Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably realize that beans aren’t just for chili anymore. Red Kidney Beans, along with the rest of the legume family, are so versatile you might consider making Meatless Monday last all week long.
Popular in Tex-Mex, Caribbean, and Creole dishes, Kidney beans are named for their shape and provide a smooth taste and texture. They are available year-round and will absorb the flavors of the sauces and spice around them. The low cost of beans will save you money now, while their protein, fiber, and iron profile will save you on health care costs in the long run.
Dry or canned beans can be stored in an airtight container for up to one year. Fresh cooked beans should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days
For overnight soak and quick soak methods, see our recipes
Bay leaf, cayenne, chili powder, cilantro, cumin, garlic, hot sauce, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes
Nutrition: Boost Blood and Brain Capacity with Beans
Beans have been long known for their fiber content. The fiber of beans causes them to be digested slowly, providing stable energy while also regulating your blood sugars. But there are more to beans than just fiber.
A cup of beans provides 22% of your daily iron need. The iron in hemoglobin plays a role in red blood cell formation and the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, including the muscles. Iron also works within the enzyme system to assist energy production and metabolism. This may be the key to having more daily energy.
Kidney beans also provide 23% of your daily Thiamin (Vitamin B1) which is critical in cognitive function. Thiamine helps synthesize acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter for your memory function. And although you may not win a spot on Jeopardy, Thiamine may help decrease your risk for age-related mental impairment diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Fred Bisci, head of the Spartan Nutrition Board reminds us to “Remember the body is always changing for the better if you let it, so experiment with different fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, sprouts, juices, smoothies combinations and essential plant-based oils”
Athlete Nutrition: Plant-Powered Protein
Kidney beans for just makes sense for athletes. A one cup serving of them hits the mark on these key athletic components:
- 15gm of protein for muscle retention
- 45% of your daily fiber for insulin stability
- 38% manganese for energy production and antioxidant defense
- 22% of your daily iron for aid in oxygen transport to muscles
- 20% potassium for better blood pressure and heart rate
- Complex carbohydrate for stable energy
- Low saturated fat for reduced risk of Cardiovascular disease
Basic Kidney Beans
Light red kidney beans are often packed in a 2-pound bag. This makes about 24 servings (½ cup each) after cooking. 1 Cup dry = 3 cups cooked.
OVERNIGHT SOAK METHOD
Note: Be sure to use a large enough pot since beans expand to double or triple their size when soaked and cooked.
1. Place beans in a pot and cover with water at least 3 inches above the beans.
2. Soak overnight. Drain the soaked beans; rinse with clean water and drain again.
3. Add 3 cups clean water for every 1 cup of dry beans.
4. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low, and cook slowly until tender – about 2 hours.
5. You may need to add more water during cooking. Use beans in any recipes that calls for cooked and canned beans
QUICK SOAK METHOD (to use beans the same day)
1. Place beans in a pot and cover with water at least 3 inches above the beans
2. Bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes
3. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the beans soak in the water for about an hour. Use beans in any recipes that calls for cooked and canned beans
Kidney Beans & Quinoa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups diced onion
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery
- 1/2 teaspoon each Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 15oz can no salt added kidney beans
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet (cast iron preferred for additional iron boost) over medium high heat
- Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook 5-10 minutes
- Add salt, pepper, and garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
- Add vegetable broth and quinoa, reduce heat and simmer until most of broth is absorbed by the quinoa (about 10 minutes). Additional seasoning at this time as desired (parsley, basil, turmeric)
- Add kidney beans and cook an additional 5 minutes (to heat through). Enjoy!
Moroccan Style Beans
- ½ tsp small clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoons cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 15-ounce cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
- ½ cup finely diced carrot
- Mix together spices, olive oil, and lemon juice
- Add in remaining ingredients and toss to coat
- Serve at room temperature or store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Goes great on top a bed of greens or wrapped up in a collard green wrap.
Bean and Greens Salad with Mandarin Orange
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup spinach
- ½ cup kidney beans
- 2 mandarin orange, peeled and separated into wedges
- ¼ cup red onion, chopped
- 1/8 -1/4 cup feta cheese
1. Whisk together oil and vinegar
2. Rinse greens and beans and place in a bowl. Top with remaining ingredients
3. Toss in oil & vinegar. Enjoy!
Savory Beans and Tomato Stew
- 1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup onion, minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced (about 1 medium)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- (Optional salt and pepper to taste)
1. Heat oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add cumin and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are almost browned
2. Add tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, thyme, and optional salt and pepper. Stir to mix, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer 10-15 minutes.
3. Serve as a hearty stew or dip with tortilla chips. Stores in the fridge for up to 5 days
Easiest Ever Kidney Bean Burgers
- 2 ½ cups kidney beans
- ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (or gluten free crumbs of choice)
- 1 carrot, steamed and mashed OR ½ cup canned puree pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 Tbsp hemp hearts for a burst of nutrition (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mash kidney beans and carrot together (or pumpkin if substituting)
3. Mix chili powder, cumin, breadcrumbs (and hemp hearts if using for a burst of nutrition) together
4. Form into 4 patties and bake on a parchment lines baking sheet for 20 minutes. Serve on your favorite whole wheat or gluten free bun or wrap in collard greens!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups kidney beans, cooked
- 1 can tomato soup, no water added
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
- Sriracha (optional, to taste)
1. In a large skillet, brown turkey (about 10 to 15 minutes)
2. Drain meat; add onion and cook for additional 5 minutes
3. Add kidney beans, soup, and chili powder and heat for 5 minutes. Add optional Sriracha if using