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Cheap and Easy Vegetarian Recipes: Cooking With Beans

Updated on October 5, 2014

Beans and pulses

beans and pulses
beans and pulses | Source

Easy vegetarian recipes using beans

Beans and pulses are cheap, very low in fat and very high in nutritional value so it is no surprise if they feature prominently in a vegetarian diet. Included here are two bean recipes using - mixed dried beans in a vegetarian version of Scotch broth and butterbeans in a warm winter casserole. I've included some tips on how to prepare beans for cooking and some nutritional information on beans you might find useful to know.

As a vegetarian, I am constantly conscious of the need to get enough protein. I know when I don't, I have less energy and my mind is less clear. All that brain work you know!

The average person needs 40-70 grm of protein a day, more if you exercise a lot. Protein is the building block of good health, every cell in the body needs protein. One of the easier ways, cheapest and healthiest ways to add protein to a diet is with beans and pulses. AND the bonus is, beans and pulses are very low fat so are useful in any weight loss diet.

I hope you enjoy the recipes I have included here.

All the images used are by the author of the page AnnMackieMiller '.

Dried chickpeas

dried-chickpeas | Source

How to prepare dried beans

Budget cooking!

You can buy beans in cans, but having recently seen what goes into them at the processing plant, I prefer to prepare my own. Besides that, it is MUCH cheaper. I suggest you do as I do, and buy and prepare a whole bag, usually they come in 500grams. All beans and most pulses, except red lentils, need to soak overnight, before cooking. This method reduces any toxins, softens and hydrates the beans for easier cooking and greatly reduces the incident of excess flatulence when eating beans.


  1. Soak beans in plenty of plain cold water overnight
  2. Rinse under running cold water and add to a pan full of fresh cold water
  3. Bring to the boil, boil fast for several minutes - for red kidney beans boil fast for at least 10 minutes to get rid of toxin. This is very important as red kidney beans can be very toxic if not cooked properly.
  4. Skim off any 'scum'
  5. Lower heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, don't overcook because they are going to go into other dishes and get more cooking.
  6. Drain off liquid and allow beans to cool.
  7. When completely cold, divide into portions, approximately 4 ounces in size. Seal in individual freezer bags and freeze until needed.
  8. You can cook with them directly from the freezer and you always have a supply on hand to include in soups and stews or to cook bean dishes.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 4

Vegetarian Scotch Broth

Traditionally Scotch Broth is made with mutton but this is a very tasty and nutritious vegetarian option



  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 2 potatoes - diced into cubes
  • 3 carrots - sliced into rings
  • 1 small turnip or swede - diced into cubes
  • 1 leek - sliced into rings
  • 4 ounces pre-soaked mixed dry beans
  • 2 ounces pre-soaked barley
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock (broth)
  • black pepper
  • salt
Cast your vote for Vegetarian Scotch Broth recipe


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  2. When it is hot, add the onion and cook until the onion is transparent and is soft.
  3. Add chopped and diced vegetables and stir to coat them all with the oil. Cook for 5 minutes with a lid on the pan.
  4. Add beans and parley, stock and seasoning.
  5. Bring to the boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 35 minute until the vegetables are soft.
  7. Serve with crusty brown bread or oatcakes.

Winter vegetable casserole with butterbeans - Viturally NO fat!

This is a slow cooking casserole that will just ooze flavours if you treat it right. Soak dried butterbeans the night before for the cheapest way to create this recipe dish. I tend to soak and boil up a whole bag at a time then freeze them in portion sizes ready for use when I want them. They freeze very well and can be cooked directly from the freezer.

The only fat in this dish is any that is in your vegetable stock cube so it is a wonderfully low calorie dish.

Serve with sweet potatoes and leafy green vegetables.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 2-3


  • 1 onion - diced
  • 2 carrots - diced
  • 1 leek - diced
  • handful green beans
  • handfull green peas
  • 1 small turnip or swede - diced
  • 4 ounces pre-soaked butterbeans
  • 3/4 (three quarters) litre of vegetable stock (broth)
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 teasppon dried mixed herbs
  • Grated cheese for topping


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees - medium heat
  2. Mix all the ingredients except the butterbeans and the cheese in a large casserole dish or oven-proof dish.
  3. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
  4. Add the butterbeans and top with cheese.
  5. Return to oven for another half hour at least. If the top is becoming too brown before that, cover it with foil for the remaining time.

Health benefit of beans - nutritional values in beans

  • Very low in fat
  • Very low in salt
  • Rich in Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
  • good source for Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and Folate,
  • Exceptionally good source of protein
  • Rich source of fiber thus lowering bad cholesterol levels
  • Contains starch for bulk = slow release energy source and you feel fuller for longer

© 2010 Ann

Do You Like Bean Dishes? - review

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    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I make a lot of dishes with all kinds of beans and I'm always looking for more ideas to add variety. You have several great versions here that I'm going to try.

      I also learned something important from your hub. I didn't know that beans have toxins and that soaking overnight helps remove those toxins. Many time when I forgot to start soaking the night before, I would just boil the dry beans a couple of minutes, drain them, and then start again with fresh water. But I guess that doesn't help eliminate the toxins as well as overnight soaking.

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      I like bean dishes chickpeas are good, refrained beans

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      I like bean dishes chickpeas are good, refrained beans

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 6 years ago

      Will feature this lens in my healing food lens. Good job--am going to try the recipes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Squidoo community is great, i like reading others lenses and love to see people reading and commenting on my lenses.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wow! that scotch broth is to die for. But would I survive? lol. It is near winter in my part of the world and there is nothing like a hot heart soup on a cold day

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @Craftyville: sounds good to me

    • Craftyville profile image

      Craftyville 7 years ago

      I eat beans at least 5 times a week, black beans are my favorite with a little chili powder and salsa.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @awakeningwellness: you're very welcome - I'm working on another beans lens :0)

    • awakeningwellness profile image

      awakeningwellness 7 years ago

      I am a vegetarian too and love eating beans, thanks for the new recipes!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      Sheilamarie 7 years ago from British Columbia

      These recipes sound delicious! I enjoy cooking with beans, though I have to limit how many times a week I eat them! Whoops!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @ElizabethSheppard: good to meet you too. thanks for visiting

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 7 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      Yes, I like bean dishes a lot. I am also part Scottish too. I am slowly converting to vegetarianism by cutting down on meat. I hope to visit the UK, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales some day. Thanks for visiting my travel lens today! It is good to meet you.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @MartinPrestovic: thanks Martin

    • profile image

      MartinPrestovic 7 years ago

      I love bean dishes and have been making a variety using chickpeas, limas, pintos and other beans. They taste really good especially with corn, pork and a few other ingredients that I like using. Two thumbs up for your lens!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @WindyWintersHubs: thanks for visiting

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I love finding new tasty bean dishes! Thanks for the recipes! :)

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I'm not sure my replies are registering so I want to thank everyone for blessings and visits and lensrolls. :-) x huggles

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @bdkz: me too!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @Bellezza-Decor: you can never have enough recipes I don't think. thanks for visiting. x

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @happynutritionist: thanks for that x

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @jptanabe: good on ya x thanks for visiting x

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @VarietyWriter2: how wonderful. thanks. x

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Oh yes, and these look like great bean recipes for me to try!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      Yes! I am lensrolling to my pork n beans skillet dinner this! Love beans!

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 7 years ago from Canada

      I like beans, but needed more bean recipes. Thanks!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      @bdkz: yum

    • profile image

      bdkz 7 years ago

      Yes, I love beans!


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