Beans are a delicious and easy way to add protein and plant-based nutrients to your diet. They’re also an excellent source of fiber and iron!
Beans can be prepared in various ways, from curry to soup to burritos. So, whether you’re looking for a new recipe at a vegan cooking store, or want to try something completely different, here are 5 of the best vegan recipes for beans!
1. Lentil Taco Meat
Lentils are a budget-friendly, high-protein food that can be used as a meat extender to create tasty vegan tacos. They are also an excellent source of iron, fiber, and folate. They are easy to prepare and a great addition to any plant-based diet.
This recipe uses cooked lentils, Mexican spices, and other ingredients to make a delicious filling that tastes like ground beef. It can be served in a taco or other Tex-Mex dishes such as burritos, tostadas, and quesadillas!
To make this vegan taco meat, start by cooking a batch of dry lentils according to the package directions. When done, drain out the water and set aside. Then mash the lentils slightly to get a “ground beef” texture.
For more flavor, sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until soft and golden. Mix well with the lentils, seasonings, and walnuts in the pan. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a dash of hot sauce or chili powder to the mixture for more spice.
This easy, healthy meat replacement recipe can be made in under 15 minutes! It’s gluten-free and packed with plant-based iron!
You can serve these delicious lentil tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, and optional toppings such as guacamole, pico de gallo, and avocado cilantro dressing. They’re a great lunch or dinner option for families on the go!
To serve, place 1/4 cup lentil-bean-walnut mixture in each tortilla. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, and other optional toppings such as guacamole, cilantro, and shredded cheese.
2. Spicy Red Lentils and Rice
Red lentils, a hearty plant-based food that is also high in protein and fiber, are the star of this delicious dish. They are easy to cook and make a filling meal for any time of the day.
In this quick and easy dal, the lentils are simmered with tomato paste, garlic, ginger, warming spices, and a touch of coconut oil for a flavorful Indian side dish that can be made in one pot. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner and is a healthy vegan dish full of flavor!
To make this recipe, boil onions in a large saucepan until soft. Add diced tomatoes, garlic, and ginger. After the onions are soft, stir in a fragrant blend of seasonings and herbs called garam masala.
Once the spices are mixed, add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender.
After the lentils have finished cooking, remove them from the pan. Rinse the lentils under cold running water and then drain them carefully; a strainer is useful to ensure no dirt or pebbles in the lentils.
Alternatively, you can cook the lentils in an Instant Pot(r) and set it to simmer on high for 20 minutes until they are cooked. Once the pressure has dropped, let the dal cool down to room temperature and mash it to your liking.
Serve this delicious dish with fresh cilantro and rice. It’s a perfect vegan meal that can be served as a main course or as a side dish with your favorite meat or vegetables.
3. Indian Dal
Dal, or lentils, is a staple of Indian cuisine. In fact, it’s as common in India as mashed potatoes are in the United States.
A dal is a thick, soupy stew made from a legume. This includes beans, peas, and lentils.
Typically, dal is made with a mix of different pulses (also known as dried beans and peas) and is often served on top of rice. Depending on the region, it may also be served as a side dish or in combination with other dishes as part of a larger meal.
When making dal, using the right type of lentils is important. While most people think of the red split lentils, which cook quickly and break down into a creamy mush, you can also use other varieties of lentils, such as green or black beluga.
Once the lentils are cooked, you can add spices and aromatics to create a flavorful dal. Popular spices include turmeric, cumin seeds, coriander, and cinnamon sticks.
After a few minutes, add your chopped tomatoes and continue to simmer until the dal thickens to your desired consistency. You can also add fresh cilantro at the end of the cooking process for added flavor.
You can make this dish vegan by substituting light coconut milk from a can for the full-fat version and using vegetable stock instead of water to help cook the lentils. You can also reheat this dish on the stovetop but be sure to stir frequently and add some additional water or vegetable broth to thin out the dal.
4. Baked Beans
Baked beans are a staple at many barbecues and picnic potlucks. They are also a popular side dish for burgers and other meats. They are easy to make and delicious!
They are a great source of protein, fiber, and nutrient-rich carbohydrates. They are also low in GI, so they can help keep you fuller for longer. They are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that can reduce the risk of heart disease.
When choosing beans, look for the thicker varieties known to hold their shape while cooking. They tend to be softer in the center and less chewy on the outside. You can use any kind of beans you prefer, but you may want to avoid white beans like cannellini or black beans because they tend to be a bit mushier in texture.
A common error many cooks make is that they don’t boil their beans enough before assembling them with other ingredients. It’s best to boil the beans until tender, but they can still be soft in the middle.
Traditionally, baked beans are made with navy beans, sugar, herbs, and spices. They may also include tomato sauce, vinegar, and molasses. Some recipes also contain bacon or salt-cured pork.
They can be prepared in various ways, including on the stovetop or in the oven. Whether you use the classic baked bean recipe or another variation, they are a simple, tasty, and versatile side dish that goes well with any meal.
Whether you choose to use canned beans or dried, they’re sure to be an affordable and nutritious addition to any vegan diet. They’re also easy to store and will last a long time, making them an excellent investment.
5. Chickpea Salad
Chickpea salad is a versatile vegan recipe that is a great way to get your daily protein and fiber. It’s also a tasty side dish that can be served with pasta or even as a snack or dip.
It’s filled with various delicious vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and feta cheese. It’s also seasoned with herbs and a hearty squeeze of lemon. It’s a healthy and tasty way to fill up protein and veggies, so it’s perfect for lunches and dinners!
The key to making a great salad is to taste it and adjust the seasonings until you get the right flavors. You might want to add a little extra salt or squeeze some lemon, but don’t be afraid to make adjustments until you find the perfect balance!
You can use any type of canned beans for this salad but be sure to rinse and drain them well before adding them. This will help to remove excess sodium, which can be hard for your digestive system.
Alternatively, you can make this chickpea salad with fresh ingredients like English or Persian cucumbers, cherry (or grape) tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions, and avocado. If you use all of these, you’ll have a healthy and satisfying meal that will keep you full for hours!
You can also replace the olive oil with vegan mayonnaise and Dijon mustard for a creamy dressing. Or substitute a bit of cashew butter for some added texture. You can even top your salad with a sprinkle of crumbled feta for an extra Mediterranean-inspired flavor.