Kidney beans have a mild, sweet flavor and bright color that works well in salads, soups, main dishes and appetizers. Buy reduced-sodium canned kidney beans and rinse them before use, or cook dry kidney beans in simmering water for three to four hours, or until tender. One 1/2 cup serving of kidney beans has only 110 calories, but 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
Pair kidney beans with turkey chili, tomatoes, lettuce, corn, salsa and avocados for a healthful taco salad, or mix them with other beans and a vinaigrette for three bean salad. Pair them with whole wheat pasta, green onion, chopped broccoli, diced tomatoes and non-fat Italian dressing for a quick, healthful pasta salad.
Kidney beans are a natural choice for hearty soups and stews. Pair them with ground turkey or lean ground beef in spicy chili, or replace the meat with wheat berries for a savory, nutritious twist on traditional chili. Add flavor with the addition of corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado.
Heat kidney beans with lean turkey sausage and a savory, sweet sauce for baked beans, or combine kidney beans with browned ground turkey, corn, diced tomatoes, cheese, salsa and Mexican spices. Top with a cornbread topping and bake for tamale pie. Add kidney beans to rice dishes or stuffed peppers.
Dips and Appetizers
Layer kidney beans with salsa, light sour cream, green onions, reduced-fat cheese, guacamole and diced tomatoes for a healthful dip. Garnish with lime and cilantro and serve with baked tortilla chips. Puree kidney beans and blend them with light cream cheese and salsa for a smooth and creamy dip.