[print this page]

"Live to be Old"
June 17, 2004

By Lynne Bigwood
Northarvest Bean Grower Association
Home Economist

Here are three delicious, healthy bean recipes for two summer salads and a  casserole.
1) New Orleans Black Beans with Rice and Chicken Salad.
2) Bean-Instead-of-Potato Salad.
3) Cranberry Bean Summer Veggie Salad.

The New Orleans Black Beans, Rice and Chicken recipe was the result of using what I had in my cupboard and freezer to make a simple supper. We liked the resulting casserole with tomato in the beans and rice mix.  If your family requires more meat for four servings, add two more split chicken breast halves. 

I baked the casserole in the oven but this recipe could easily be assembled in a crockpot in the morning and be ready for supper 8 to 10 hours later.

The Bean-Instead-of-Potato Salad is a healthy alternative for low-carb dieters and, especially. diabetics.

This recipe is based a traditional potato salad recipe.  Changing the main ingredient - potatoes - to cooked dry beans, with their high content of soluble fiber, lowers the "Glycemic Index."  Low "Glycemic Index" is a special concern to diabetics.  It helps slow absorption of carbohydrates and maintain normal blood sugar levels.

This recipe includes radishes. In the last few years, red radishes have made a debut in salads again.  My mother always added sliced radishes to a mixed green salad.  Over the years they disappeared from recipes.  But, as with all good, colorful ingredients, have been re-discovered by today's cooks/chefs.  They add great crunch, color and tang.

When I asked my husband, who is not diabetic, if there was anything I could do to improve this salad, he said, "Use potatoes!"

The Cranberry Bean Summer Vegetable Salad resembles a salsa.  Many salsas and salads are interchangeable. 

Cooking the onion adds a very nice, mild onion flavor to the salad and, actually, improved the flavor.  Use frozen corn or leftover corn cut off the cob.  My daughter got me started using "tomatoes on the vine" when home-grown ones are not available.  Most of the time, they have a better "tomato" flavor than other fresh store-bought tomatoes.  I leave them out in a basket on the counter and they keep for quite a few days.

This was my family's favorite of the three salads.

"Non-traditional potato" bean salad may have been too much of a stretch!














Cranberry beans, Bean-Instead-of-Potato Salad and Cranberry Bean Summer Veggie Salad on display.

Two methods of cooking dry beans in a crockpot
No-Fail Crockpot Beans
1 pound (2 cups) dry beans
6 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt

Pick through dry beans, removing any small rocks or dirt pieces.  Put the beans into a strainer or colander.  Rinse with cold water. 

In a large pot, heat 6 cups of cold water to a boil.  Add beans and salt.  Simmer for 10 minutes on the stovetop. 

Pour beans and hot liquid into crockpot and cook on Low overnight (8 - 12 hours).

Use in a recipe, refrigerate or freeze in 2-cup containers.  
(This cooking method consistently cooks beans in all kinds of crockpots but does not reduce the gas.) 

"Tootless" Crockpot Beans
A 4 to 16 hour Hot Soak must be used to reduce the "gassy sugars" in beans by 75% or more. Eating cooked beans 3 to 7 times a week, gradually increasing the amount allows the digestive system to adapt to the sugars and increased fiber.

Hot Soak
In a large pot, heat 10 cups of water to boiling.

Add 1 pound of cleaned dry beans, 1 teaspoon of salt and boil 2 - 3 minutes (blanch).
Remove from heat, cover and let stand 4 - 16 hours (soak).

Drain beans and liquid in a strainer or colander in the sink. Rinse beans with fresh, cold water. 
Pour beans into a crockpot and cover with fresh, cold water, add 1 teaspoon salt. 

Cook in crockpot on Low overnight (8 - 12 hours).

Use in a recipe, refrigerate or freeze in 2-cup containers.   
(Eliminated salt for low-sodium diet.)

New Orleans Black Beans and Rice with Chicken
4 servings (1/4 chicken breast, approx. 1 cup beans and rice mix)

1 7-ounce box Zatarain's New Orleans Style Black Beans and Rice
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
2½ cups water
2 split chicken breast halves, fresh or thawed

Oven Method:
1.  Preheat oven to 350º F. 
2.  Spray a 2-quart rectangular glass pan (1 ½ - 2" sides) with non-stick cooking spray.
3.  Pour the seasoning packet in the bottom of the pan.  Mash out the lumps with a large spoon.  Add black beans and rice to the seasoning mix, stir. 
4.  Add canned tomatoes and water.  Stir thoroughly. 
5.  Place the chicken breast halves on top of the black bean and rice mixture. 
6.  Bake 1½ hours.  Check mixture at one hour, if beans and rice are getting dry on the edges, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake remaining ½ hour. 
7.  Serve hot with a green salad and bread.

Alternate Crockpot Method: 
1.  Combine ingredients in a crockpot as directed above in steps 3, 4, 5 and 6.
2.  Cover with lid, turn to Low and cook 4 to 8 hours. 
3.  If 4 hour cooking time is used, test chicken for doneness by piercing thickest part of meat with a sharp fork.  If juices run clear, serve. If not, continue cooking.  

Bean-Instead-of-Potato Salad
(Low-Glycemic Salad) 8 Servings

2 cups cooked cranberry or 1 15.5-ounce can great northern beans (See article below for cooking options.)
2 hard cooked eggs
1 celery rib
3 large red radishes
¼ cup sweet pickle relish
½ teaspoon creamy yellow mustard
½ cup fat-free mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

1.  In a sieve or colander, drain and rinse beans.
2.  Clean and dice eggs and radishes.  Pull strings out of celery with a knife, dice.
3.  In a 2-quart or medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring gently to keep beans and egg pieces intact. 
4.  Refrigerate and serve cold.  Garnish with radish slices. 
Fat-free mayonnaise will thin out if kept. Regular mayonnaise won't thin but is a high fat food.   

Cranberry Bean Summer Vegetable Salad
8 Servings

2 cups cooked, chilled cranberry beans or 1 15.5-ounce can pinto beans  (See article below for cooking options.)
3 Tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup onion
1 cup frozen corn
2 medium fresh tomatoes
¼ cup chives
½ teaspoon dry rosemary or 1 ½ teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper

1. In a sieve or colander, drain and rinse beans.  Put in a 2-quart bowl.
2. Rinse corn with hot water using same sieve.  Add to beans.
3. Chop onion fine. Heat oil in a small frying pan, sauté onion until tender and mild flavored, 2 - 5 minutes.
4.  Cut tomatoes into small pieces. Snip chives fine with a scissors. 
5.  Add all ingredients to bowl and stir, salt and pepper to taste.
6.  Refrigerate. Use a slotted spoon to serve


Other Headlines

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust


Northarvest Bean Growers Association | 50072 East Lake Seven Road | Frazee, MN 56544
Ph: 218-334-6351 | Fax: 218-334-6360 | Email: