When we talk about fiber, the wheat-bran comments aren't far behind. But lentils, beans and other legumes are actually an excellent source of fiber and protein, and work well in a wide range of delicious cuisines and dishes. Note that some recipes call for dried beans, which require soaking for several hours or overnight before cooking, so plan ahead when using them (or, in a pinch, use canned beans).
by Frank Pellegrino
Cannellini beans and fava beans find a home in this classic, complex minestrone soup, with plenty of vegetables and a touch of Pecorino Romano cheese. Mashing some of the beans against the side of the stockpot as the soup cooks, while leaving others whole, creates a thick and hearty broth.
Per serving: 364 calories, 3g saturated fat, 41g carbohydrates, 15g protein, 10g fiber, 640mg sodium
by Barbara Kafka
Feijoada is traditionally a Portuguese and Brazilian beef- and pork-based dish, but this vegan version is rich and flavorful. And if you're a fan of Spanish rice or Cajun "dirty rice," you'll love the spicy rice with tomato, garlic and onion that accompanies the beans in this recipe.
Per serving: 347 calories, 1g saturated fat, 57g carbohydrates, 13g protein, 11g fiber, 237mg sodium
by Stephanie O'Dea
This tasty slow-cooker recipe combines lentils and garbanzo beans for a double dose of legumes. Soy sauce, mustard, ginger and honey combine to make a sweet, tangy and savory sauce. As per the directions in this recipe, serve with white or brown rice if you're a vegetarian, or a rib-eye steak if you're not.
Per serving: 323 calories, 0g saturated fat, 62g carbohydrates, 17g protein, 18g fiber, 835mg sodium
by Viktorija Todorovska
Beans and greens are a no-brainer combination, and the marriage of hearty-yet-delicate white beans and escarole that practically melts with tenderness in a broth is one of our favorites. A little cheese for serving and some toasted crusty bread seal the delicious deal.
Per serving: 278 calories, 1g saturated fat, 45g carbohydrates, 15g protein, 16g fiber, 321mg sodium
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