Health Benefits of Red Beans

There are a several varieties of red beans, including small red beans, red kidney beans and adzuki beans. Adzuki (sometimes spelled azuki or asuki) beans are easy to digest and are very flavorful, with less of a “beany” taste than other beans. Kidney beans pick up the flavors of whatever you cook them with, making them very versatile for soups, stews and chili. Small red beans are the most common, and also go by the names Mexican red bean or red chili bean. These are the beans traditionally used to make red beans and rice.

The most common form of selecting right bean is to sort the dry beans. Throw away any that are moldy, pockmarked, shrunken or otherwise unacceptable. Once you finish sorting, repeat the sorting to try to find anything you missed the first time. As you do this more and more, you’ll get better at spotting bad beans. Let us discuss about the recipe that is healthy and perfect for cold weather.

A simple recipe and a family favorite in my home, this hearty Red Bean Chili con Carne will tempt even the most finicky eater to the table. A great low carbohydrate and high fiber dish for a diabetic that the entire family will love.

Hearty and warming, it’s the perfect dish for a cool autumn evening or a cold winters night.

Red Bean Chili Con Carne Recipe


3 cups onions, large dice
3 cups green bell pepper, large dice
9 – 10 cloves garlic, diced (about 3 heaping Tbsp.)
3 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
chili powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
ground cumin
ground coriander
oregano (Mexican if you have but Italian is fine)
14 Tbsp. liquid hickory smoke
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more to taste)
2 – 14.5 ounce cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 16 ounce can beef stock (low sodium)
1 – 29 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 – 29 ounce can tomato puree
2 Tbsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. Splenda
2 Tbsp. olive or canola oil

It’s important to note that I do not give measurements for the chili powder, cumin, coriander and oregano. I think that it is up to individual taste and how strong the chili powder is. I use a simple rule of thumb though. A ratio of chili powder to cumin to coriander to oregano. The ratio is 3 parts chili powder to 2 parts cumin to 1 part coriander to 1 part oregano. So, if you use 1 Tbsp. of chili powder you’ll use 2 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. each coriander and oregano. Of course this is just an example as I can use as much as 4 Tbsp. chili powder and so on, during cooking.

In a large heavy bottom pot heat oil on high and add the onions, green bell pepper and garlic. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and lightly blend together. Add one layer of spices, using the chili powder, paprika and parsley. Cook until the beef is browned. Add the kidney beans, beef stock and tomato products. Add another layer of spices using the chili powder, cumin, coriander and oregano. Stir to blend. Bring to simmer and reduce heat to medium low and partially cover. Cook about 1 hour and add another layer of spices using chili powder, cumin, coriander, liquid smoke and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for about 45 minutes. Add the cilantro and Splenda and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning all along and add more to taste.

Yields about 5 1/2 quarts or 11 servings
2 cup serving Amount Per Serving using lean ground beef

Calories 547.9
Total Fat 32.8 g (6 1/2 fat exchanges)
Saturated Fat 12.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 14.8 g
Cholesterol 107.9 mg
Sodium 807.9 mg
Potassium 1,053.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30.3 g
Dietary Fiber 9.1 g
Sugars 7.4 g
Protein 33.1 g
Amount per serving using lean ground turkey:
Calories 415.0
Total Fat 16.9 g (3 fat exchanges)
Saturated Fat 4.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.0 g
Cholesterol 107.1 mg
Sodium 821.1 mg Potassium 961.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30.3 g
Dietary Fiber 9.1 g
Sugars 7.4 g
Protein 36.4 g

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