December Nutritional Article

Protein-Rich Legumes

What comes to mind when you hear the word legumes? Indian food, chili, vegetarian? The most common variety of legumes is beans, however there is so much to this food category. Legumes are a class of vegetables, including beans, peas, and lentils. They are some of the most versatile, healthy, and colorful foods available. Legumes can be purchased dried (require rehydrating), canned, or sometimes frozen. Use them as a less expensive substitute in recipes that otherwise call for meat. Challenge yourself to add more legumes to your menus. Here are some ideas to get you started:



  • Black beans: use in quesadilla, top tacos or burritos, mash and use in place of some ground meat, make black bean/corn salsa, prepare black bean soup
  • Black-eyed peas: make cowboy caviar, prepare salad with barley
  • Edamame: eat straight from the pod, add to stir fry, top salad
  • Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas): make into hummus (see recipe below), roast with seasonings, top salad
  • Kidney beans: add to vegetarian chili, mash into homemade meatballs, prepare chili macaroni
  • Lentils: add to meatloaf, mash into a spread/dip, mix with vegetables for a cold salad
  • Soy beans/nuts: eat roasted soy nuts or use to top a salad
  • Split peas: make split pea soup or split pea hummus, add to minestrone soup
  • White (Great Northern, Pinto, or Navy) beans: make white chicken chili or stew, mash with white potatoes, prepare Mexican beans and rice

Easy Hummus Recipe

  • 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Add all ingredients to food processor, and puree until smooth. Add small amount of water, as necessary, to reach desired consistency.