One Ingredient, Multiple Meals

Beans. They're inexpensive, healthy, and a great way to stretch your meals. Whether you like pinto beans, black beans, or kidney beans there are so many delicious dishes you can prepare from just one pot of beans.

Take pinto beans, for example. The fiber in pinto beans lowers cholesterol and prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal. Pinto beans are a very good source of fiber and folate and good source of copper, iron, manganese, protein, and vitamins B1 and B6.

When it comes to cooking, pinto beans are a versatile favorite. Start with a simple pot of pinto beans simmered with onion and garlic. They make the perfect accompaniment to a Mexican entree. Leftovers can be used to make chili with crackers, burritos, refried beans, or a tasty spread to use as a dip - blend cooked pinto beans with garlic, oregano, sage, and black pepper.

If you have never prepared dried pinto beans before, here are some tips for preparing and cooking.

  • Spread the pinto beans you will be cooking onto a flat surface to check for (and discard) any damaged beans, debris, or small pebbles
  • Rinse beans in a strainer, under cold water
  • Place beans in a saucepan or pot with three cups of water per cup of beans
  • Bring beans to a boil for about two minutes, remove saucepan or pot from the heat, cover, and allow beans to sit for two hours
  • Drain soaking liquid, and rinse beans again
  • Place beans in a saucepan or pot with three cups of water per cup of beans (Note: The water should be one to two inches above the top of the beans)
  • Bring beans to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover, cook for one hour to one-half hours until tender (Note: You can also add chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan or pot)

Enjoy!