Why they’re good for you: Loaded with potassium and magnesium, kidney beans help keep blood pressure in check, while their high fiber content helps reduce bad LDL cholesterol, fighting off heart disease. Kidney beans are also rich in iron and protein, making them a great meat substitute for vegetarians. “So named for their resemblance to the shape of our organs, the red color of this type of bean is indicative of their high concentration of disease-fighting antioxidants,” says Janet Bond Brill.
How to eat them: Kidney beans are perfect for Southwestern dishes like chili, as well as salads, sandwiches and dips.
Serving size: ½ cup cooked
Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Vegetarian Chili
Yield: 10 servings
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
1 cup chunky salsa (medium or hot, depending on preference)
2 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
2 pouches (2 cups) Boca Meatless Ground Burger (found in the frozen-foods section of some supermarkets)
1 can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Soy cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
In a large soup pot, sauté green peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except soy cheese and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with shredded soy cheddar cheese. Serve over brown rice, accompany with light tortilla chips.
Nutrition per serving (about 1 ½ cups chili):
Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 854 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Dietary fiber: 9 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 12 g
Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com
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