Beans are an essential pantry item around the globe. They’re affordable, packed with protein and fiber, and their culinary possibilities are virtually unlimited. Depending on where you are in the world, beans can take on very different roles. Sometimes they’re even used in desserts! Here’s a breakdown of some popular global dishes that highlight the mighty bean.
Mexico: Frijoles de la Olla
Beans are popular in Mexican cuisine and are eaten as a side dish, used as a dip or stuffed inside tortillas. You’ve probably tried the classic refried beans, but have you tried the traditional bean stew known as frijoles de la olla? Like many tasty bean dishes, it couldn’t be easier to make. Try this recipe: Frijoles de la Olla.
India: Chana Masala
Found in both Indian and Pakistani cuisines, chana masala is a chickpea dish with a spicy, savory sauce. Other ingredients in the dish commonly include onion, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, chillies and ginger. It’s served as a snack or breakfast dish alongside pieces of fried bread. Get the recipe: Chana Masala or try ours!
Egypt: Ful Medames
The national dish of Egypt, ful medames is a breakfast recipe of stewed fava beans with vegetable oil, cumin, fresh parsley, garlic, onion, lemon juice and chili pepper. Legend has it that this dish may have even been a favorite of the Pharoahs, so it has the royal stamp of approval. On top of that, it’s super easy to prepare. Try this recipe: Ful Medames
Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. Like most fermented foods, natto has a strong smell and flavor, but also brings many healthy benefits. You can read more about that here. Natto is often enjoyed as a breakfast food on top of rice. If you’re interested in trying it, you can look for prepared versions in Asian specialty food stores or online. Here’s a recipe to try: Natto Recipe
Southern United States: Hoppin’ John
The combination of rice and beans can be found in many different cuisines. It’s an affordable and filling dish that delivers complete protein, so it’s no surprise. Hoppin’ John is a famous rice and legume dish that comes from the Southern United States and incorporates rice, black-eyed peas, onion and bacon. It’s believed to have West African roots and is commonly served on New Year’s Day to bring good luck for the year. Try Emeril Legasse’s recipe: Hoppin’ John
Originating in Italy, minestrone soup is a vegetable soup that commonly includes cannellini beans, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, pasta or rice, and either vegetable- or meat-based broth. The recipe can vary because it’s usually made with whatever is in season. Try Martha Stewart’s take alongside a piece of nice Italian bread: Classic Minestrone
China: Sticky Rice Cake with Red Bean Paste
Red bean paste is a common ingredient in Chinese desserts. It’s made from adzuki beans sweetened with sugar or honey and it’s often stuffed inside pastries known as mooncakes. Try this sweet treat: Sticky Rice Cake with Red Bean Paste
Luvo loves beans!
We love beans so much here at Luvo that we use them in many of our Steam in Pouch entrees and Planeted™ Power Bowls. A few you might like to try:
- Go Moroccan with our Chicken & Harissa Chickpeas
- Enjoy the tasty black bean medley in our Mexican (and vegetarian) Quinoa & Vegetable Enchiladas
- Experience Spanish flavors in our bean-packed Chicken Chorizo Chili
- Try the So Cal Kale & Bean
- Or make a dish of Smoky Baked Beans. Perfect for a family barbecue or Monday night football (recipe below!)
SMOKY BAKED BEANS RECIPE
The rich mesquite aroma will make your mouth water and the flavor will make you think you’re eating something sinful.
- 2 cans cannelli or kidney beans
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
- 2 sprigs oregano
- 1 small can (8oz) tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 can tomatoes, diced (798ml)
- 1 teaspoon chipotle with some adobo sauce (canned)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
- Sea salt and pepper to season
- 2 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 325 F
- Place the onions with some oil in a cast iron skillet or oven-proof pot and sauté in medium to low heat for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add garlic, oregano, and bay leaves and sauté for an extra 2 minutes, careful not to burn them.
- Add tomato paste and lower heat; let it brown a bit (until it’s a little sticky on the bottom of the pan). Pour the can of diced tomatoes and deglaze (scrape sticky bits with a spatula so that they flavour the mix). Let it simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes until liquid reduces a bit. Add chipotle and beans.
- Pour in the chicken or veggie stock, deglaze again and adjust seasoning (careful not to add too much salt as it will reduce and intensify when cooked).
- Cover pan or pot (with lid or aluminum foil) and place in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes until liquid has reduced and sides start to get a bit crispy. Uncover and bake for additional 5 minutes so that the top gets nice and dry. Remove from oven.
- Serve right out of the oven with a slice of rustic bread. You can also top it off with some light sour cream if you so fancy.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the wonderful bean dishes to be found around the world. Did we miss your favorite? Share it in the comments or over on Twitter at @luvoinc. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, Plated, to unlock a $2 coupon to use on your next Luvo purchase.