Kidney beans

OK, I knew kidney beans were good for me. But I really didn't know what an amazingly perfect food they were until I began this post. According to World's Healthiest Foods, kidney beans are not only a good source of fiber, protein and iron, but it is chock full of B vitamins, folate, and minerals like magnesium and manganese.

Kidney beans

But that's not all, my friends. Dr. Perricone cites kidney beans as high in antioxidants (to battle free radicals), saponins (which prevent genetic mutation) and potassium (to reduce high blood pressure and stroke).

So, how to get more kidney beans into your diet? Start by trying one of my household's favorite chili recipes. We found this one several Christmases ago, when we had more leftover turkey than we knew what to do with. One of the best things about it is the fresh red and green peppers -- they make the recipe.

Sure, you can just buy the canned, but if you are feeling adventurous and want to save some money by buying the dried beans, here is a very thorough explanation of how to pre-soak and cook the beans. Did you know that pre-soaking removes some of the chemicals that cause gas and bloating?

Are you ready for this fun collection of recipes and ideas? There's something special about each one, so let's use those beans!

Kidney Bean Burgers -- an easy vegan delight

Red Kidney Bean Dip from Nigella Lawson of Food TV fame; talk about flavor in this one!

Dr. Dick's Lean and Mean Kidney Bean Hash -- a cancer survivors' dietician's healthy recipe

Kidney Bean, Blacked Eyed Pea and Turtle Bean Stew -- lots of fresh herbs

Mandarin Orange Kidney Bean Salad -- a winner with the oranges and poppy seed dressing

Artichoke and Kidney Bean Paella -- add the super artichoke and you've got a bad-health-buster

Kidney Bean Chili, Indian Style -- unique flavors like ginger, mango and cinnamon blend in this dish

My mouth is watering and my blood pumping, just knowing these yummy recipes exist for such a healthy food. How do you prepare kidney beans?

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