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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple recipes using beans, lentils

Canned red beans, corn, brown rice and vegetables

Canned red beans, corn, brown rice and vegetables make this burrito a complete meal. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

RED BEAN BURRITOS

1 (12-ounce) bag frozen rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1 medium zucchini, about 10 ounces, cut in 1/2-inch dice

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 (10-inch) flour tortillas

1 cup shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook the rice according to package directions.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until somewhat softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the beans, salt and rice and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

4. Warm the tortillas according to package directions and place in a stack under a damp paper towel. Working with 1 at a time, place 1/4 of the bean mixture down the center of the tortilla, leaving 1 inch clear at the top and bottom. Sprinkle the bean mixture with 3 tablespoons of the cheese and fold the top and bottom edges in to the center. Fold 1 side flap over the filling and roll the burrito closed. Place seam side down in the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle the tops of the burritos with the remaining cheese and cover loosely with foil, tenting so the foil does not touch the tops of the burritos. Bake 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and the burritos are heated through.

5. Cut in half to serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 572 calories, 24 g protein, 95 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 13 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 1335 mg sodium

TIP: Red beans and kidney beans, while not the same, can generally be used interchangeably.

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BLACK BEAN TORTILLA SALAD

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

8 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar

4 ounces (about 4 cups) tortilla chips

1. Whisk the lime zest, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, salt and olive oil in a small bowl.

2. Combine the lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, black beans and Cheddar in a large bowl; toss with the dressing. Gently stir in the chips and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 309 calories, 18 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 650 mg sodium

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RED LENTIL BURGERS WITH TZATZIKI TOPPING

1 clove garlic, very finely minced

1 (6-ounce) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 English cucumber, peeled, grated and squeezed dry

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup red lentils

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 small carrot, finely diced

4 ounces mushrooms, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

6 tablespoons bread crumbs

1. Combine the garlic, yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with black pepper and set aside.

2. Combine the red lentils with two cups water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are somewhat softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute. Add the vinegar and cook until it evaporates, 1 more minute. Remove from heat.

4. Combine the egg, lentils, breadcrumbs and vegetables and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

5. Form into 4 (3/4-inch thick) patties. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Gently slide the patties into the pan and cook 5 minutes on each side, or until well-browned on both sides. Serve with the tzatziki sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 284 calories, 16 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 431 mg sodium

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