Recipe – Butter Bean Mashed Potatoes

Velvety Buttery Butter Bean

The Lima bean, Phaseolus lunatus, is commonly known as the lima bean or butter bean. These beans have a buttery, sweet, starchy taste and a smooth texture. The term butter bean is widely used for a large, flat and white variety of lima bean (P. lunatus var. macrocarpus).

Lima beans, named after its place of origin, Lima, Peru, are native to South America and are popular in Andean foods. They’re also used widely in regional southern U.S. cuisine. In the southern United States the Sieva type are traditionally called butter beans, also otherwise known as the Dixie or Henderson type. In that area, lima beans and butter beans are seen as two distinct types of beans. In the United Kingdom, “butter beans” refers to either dried beans, which can be purchased to re-hydrate or the canned variety, which is ready to use. These distinctions do not change the scientific terminology, and the two common terms used for the lima bean are often interchangeable regardless of regional or culinary preferences.

In culinary use, lima beans and butter beans are distinctly different, the former being small and green, the latter large and yellow. In areas where both are considered to be lima beans, the green variety may be labeled as “baby” limas.

Lima beans and butter beans add a protein-packing punch to soups, stews and even summer salads. Although slightly bland in taste, there is nothing unremarkable about the beans’ linguistic impact. Plump and creamy when fully cooked, they do in fact have a butter-like texture that is most appealing.

Recipe – Butter Bean Mashed Potatoes


4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into equal size chunks

2 15-ounce cans, drained, or cook from scratch – Butter Beans

½-1 cup vegetable broth

1 onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup unsweetened plant milk

salt, to taste


Place potatoes in a pot; cover with water; add a little salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low; boil uncovered for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Saute onions and garlic in a little water or oil until golden. In a small pan, heat butter beans through (an important step). Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add hot butter beans to potatoes. Add vegetable broth, onion and garlic, and mash with a potato masher. Add unsweetened plant milk; continue mashing until smooth. Season with salt. Serve with your favorite gravy.

Recipe – Simple Pasta Salad


4 cups (approx.) small pasta, cooked

2 cups red or kidney beans, cooked

10 cherry tomatoes (approx.), chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

1 can olives, sliced


Combine all and add Italian dressing and a little salsa. Stir and serve.

Food – Red Beans Take the Cake

Different beans affect our bodies in different ways. That is why we need a variety. Everybody knows that beans are a great source of protein but many forget about the other added benefits of beans. Look at the quote from Jonny Bowden, Ph.D.

“[Red beans] are loaded with antioxidants. The USDA’s [United States Department of Agriculture] ranking of foods by antioxidant capacity lists small dried red beans as having the highest antioxidant capacity per serving size of any food tested; in fact, of the four top-scoring foods, three were beans (red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans). Many bean varieties have a lot of folic acid (especially adzukis, black-eyed peas, lentils and pinto beans), which have serious benefits for the heart; there’s also magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium and—especially in red kidney beans—an important enzyme-enhancing mineral called molybdenum.

“Beans are also a good source of protein, typically containing 15 g per cup. And unlike most commercial animal protein sources, they don’t come with any steroids, hormones, or antibiotics.” The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, pg. 84, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

Recipe – Simple Pasta Salad


4 cups (approx.) small pasta, cooked

2 cups red or kidney beans, cooked

10 cherry tomatoes (approx.), chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

1 can olives, sliced


Combine all and add Italian dressing and a little salsa. Stir and serve.

Recipe – Mexican Beans

5 cups pinto or black beans

15 cups water

2 large onions, chopped

1 Tablespoon onion powder

2 Tablespoons chili powder substitute

2 Tablespoons salt or to taste

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Soak beans in water for 24 hours, changing the water several times. Place in a slow cooker with enough fresh water to cover the beans. Cook on low with all of the ingredients except the salt for 24 hours or until very tender. Add salt in the last 2 to 3 hours of cooking.

Recipe – Bean Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow or white onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped

1 can (28 oz.) diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1 tsp. chili powder substitute

1 tsp. ground cumin

3 cans chickpeas (or kidney beans, black beans, white beans) rinsed and drained (or 4 ½ cups cooked)

4 cups vegetable broth

¼ cup cilantro or parsley, chopped

3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, kale or Swiss charge, chopped

1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

salt, to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 4-quart saucepan. Add onion and saute’ about 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Do not brown garlic. Add seasonings and tomatoes and simmer about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of beans and 1 ½ cups of broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Place remaining beans and broth in a food processor or blender. Add cilantro or parsley and puree until smooth. Add the blended mixture and spinach, heating until the spinach wilts. Stir well and serve hot.

Adapted from a recipe by The Biggest Loser Club

Food – The Protein Myth

If you’re worried about getting enough protein on a vegetarian diet, you may be in for a surprise. The truth is, most Americans get way too much protein, and vegetarians can easily get more than enough protein in their diet as well. Many people still believe that protein is only available from meat and animal sources and we will all fall over dead without animal protein! However, Harvard scientists recently completed a study finding that eating a single serving of red meat each day increases your risk of early death, and factory-farmed chicken, often touted as a healthier alternative to beef, can be contaminated with E. coli bacteria that can give you urinary tract infections.

The idea that protein comes only from meat is a myth. Nearly all foods contain small amounts of protein, and it’s very easy to get your daily protein requirements from beans, grains, nuts, and vegetables, which have less cholesterol and fat than meat and are usually cheaper. All vegetables contain between 1 and 2 g of protein per cup. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women get 46 grams (g) of protein each day and that men get 56 g.

Beans and lentils are the cheapest source of protein, providing 12 to 14 g per cup of cooked beans and 18 g per cup of cooked lentils. White beans taste delicious in pasta; garbanzo or edamame in stir-fries; black beans and pinto in burritos, tacos, and quesadillas; and lentils or kidney are great in salads and whole grain pita lunches.

Nuts provide 3 to 7 g of protein per 1/3-cup serving, depending on the type (peanuts and pine nuts have the most). Seeds give 2 to 5 g per 1/3-cup serving, depending on type. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts are all good vegetarian protein sources. Try a sprinkle of chopped nuts on everything from oatmeal to salad. On the seed side, try pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower.

Tofu and tempeh are also excellent sources of protein. Tempeh has 18 g of protein per serving; tofu has 8 g per serving. If you’re not a fan of tofu or tempeh, you can still reap the protein benefits of soy in soy milk (8 g per glass) and edamame (green soybeans, which have 17 g per cup). Aim for one serving of tofu, soy milk or edamame per day.

Food – The Beauty of Beans

“If we plan wisely, that which is most conducive to health can be secured in almost every land. The various preparations of rice, wheat, corn, and oats are sent abroad everywhere, also beans, peas, and lentils. These, with native or imported fruits, and the variety of vegetables that grow in each locality, give an opportunity to select a dietary that is complete without the use of flesh meats.” Counsels for the Church, 377.

Beans are one of the least expensive forms of protein. They are high in fiber and low in fat and come in a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. Beans can be enjoyed in every kind of dish from a dip or a salad to stews and soups to hearty main courses. In Asia, sweetened red beans are dessert—they are used to fill pastries and even make ice cream.

adzuki beans

These small, dark red beans are slightly sweet and creamy when cooked. They are the basis for sweet red bean paste used in Asian desserts.

black beans (turtle beans, frijoles negros)

Black beans are a staple of Latin America dishes. Their strong, earthy flavor and firm texture help them stand out in soups, salads and all sorts of side dishes.

cannellini beans (white kidney beans)

Mild-tasting meaty cannellinis are often used in minestrone soup and other Italian dishes.

chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

The versatile chickpea has an almost buttery flavor and is a nutritional powerhouse with over 80 nutrients, plus plenty of fiber and protein. Many classic vegetarian dishes, including hummus and falafel, are based on the versatile chickpea.

kidney beans

Kidney beans are full-flavored and retain their kidney shape even with long cooking times. They are usually the bean of choice for chili or cold salads. They come in dark red, light red, pink or white.


Lentils cook quickly and are often served puréed. The most common varieties are brown and red, but for a larger selection explore the many different kinds used in Indian or Middle Eastern cuisines.

lima beans (butter beans)

Pale green limas are starchy and satisfying. If you’ve had only canned, give them another chance. Their rich buttery flavor holds up better when they’re fresh or frozen.

pinto beans

Speckled beige beans with darker streaks, pintos are used for refried beans, chili and many Mexican recipes. Unfortunately their pretty markings—pinto means painted in Spanish—turn a dull pinkish beige after cooking.

white beans (Great Northern, navy beans)

These mild, meaty beans are favorites in casseroles, stews and soups.

The Vegetarian Bible, Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, Illinois, 2011, 22.

Recipe – Wild West Bean Caviar

¼ cup lemon juice with a pinch of sweetener

6 cups cooked black beans or black-eyed peas

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

3 ripe tomatoes

½ cup chopped red onion

2 Tbsp olive oil

½ cup chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. lime juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp salt

corn chips or pita chips

Under the broiler, cook tomatoes for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until charred on all sides. Cool, peel, seed and core. In a food processor, combine tomato flesh, lemon juice, olive oil, lime juice, garlic and salt; process until smooth.

In a bowl, stir together roasted tomato sauce, beans, red onions, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Serve with chips for scooping or serve as a starter salad or side dish.

Use 3 cans (each 19 ounces) black beans or black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained or cook your own starting with 1 ½ cups dried.

Food – Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils are delicious hot or cold. They are visually appealing and come in many different shapes, sizes and colors – including yellow chickpeas, red or white kidney beans and multi-colored lentils. Being highly adaptable, they combine well with a wide variety of flavors and foods, running the gamut from graceful and elegant to rib-sticking. Lentils can make inspiring appetizers, distinctive soups, the most stylish of salads, and delicious entrees. Better still, they are inexpensive and highly nutritious. In fact, if it weren’t for dried beans and lentils, many of our pioneer ancestors would not have survived. Because they were easy to store, legumes were a crucial source of nutrition for an age that lacked refrigeration as well as seasonal supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Although the benefits vary between different types, legumes share some common nutritional characteristics. All are a rich source of B vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.

Legumes are an excellent source of low-fat protein. A diet rich in beans and lentils can help to provide necessary protein without the added cholesterol and fat contained in meat. Strict vegetarians should ensure they eat adequate amounts of grains and cereals, seeds and nuts in addition to legumes.

Dried beans and lentils can be purchased in various package sizes at most supermarkets or from bulk food stores. They should be stored in a dry, airtight container at room temperature. Since they lose their moisture over time, they are best used within a year. Not only do old beans take longer to soak and to cook, they are likely to be tougher than beans that have been stored for only a few months.

Once cooked, legumes should be covered and stored in the refrigerator where they will keep for four to five days. Cooked legumes can also be frozen. Packaged in an airtight, freezer-friendly container, they will keep frozen for up to six months. The Beans Lentils & Tofu Gourmet, Published by Robert Rose Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2000.