Better with Beans
Low in fat and packed with fibre, beans are a source of quality protein and are extremely
versatile. Whether baked into muffins, added to tacos, or mixed into any favourite dish, the mild,
complementary flavour helps everyday families make healthy choices easier and every meal
better—everything is Better with Beans.
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<strong>Cacio E Pepe White Beans</strong>
Along with Carbonara, Gricia and Amatriciana, Cacio e Pepe is one of the four classic pastas of Rome. This favourite of mine feels like its full of cream but it’s not. It is comprised of super finely grated Pecorino cheese and Pepper with starchy pasta water providing the binder. Despite being such a simple sounding dish, it is quite finicky because if your temperatures are too high, the cheese will get stringy and ruin the texture. Before this cheese sauce base, I never made it at home.
I was thrilled to discover that the starchy bean liquid from a can of beans creates the perfect substitution for pasta water and to make life easier, I make this thick, creamy base. No more broken sauce, no more stringy cheese that refuses to bind to the water but 100% Cacio e Pepe taste! The rich, creaminess of the white beans is a perfect match. Serve it over polenta, as a side with garlicky rapini and some roast lamb but remember, it’s rich so a little goes a long way.
I discovered this method of making a stable cheese base from an Italian Chef who uses this method in his restaurant and it is foolproof. This recipe makes more than you need for one batch of beans, but it keeps in the fridge for a week so you can use the rest for pasta or just make more beans!
<strong>White Bean, Chicken and Tomatillo Chili</strong>
Hearty white bean, chicken and tomatillo chili–or is it a stew? Made with canned white kidney beans, chicken breast, tomatillos, salsa verde and corn this satisfying dish is perfect for colder days! Stir in some corn and kale at the end for extra brightness.
Traditional Zuppa Toscana with Farro and Beans
Traditional Zuppa Toscana with farro and beans, is a hearty, healthy, comforting winter recipe guaranteed to warm your heart. Lovely kale combined with cannellini beans and farro, in a wonderful vegetable broth, with hints of tomato, garlic, and subtle spice. Straight from the region of Tuscany, Italy, to your kitchen.
Chorizo and Black Bean Chili
This is the season for hearty and flavourful pots of chili. Everyone loves chili. And the beautiful thing is there are so many ways to make a delicious chili. Some recipes use ground beef, others have cubes of beef that fall apart with the nudge of a fork. There are turkey and chicken chilis, often with white beans substituted for traditional kidney beans. There are chilis made entirely of beans and vegetables, no meat anywhere near it. I love all of these variations, and today I’m sharing my new favourite with you, Chorizo and Black Bean Chili.
Fresh Chorizo, or Mexican Chorizo, and black beans have a long history of sharing the same pot with incredibly delicious results. Soups, tortas, and chilis have all benefited from their friendly association. The mild and creamy black beans absorb all of the wonderful flavour from the sausage meat, vegetables and seasonings. Beans of all kinds are a pantry staple, and I’m a huge fan of their affordability, nutritional excellence and versatility in so many recipes. Plus, what I love about using Chorizo sausage is that it’s already loaded with so much flavour thanks to the herbs and spices used to make it. And, if you know me you know I love to add in as many
vegetables as I can to hearty soups, stews and chilis. This recipe is no exception. Sweet potato,red peppers, kale and corn are favourtie add-ins to my chili, but you likely have other vegetable go-to’s as well. Feel free to substitute as you like, but I think you’ll love what I’ve done here too. I like to put all of the garnishes in the centre of the table and let each person customize their bowl of chili as they see fit. Basically, gimme all the cheddar and tortilla chips!
I like to have a large pot of this Chorizo and Black Bean Chili simmering on the stove during the cold winter months, as it’s almost like a hug from the inside out. Loaded with gorgeous flavours, creamy black beans, and vegetables, this is a nutritious and delicious meal that’s sure to become a family favourite recipe.
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Sheet Pan White Beans, Gnocchi, and Vegetables
This is a protein and fibre-packed meal that not only comes together quickly but tastes delicious. Crispy roasted broccoli and juicy tomatoes add loads of flavour to the gnocchi and white beans. Just serve with grated Parmesan cheese and an extra drizzle of olive oil for a simple yet satisfying weeknight meal.
Types of Beans
Ontario grows nine types of beans. Learn more about each variety here.
Nutrition & Health
It’s commonly known that beans are good for you — but do you know how good?
Learn how to properly store, select, soak and cook Ontario beans.
Better with Beans
Learn more about this amazing superfood
and why everything is better with beans!