1 March 2023

Dried beans are an excellent source of protein that also provide iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.  They are incorporated into chili, soups, baked, or just as the old staple of rice and beans.

  • Black beans are soft in texture and provide an almost earthiness. They are great in Latin American dishes and combine well with corn, tomatoes, and avocado.
  • Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are firm and nutty tasting. They are popular in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian dishes.
  • Pinto beans can be a substitute for kidney beans and can be incorporated into veggie burgers or for refried beans.
  • Navy beans are very versatile with a mild flavor and are found a soups, salads, casseroles, and spreads or dips.


Habichuelas Guisadas (Dominican Beans)


  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano (dry, ground)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, cut into four quarters
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup diced auyama (kabocha squash), or other winter squash
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • leaves from a celery stalk, chopped, optional
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon of dry thyme, optional
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cilantro and/or parsley, chopped
  • Salt to taste



If you are using dry beans:

  • Soak beans
  • Remove the beans from the soaking water and boil in fresh water until they are very soft (may take up to an hour, or about 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.
  • Drain beans from the boiling water but reserve each separately.
  • In a pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add oregano, bell pepper, onion, garlic, squash, tomato sauce, celery, thyme and cilantro. Cook and stir for half a minute.
  • Add the beans and simmer for two minutes.
  • Pour in 4 cups of the reserved bean water, adding fresh water if necessary. Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Lightly mash the beans with a potato masher to break them out of the skin for creaminess.
  • Lower temperature to medium heat and cook until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  • Season with salt to taste.
  • Remove chunks of onion, as well as any stray twigs or large bits of herbs,


Tomatoed Beans


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) dried lima or Great Northern beans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup pitted ripe olives, chopped, optional
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesean cheese
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste



  • Heat water and beans to boiling; boil 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour
  • Add enough water to cover beans, if necessary. Salt to taste.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender.  Note: do not boil beans or they will burst.
  • Drain beans, reserving the liquid.
  • Add enough water to bean liquid, if necessary, to measure to 1 cup.
  • In a 10-inch skillet, heat butter until melted. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook until onion is tender
  • Mix in beans, reserved bean liquid and remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake uncovered in a 2-quart casserole dish at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.


Green Bean, Bacon and Egg Salad


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 shallots (or half a small red onion), finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped nuts and herbs, optional



  • Hard boil eggs. Cool and peel.
  • Blanch green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes. Refresh in cold water. Drain well. Transfer to a salad bowl
  • Cook bacon in a frying pan until golden and crisp. Break or chop into bits. Toss through beans.
  • Combine shallots, garlic, mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl. Mix well. Whisk in olive oil until thick and thoroughly combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle dressing over the beans and bacon. Toss to mix.
  • Grate eggs over the top of the salad.


Tip:  You can prepare the beans, bacon, dressing, and eggs in advance but keep them separate. Store in the refrigerator. Put it together just before serving.

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