Written by Sylvia Geiger MS, RD
Price Chopper Community Nutritionist

My family has stopped eating a lot of meat. My daughter is a vegetarian, my son eats it only occasionally and my husband is trying to eat less meat because of his high cholesterol.  For a while I would always cook a vegetarian version of a meal, but lately I’ve started to just leave meat out entirely and no one seems to mind.  But cutting down on meat or poultry means having to replace it with something that provides the protein and other nutrients we look for in meat—beans and legumes are the perfect answer.

In fact, there are many reasons to include more dried or canned beans in your family meals. Aside from their flavor, beans provide protein, fiber, important minerals and plenty of healthful antioxidants.  They are also nature’s best source of folate—a vital nutrient during pregnancy. They’re inexpensive and help stretch the family food budget.  Beans are versatile and can be a part of every mealtime.  There’s also a lot of new medical research that links eating beans to improved blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, cardiovascular health and even weight loss.

Perhaps you want to include more beans and legumes in your meals but you just don’t know how.  Here are some tips and recipes to get you started.  Another resource for recipes and information about beans is http://www.beaninstitute.com

Tips for Including More Beans in Family Meals

There are over 50 recipes on the Price Chopper website that feature beans and legumes, here are a few of my favorites:

  Slow-Cooker Black Bean Mushroom Chili

Squash, Chick Pea and Red Lentil Soup

Smoky Corn-Black Bean Pizza

Greek Dinner Salad

Mediterranean Lima Beans

Baked Curry and Brown Rice Lentil Pilaf

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes