Friday, May 2, 2008

More Love For Legumes

I realize that my recipe posting has been quite light as of lately, almost nil. But between traveling during April and the perils of an extremely tight budget, I honestly haven't been trying many new recipes. And when I have cooked, it's been my faithful stand-by recipes, such as this one. But this past week, while attempting to make my weekly menu with little money to work with, I sought out the help of the Bush's Beans website. As I've posted about before, the benefits of beans are near limitless, especially for the health-conscious and frugally-minded. So here's two new recipes that delivered big time on flavor and nutrition, plus they were friendly to my wallet:

White Bean Soup: Recently, I've really come to enjoy white beans, AKA white kidney beans, great northern beans and cannelini beans. They're lovely with their creamy texture and mild taste. And this recipe possesses one of my favorite soup characteristics--being partially pureed. My hubby and son have issues with too much dairy (e.g. running to the bathroom), so I have to be creative in substituting taste and texture without too much dairy. Partially pureeing a soup is the perfect solution because it gives the soup a delightfully smooth texture without having to add any milk or cream. Also, I increased the quantities slightly, adding more carrots, beans and chicken stock. I served this soup simply with homemade garlic bread.

Black Bean & Mango Salsa: Just look at all that color!! And by the way, did you know that mangoes are the world's most commonly eaten fruit? Yup, above bananas and apples stand the delicious and diverse mango. You can use fresh mangoes in this recipe, but I used jarred mango from Trader Joe's. And I prepared it without jalapenos, mostly because my 4 year old probably wouldn't have touched it if it was spicy. It was so flavorful and I ate it plain, with tortilla chips and topped my green salads with it. But I can think of at least a handful more ways one could use this salsa.

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