Create fast easy meals with delicious and nutritious canned bean recipes by following Shape tips for healthy bean recipes!

Inexpensive and abundant, beans are a staple of almost every culture's cuisine. Their bland taste is one of their greatest assets, allowing for their use in endless combinations with a variety of seasonings, as you'll see in the suggestions for fast easy meals below.

Nutrition tips:

Like their dried counterparts, canned bean recipes are a great source of fiber, low-fat protein and folate (crucial for healthy cell division and repair). One cup of canned kidney beans has:

  • 13 grams of fiber (about half the daily recommendation of 25-35 grams)
  • 13 grams of protein (women need at least 60 grams daily)
  • 126 micrograms of folate (RDA for women is 400 micrograms)

All this yummy healthy cooking at only 200 calories! Beans are also a good source of B vitamins, iron, calcium and phosphorus. (One caveat: Most canned bean recipes contain added salt. To remove up to 40 percent and maintain healthy cooking standards, rinse under cold water.) The best part about using canned? No hours of soaking or simmering required.

Healthy cooking directions for canned bean recipes:

* Stir kidney beans into rice during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add a dash of Cajun seasoning and some chopped scallions for an extra-flavorful side dish.

* Toss chickpeas, sliced spinach and grated Parmesan into chicken soup for quick minestrone.

* Mash pinto beans with some ground cumin; heat in the microwave. Spread on warmed tortillas, topped with scrambled eggs and salsa. Serve for breakfast or a quick lunch.

* Combine white beans, cooked pasta, thinly sliced green and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and a low-fat bottled vinaigrette for a tasty pasta salad.

* Add black beans to a stir-fry of scallops, red peppers and scallions, flavored with your favorite stir-fry sauce.

* Mix mashed pink beans into your favorite meat-loaf recipe for a nutrient boost.

* Combine navy beans with chopped, sautéed vegetables, tomato sauce, chili powder and whole-wheat couscous for a vegetarian Sloppy Joe.

Healthy bean recipes are available for almost every cuisine. Experiment with canned bean recipes to enhance your healthy cooking today!