Tag Archives: kidney beans

Legume consumption and cancer risk

Broad beans. Source: Public domain.

Broad beans. Source: Public domain.

Legumes are nutritional powerhouses. Not only are they packed with quality protein, they also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, starch, and phyto-nutrients. Most contain only a little fat.

So it is for good reason that doctors and health professionals are increasingly recommending replacing animal protein with legumes like beans, lentils, and peas – high legume consumption is associated with a lower risk for heart disease. But what about legume consumption and cancer risk? According to the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo in Legume intake and the risk of cancer: a multisite case-control study in Uruguay:


Higher intake of legumes was associated with a decreased risk of several cancers including those of the upper aerodigestive tract, stomach, colorectum, and kidney, but not lung, breast, prostate or bladder. Further investigations of these associations in prospective cohort studies are warranted.

Very interesting. It looks like legumes have a protective effect on the parts of the body they come in direct contact with. So you’re doing a lot of good for yourself if legumes are your preferred protein source.

Homemade kidney bean veggie burgers

IMG_1291I was inspired to make this after seeing this fantastic kidney bean burger recipe over at Oh.She.Cooks.. This is one of the best vegan blogs out there, full of many delicious and nutritious vegan recipes. If you are interested in going vegan, and even if you are not, be sure to visit this place for new ideas.

I’ve long wanted to make vegan veggie burgers from scratch. Although there are many brands of vegan burgers out there, they often have ingredients the health-conscious are trying to avoid. Usually it is too much sugar, or too much salt, or unhealthy fats, or some strange mystery ingredients. Or the protein content isn’t high enough. Besides this, nothing beats eating fresh by making something from scratch when you have the time.

I didn’t follow the recipe at Oh.She.Cooks. exactly, but the key ingredient in this is smashed kidney beans. I used canned kidney beans, but washed and strained them thoroughly to remove salt and contaminants.

IMG_1281Smash them as thoroughly or as unthoroughly as you want. I also added chopped onions(you can add any vegetables you want), bread crumbs, garlic powder, red pepper powder, black pepper, olive oil, and a tiny bit of salt.

IMG_1284Form into patties. I cooked them in olive oil in the pan for 10 minutes on each side. I added some lettuce and radicchio to the sandwich and it tasted great. It came out better than expected. The main problem was that the patties were kind of crumbly, but other than that not bad for the first time. This was a great vegan high protein meal for someone recovering from joggling for 21.7 miles in the nasty heat yesterday.

Trader Joe’s 17 Bean & Barley Mix

IMG_0646Trader Joe’s 17 Bean Mix is terrific for making a hearty winter soup. It has baby lima beans, black turtle beans, blackeye peas, dark red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, great northern beans, green lentils, green split peas, large lima beans, light red kidney beans, navy beans, pink white beans, yellow split peas, and pearl barley(if I am missing something, let me know). I’m used to eating just one type of bean or lentil in a meal, so this was an interesting change last night.

It has 13g of protein per serving, but I made and ate about 3 servings. I soaked the bean mix overnight, then cooked them in vegetable broth, along with kale, olive oil, black pepper, red pepper, and garlic powder for about 50 minutes. I had a little bread on the side. It was a very filling meal, full of so many different textures and subtle tastes, due to all the different types of legumes.

It was delicious, but the only problem was that the smaller lentils and beans cook a lot faster than the larger ones. So the lentils have to be turned to mush just to ensure the kidney beans are soft and cooked enough. This is the reason I usually prefer cooking just one type of legume.

Other than that, you can’t go wrong making soups or stews from this. It’s a great, high protein meal to come home to after joggling for several miles in the cold.