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Part one of a series of posts about the items regularly stocked in my kitchen.

Kitchen Inventory: Dried Beans and Grains

  • Black Beans: Great in hot and cold side dishes, soups, stews, and chilis, salads.
  • Small Red Beans: Used for red beans and rice, chili with beans, side dishes, soups and stews.
  • PintoBeans: Great for Mexican dishes like baracho beans, refried beans and burritos.
  • Navy Beans: The only way to make authentic Boston baked beans. Great for white chili, creamy soups, and white stews.
  • Lentils: Perfect for a low fat, high protein replacement of ground meat in any dish.
  • Quinoa: Actually a seed, but treated as a grain. Serve hot or cold.  Treat similarly to rice. Gluten free super food packed with amino acids, protein, and iron.
  • Couscous: Actually a rolled semolina pasta, but treated as a grain. Serve hot or cold. Treat similarly to rice. Packed with vitamins and minerals.
  • Israeli (or Pearled) Couscous: A larger variety of traditional couscous.
  • Brown Rice: More hearty and nutritionally valuable than white rice.

Five reasons I don’t use canned beans:

  1. Buying in bulk is a much better value.
  2. Little or no packaging means less waste.
  3. The average can of beans, depending on the variety, has anywhere from 200-560 mg of sodium per serving.
  4. Canned beans contain a myriad of chemicals used for both the packaging and preserving of the bean.
  5. We greatly prefer both the texture and taste of dried beans.

A note on the convenience of dried beans:

Many people think dried beans are less convenient than their canned counterparts. This is just not true! Dried beans can be soaked overnight in large quantities and then frozen in serving sized portions for later use. Defrosting them takes just as much time as opening the can!



About the Cook

I'm a busy wife and mom who knows the value of a meal that can be prepared quickly. I prefer to cook with whole foods and you will almost never find a prepared food in my recipes or my pantry.

This blog started as a way to recall recipes that I've created and now I am excited to share them with you! Bon Apetit!
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