup

3/4 pound fully cooked ham cubed
1 cup peeled diced potatoes
1 medium onion chopped
3/4 cup diced carrots
2 cloves garlic minced
3/4 cup diced celery
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (16 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 cups water

In a 3 quart saucepan, sauté ham, onion and garlic in butter until onion is tender. Add the next seven ingredients; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes. Add parsley and serve. Serves 8.

Italian Bean and Tuna Salad

15-ounce can cannelloni or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
6-ounce can white tuna packed in water, rinsed and drained
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 Tablespoons snipped fresh parsley OR 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 to 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In medium bowl, combine beans, tuna, red onion, parsley or basil, and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle salad with olive oil, then sprinkle with pepper. Yield: 6 servings.


1 can (13 ounces) chicken, drained and shredded
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) zucchini in tomato sauce
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) cannelloni beans (white kidney), rinsed and drained
or 2 cups cooked white kidney beans
2 tablespoons dried onion
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Parmesan cheese

Combine all but the Parmesan cheese in a large saucepan. Heat thoroughly, cooking for about 15 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Tuna Pizza

1 Boboli® pizza crust
15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz. can solid pack white tuna, drained
1 jar roasted red pepper, drained, chopped
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In medium bowl, combine beans, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash beans, leaving some texture in the mixture. Spread bean mixture over crust. Top with tuna, red peppers, and tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese over all and serve.

Tomato Pesto Bean and Shrimp Salad

1/2 cup dried tomato pesto mix
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 (15-ounce) can butter beans
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern Beans
2 (6-ounce) cans medium shrimp, drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, reserving juice

In large bowl, combine pesto mix, olive oil, tomato juice reserved from the drained tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Add evaporated milk and stir; let stand for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, using any fresh vegetables you may have on hand. Stir to coat, and then serve. Serves 6


1 can (14 ounces) low fat beef broth
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups (15-1/2 ounces) cooked pinto beans
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1/4 cup dried onion
1 can (12 ounces) roast beef, rinsed, drained, and shredded
1 cup wheat hearts (cooked whole wheat)
1 tablespoon chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 1 hour. Serves 4 to 6.

Baked Potato w/ Black Beans and Corn

1 baking potato
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained
1/4 cup canned sweet corn
1/2 cup salsa - I used medium because I didn't want it too spicy


Scrub potato with a wet paper towel to clean. Poke several holes in it with a fork. Wrap with a paper towel and cook in microwave for 4:30. Place on a plate and slice the potato in half. Top with beans and corn. Cook for another 30-45 seconds in microwave. Remove from microwave and top with salsa.

Servings: 1

This makes an excellent workday lunch because the whole thing can be put together in my office kitchen and it's really filling. I'm sure it would also be tasty on summer weekends when firing up the oven is the last thing you want to do.

South Western Manicotti w/ Black Beans and Lentils


* 3/4 cup dried lentils
* 3/4 cup dried black beans
* 1 tomato, finely diced
* 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
* 3 tablespoons salsa, hot
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* salt and pepper

* 1 (8 ounce) package manicotti

* 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
* 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


Prepare both kinds of beans according to package directions.

Cook pasta to a little less than al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water til cool enough to handle.

Mix cooked lentils, cooked black beans, diced fresh tomato, diced onion, salsa, and cumin in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit.

Fill pasta with bean mixture and line up in a 13x9 baking dish that has been misted with olive oil.

Cover filled pasta with both tins of diced tomatoes and sprinkle top with chopped cilantro.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven about 30 mins or until bubbly.

Removed from oven and serve.

Easy Vegetarian Pasta and Black Beans


* 14 1/2 ounces whole wheat pasta

* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans (rinsed)
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 red onion, diced
* 1 garlic clove, minced (or as much as desired)
* 1/2 lemon
* sea salt
* cayenne pepper
* onion powder
* garlic powder


While boiling the pasta (I used elbow), mix together all ingredients except beans. When pasta is done, drain and stir in sauce and beans. I topped with shredded cheddar/mozerella.

Meatless Tortilla Pie

SERVES 4 , 1 pie

* 1 cup frozen corn kernels
* 2 green onions, thinly sliced
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 1/2 cups salsa

* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 4 burrito-size flour tortillas

* 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican blend cheese
* 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add frozen corn, green onions, and cumin; cook 3 minutes or until corn thaws. Remove skillet from heat; stir in salsa and beans.

Place 1 tortilla on cookie sheet; top with 1 cup bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat, starting with tortilla, to make 2 more layers. Top with remaining tortilla and cheese.

Bake pie 10 minutes or until heated through. Carefully transfer pie to cutting board; sprinkle with chopped cilantro. With sharp knife, cut into wedges to serve.

Killer Nachos

Spread tortilla chips on a plate then add your favorite ingredients listed below.

Cook, warm up or prepare each of the following ingredients and place them in nice containers on the table where everyone can reach them. Let everyone choose what they would like on their nachos.

List of Ingredients to choose from:

Black Beans
Refried Beans
Rice (I use Brown Rice – it’s healthier and delicious)
Mild Cheddar Cheese (I buy “Mexican Blend” from Costco – a shredded blend of Monterey Jack, Medium Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheese)
Green or Red Peppers
Green Chilies
Sour Cream
Cooked Shredded or Cubed Beef or Chicken
Dark Green Leafy Lettuce (like Romaine)
Salsa (I use Pace Picante Sauce)
Black Olives
Green Onions

Burrito Buffet

Wrap all your favorite ingredients listed below in a warm flour or corn tortilla

Cook, warm up or prepare each of the following ingredients and place them in nice containers on the table where everyone can get to them. Let everyone choose what he or she would like on their burritos. This is a “Bar” – where they can go down the line and choose what they would like on their burrito.

List of Ingredients to choose from:

Black Beans
Refried Beans
Rice (I use Brown Rice – it’s healthier and very tasty)
Mild Cheddar Cheese (I buy “Mexican Blend” from Costco – a shredded blend of Monterey Jack, medium Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheese)
Red or Green Peppers
Green Chilies
Sour Cream
Cooked Shredded Beef or Chicken
Dark Green Leafy Lettuce (like Romaine)
Salsa (I use Pace Picante Sauce)
Black Olives
Green Onions

Black Bean Salsa


1 c. Cooked Black Beans
1 c. Frozen or Canned Corn
Salt (I prefer Sea Salt)
1/2 c. Picante Sauce or a favorite salsa

Combine black beans, corn, cumin, salt, picante sauce in a bowl
Stir gently
Put in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill OR eat it warm immediately
Serve with Tortilla chips

Barley, Black Bean and Corn Burritos

* 15 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained
* 10 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
* 1 cup barley, uncooked (not the quick type)
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 3/4 cup frozen corn
* 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
* 18 small flour tortillas
* 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
* 2 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
* 9 cups lettuce, thinly sliced
* 2 1/4 cups salsa
* 1 cup sour cream
* 2 tablespoons sour cream

Place first 11 ingredients in slow cooker, stir well.

Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Stir in cilantro.

Heat tortillas according to package directions.

Spoon 1/3 cup barley mixture down center of each tortilla, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of cheese.

Place one cup of lettuce on each of 9 plates; top each with 2 burritos.

Easy Black Bean Burgers

1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 clove garlic (minced)
1tsp chili powder
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

1. mash beans in a large bowl.
2.mix in chopped garlic, spices, and egg
3 stir in bread crumbs
4. shape into 5 patties, you can refrigerate them if they are not very firm (up to one day ahead)
5. either bake or cook in a skillet until hot

Great with butternut squash fries and salad

Number of Servings: 5

Spoon 1/4 cup salsa and 2 tbsp sour cream over each serving.

Easy Black Bean Veggie Casserole

1 c uncooked brown rice
1 t butter (for cooking rice, if yours sticks like mine does)
2.5 c water (for cooking rice)
1.5 15-oz can black beans, undrained (OR drained and rinsed, but add 1/4 c low-sodium broth)
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 t ground cumin
1 t cayenne pepper
2 t salt
2 T sour cream
1/3 c pepper jack cheese, grated

Cook rice with butter if desired, according to package directions. While rice is cooking, chop vegetables and grate cheese. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix vegetables and beans (and stock, if draining beans) together in a large bowl. Add rice, sour cream and spices, then stir until all ingredients are moistened.

Turn into a baking dish coated with cooking spray, and cook at 350 for 30 minutes or until warm through.

Makes 9 servings, probably about 1 cup each.3

How to Prepare Beans:

Optional: Soak beans overnight (approx. 8 hours) covered in 8 cups water (Lentils and split peas do not need to be soaked)
Drain water from beans

In a Slow Cooker, add washed beans with fresh water. Cook on low for around 8 hours OR on high for about 4 hours OR until beans are tender
Drain the bean juice but save it in a separate ziplock bag. It is full of nutrients and can be added later to soups or meals that may be too dry.
Freeze whatever beans you don’t think you’ll use within 48 hours. They freeze really well!

10 Bean Soup Mix

You may see a bean mix that says "10 or 16 Bean Soup Mix". Use ANY MULTI BEAN Mix for this recipe.

Cover beans in water, soak overnight (min. of 4 hours). Drain water, add 3 cups liquid for every 1 cup beans.

You now have 2 options. Pick one of the following:

1) Cook on medium heat for 1 hour, then add desired soup ingredients (vegetables, meats, grains and spices). Cook another 30 minutes OR until beans are tender.

2) Cook on low in a slow cooker (crock pot) for 4 hours, then add desired soup ingredients (vegetables, meats, grains and spices). Cook 1 more hour or until beans are tender.

Recipe from Sunflower Farmers Market

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili - SO delicious!!

Prepared by Karen Petersen

Serves 6-8


* 2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
* 3-4 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
* 3 cloves garlic
* 2 tsp ground cumin
* 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 tsp crushed red pepper
* 2 cans great northern beans
* 1 can white shoepeg corn (or 1 can of regular corn)
* 3 Tbsp lime juice
* 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


Add chicken, broth, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and red pepper to slow cooker. Cover and let cook for about 6-8 hours on low or until chicken falls apart. Shred the chicken with two forks. Drain and rinse the beans and corn and add them to the slow cooker. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice to slow cooker. Put cover back on and let cook for 30 more minutes until heated through.

Sloppy Joe Lentils

From Happyfood.com

1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 Tablespoons chili powder (orig. recipe called for 3!)
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons yellow mustard (wet mustard)

4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns (whole wheat for you guys)

Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.

Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can’t wait.

since we are gluten free–we eat these as a spread in a nice piece of lettuce–SO good! even my son will eat them with the lettuce–sometimes I eat a head of lettuce with them myself. i usually have them warm but took them to education week on the go and they were almost even better cool on the go–enjoy!

Baked Tomato, Rice and Bean Casserole

This recipe serves: 6
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes


For the roasted poblano chilis and tomatoes:
6 poblano or Anaheim chili peppers
6 ripe Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced 1/4" thick
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

For the rice casserole:
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup medium or long grain rice
1 cup grated Monterey jack
1 1/2 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Cooking Instructions
For the roasted poblano chilis and tomatoes:

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Roast the chilies and tomatoes under a very hot broiler until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes for the chilies and 12 minutes for the tomatoes.

3. Cover the chilies with a clean kitchen towel and let stand for 5 minutes. Peel the chilies and remove the stems and seedpods. Rinse the chilies briefly to remove specks of skin and seeds. Slice the chilies into 1/4" strips.

4. Cool, peel and roughly chop the tomatoes. Set aside the tomatoes and their juices.

5. Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook 1 minute longer. Add the chilies, tomatoes and their juices. Stir until the juices have reduced, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from the heat and set aside. (This can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days.)

For the casserole:

1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts water and the salt to a boil. Add the rice and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until all the grains are tender but not mushy or splayed. Strain the rice and spread on a tray to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Spread half the rice over the bottom of a lightly greased 8" x 8" baking dish. Spoon on half the chili-tomato mixture and sprinkle with half the cheese. Spread all of the beans over the cheese. Cover with the remaining rice, chili-tomato mixture and cheese. (This can be assembled a day in advance and refrigerated.)

4. Bake until bubbly and brown, about 20 to 30 minutes, but longer if it was refrigerated. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.

Red Beans and Rice

This recipe serves: 4
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 1 hour 45 minutes

1 cup red beans, dried
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces boneless smoked pork chops, diced
4 ounces smoked sausage, diced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup steamed rice

Cooking Instructions
1. Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover them,

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.

3. Stir in the pork chop pieces, sausage, thyme and cayenne and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the beans and 3 1/2 cups of water. Simmer over low heat until the beans are creamy, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve with the steamed rice.

Black Beans and Rice

This recipe serves: 8
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 1 hour

2 cups dried black turtle beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper
1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and minced
freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 cups low-sodium canned chicken or vegetable broth
salt to taste
4 cups steamed rice
2 limes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Cooking Instructions
1. Soak the beans in water overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the beans and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, green pepper and jalapeño pepper, season lightly with black pepper and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

3. Add the bay leaf, beans and broth and bring to a boil quickly over high heat.

4. Lower the heat and simmer until the beans are completely tender, about 40 minutes.

5. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

6. Meanwhile, heat the rice in the microwave.

7. Serve the rice in warm bowls topped with beans and garnished with lime wedges and cilantro leaves.

NOTE: Do not add salt until the beans are fully cooked because salt will prevent them from becoming tender.

Penne with Spring Peas, Onions and Ham

This recipe serves: 4
Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh, shelled peas
4 ounces boiled, unsmoked lean ham, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley

Cooking Instructions
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion with a dash of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes or longer, depending on their size and freshness. Add the ham and cook for 2 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until it is al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. Toss with the remaining olive oil, onion, peas, ham, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

4. Divide the pasta among 4 warmed pasta bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately.


3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon EACH chili powder and ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained and finely chopped
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 can (about 15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 pkg. (12 oz.) Roasted Garlic AMERICAN BEAUTY FETTUCCINE, uncooked
Chopped fresh cilantro

Sprinkle chicken with seasonings. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil; add chicken. Cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes; stir in stewed tomatoes with juice, chicken broth and beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss hot pasta and sauce; sprinkle with cilantro. 8 servings (1 cup each).


2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, untrained
1 cup chicken broth
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon dried onion
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel

Puree’ 1 can of black beans. Pour into a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine. Bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serves 3-4.


1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
(or 1-3/4 cups cooked black beans)
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
(or 1-3/4 cups cooked red kidney beans)
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
(or 1-3/4 cups cooked pinto beans)
1 cup picante sauce
2 tablespoons dried onion
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole corn, drained
Dried cilantro

Mix together beans, picante sauce, onion, and corn. Sprinkle cilantro on top. Chill before serving. Serves 6 to 8 for a main dish; 8 to 12 for a side dish.

Tabbouleh and Chickpea Salad

1/2 cup fine bulgur
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 red onion, minced
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained, cut into strips
1 tsp. dried mint leaves
15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the bulgur in a small bowl, cover with cold water and let stand for 10 minutes, then drain. Place the bulgur in a clean kitchen towel or a double thickness of cheesecloth or paper towels and squeeze dry. Transfer bulgur to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Stir in the parsley, onion, tomatoes, red peppers, mint, chickpeas, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill, or serve immediately. 4-6 servings

Tomato Pesto Bean and Shrimp Salad

1/2 cup dried tomato pesto mix
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 (15-ounce) can butter beans
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern Beans
2 (6-ounce) cans medium shrimp, drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14-oz)can diced tomatoes, drained, reserving juice

In large bowl, combine pesto mix, olive oil, tomato juice reserved from the drained tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Add evaporated milk and stir; let stand for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, using any fresh vegetables you may have on hand. Stir to coat, and then serve. Serves 6

Artichoke and Chickpea Salad

6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
2 (19 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Drain artichoke hearts, reserving liquid. Thinly slice the artichokes and set aside. In large bowl, whisk together reserved artichoke liquid, parsley, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add artichoke hearts, chickpeas, and Parmesan cheese. Toss gently to combine. Serve as a salad or sandwich filling. 4 servings

Salade Nicoise

1 (15 oz.) can cut green beans, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced white potatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15.5 oz.) can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

In large bowl combine beans, potatoes, tomatoes, chickpeas, and olives
In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients and add to the first mixture in the large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Adjust seasoning to your tastes.

Texas Caviar

1 (15.5 oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Splash of Tabasco
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Great with chips, crackers, or as a sandwich filling.

Summer Chicken Chili

1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped or 1/2 c. dried onion bits
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
16 oz. thick and chunky mild salsa
3 c. cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 - 2 T. chili powder - depending on how much you like
14 oz. can chicken broth
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 t. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne if you want some kick

Sauté onion, zucchini, garlic and chicken. Add seasonings. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes after coming to a boil. Top with chips, cheese, sour cream, etc.

Taco Soup

I lb. ground beef
1 16 oz. can kidney beans, undrained
1 16 oz. can black beans, undrained
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 l6 oz. whole kernel corn, undrained
1 pkg. Taco mix, seasoning
¼ c. chopped onion
1 can diced green chilies

Brown beef & onions. Add rest of ingredients and warm over stove.
Serve with cheese, sour cream & tortilla chips.

Rustic Italian Minestrone

This recipe serves: 8
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

1 16-ounce can chopped tomatoes
5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/4 pound fresh green beans, stemmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 16-ounce can Cannellini Beans OR Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 cup raw, small, shell pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cooking Instructions
1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.

2. Add the tomatoes, vegetable or chicken broth and herbs, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.

3. Add the green and cannellini beans and simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Add the zucchini and pasta and simmer for 10 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender and the pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve the soup in large bowls with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Mixed bean chili and brown rice

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (14-ounce) box instant brown rice

In a large saucepan over medium-high, combine oil, onions, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add cocoa and saute for another 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, both beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano and allspice. Bring chili to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile cook rice according to package instructions. Serve chili over rice.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 462 calories; 56 calories from fat; 6 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 90 g carbohydrate; 15 g protein; 16 g fiber; 395 mg sodium.

Servings » 6

Enchiladas - Made in 15 minutes in a Slow Cooker

You choose: Beef, Chicken or Vegetarian

Feel free to freeze any leftovers in smaller containers.

2 15 oz. cans of Pinto Beans or 3 cups cooked pinto beans - doesn't have to be exact
2 15 oz. cans of Black Beans or 3 cups cooked black beans
2 cups Brown Rice - cooked (I make this ahead of time and have some for breakfast)
2 cups Shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar Cheese
2 10 oz. cans of Green Chili Enchilada Sauce - mild
2 10 oz. cans of Red Enchilada Sauce
12 Corn Tortillas - ripped apart into at least 6 pieces
2 c. Shredded Chicken, Beef OR no meat if you prefer
1 c. Sour Cream
1 c. Cream of Chicken Soup
1 small can diced green chilies - NOT jalapeno peppers unless you want it hot and spicy!

In your slow cooker, layer all these ingredients in this order. After you make it once, you can have fun and layer it any way you want. This is what works for me:

Mix together:
1 c. Sour Cream
1 c. Cream of Chicken Soup
1 small can diced green chilies

Start layering the food in the slow cooker starting with:

1/2 c. Green Enchilada Sauce
1/2 c. Red Enchilada Sauce
5 - 6 pieces of Corn Tortillas
1/2 c. Black Beans
1/2 c. Sour Cream mixture
1/2 c. Pinto Beans
1/2 c. Cooked Shredded Meat
1/2 c. Shredded Cheese

Repeat this process 2 - 3 more times until all your ingredients are used up.
The 1/2 c. measurement is just one idea - add more or less each time - enough to layer it at least 3 times.

End with cheese on top

Heat through all the way - may take 60 - 90 minutes
Serve hot!
Be sure and dish all leftovers into clear, plastic containers for quick meals or snacks.

Favorite Refried Bean Dip

This recipe can easily be made in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker (crock pot).
Pressure Cooker method:

Combine in 5 liter pressure cooker:

5 cloves minced garlic
6 c. water
1 chopped onion OR 1/4 dry onion flakes
1/3 c. millet (this is a whole grain)
2 c. washed pinto beans
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 TBSP chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)

Bring pressure to 2nd red ring. Cook for 40 minutes.
Remove from heat and slowly release pressure. Drain if necessary
Reserve some of the liquid. Mash beans.


1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 TSBP chili powder

Add some of the reserved liquid if necessary.

To make Bean Dip Salsa: Add corn and Picante Sauce, serve with chips.
To make a layered Bean Dip: Spread the refried beans all over a platter, add shredded cheese. Melt it on top if you like. Top with Sour Cream. Don't forget to place a bowl of tortilla chips nearby. This will be one of the fastest dishes to disappear! Everyone loves it. You can add more layers if you like: Shredded Lettuce, Sliced Olives, a bowl of guacamole, etc.


Lentil Soup - from March's Pot Luck Dinner

Lentil Soup

Ingredients needed: lentils, brown rice, chicken bullion, onion, green pepper, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, basil, pepper

In a 2 quart sauce pan put 4 cups water and 4 tsp chicken bullion

Add 1 cup lentils and 1/2 cup brown rice

Cover and simmer 45 minutes

While that is simmering, chop up:

1 onion

1/2 green pepper

2 carrots

2 stalks celery with leaves

1 clove garlic (could be put through a garlic press)

Saute in a little olive oil and water until carrots are done.

When vegetables are done, add to the lentil/brown rice mixture.

Add 1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes) and sprinkle in some basil and pepper to taste

Add more water to the soup to make the consistency you like, and add more chicken bullion if needed for flavor.

Simmer about 15 minutes to blend the flavors


4 Great Reasons to Eat Beans!

They often get a bad rap for causing indigestion and flatulence, but the health benefits of beans (and other legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas) make them a stellar choice in a healthful diet. Beans are:

1. An excellent source of vegetarian protein, providing six to seven grams per ½ cup serving.

2. High in folic acid, which may help to protect against cancers of the lung, colon, and cervix, and prevent birth defects.

3. A great source of fiber, dishing up 25-30% of the Daily Value of dietary fiber, 75% of which is insoluble - the type that reduces the risk of colon cancer.

4. A low-glycemic-index food, making them a good option for diabetics.

In addition, most varieties are inexpensive and versatile. I recommend 1-2 servings of beans and legumes per day - easy to do if you swap out meat for beans in salads and sandwiches, and make hummus or bean dip part of an afternoon snack. And if stomach upset is a concern, you can improve the quality and digestibility of beans by consuming them with grains such as brown rice, which provide a complimentary protein profile. Discarding the soaking and cooking water when using dry beans may also help reduce flatulence.

To learn more, go to:


How to Make Artisan Bread in 5 minutes


10 Health Benefits of Ginger


10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Some common ways I use Cinnamon every day: In my hot cereal (oatmeal w/ Quinoa OR Brown Rice), Chili, Oatmeal Cookies, etc.

Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.

Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.

In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.

In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.

In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.

It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.