Tip 09: Converting Recipes – Replacing Which Meats with What Beans

I try to keep things simple during the week for our meals and to keep them as whole food as possible, so a lot of times I replace whatever meat James is having with a can of beans for my plate. I wanted to share what beans I usually tend to use to replace with what meat. This isn’t a rule, and I’m not saying that any other bean wouldn’t work just as well, but from cooking and using different beans and seeing which beans are used with what flavors, you can see which ones would go best with your “shared” meal.

Chicken: Chickpeas

Chickpeas really are the “chicken of the beans”. They even taste like boiled chicken to me. They are my favorite, and I usually use them to replace just about anything. Here are some of my favorite recipes using chickpeas to replace chicken. I didn’t want to list all of my chickpea recipes, it would be a long list. I’m kind of addicted to them.

Turkey: White Kidney Beans or Cannellini Beans

I always think of sage and thyme when I think of turkey. And most of the time when I use these beans I think of those herbs as well. I made a great white bean dip that used powdered sage… which reminds me I need to make that again and post it… Not to mention my “Verkey” recipe uses cannellini beans in it for texture and a turkey flavor.  And right now I’m working on a kale and white bean soup that I could see shredded turkey being very good in.

Pork: Pinto Beans

Need I say more? Pork and pinto beans have been paired together to the point that some people don’t even realize they can make pinto beans without adding bacon, pork, or lard. Even when pinto beans are cooking it smells like a pork roast. Here are some of my recipes that I use pinto beans solely instead of adding in the pork, bacon, or lard. I think it tastes just as good, not the same, but just as delicious without the guilt of something fattening up the recipe.


Beef: Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, or Black Lentils

I didn’t really eat nor cook with red meat a whole lot so I don’t really have too many recipes that you can see that I’ve replaced beef specifically with, but you can see how these would fit. When I think of beef I think of dark earthy, spicy, robust flavors. I think of tomato sauce, red wine, black pepper, chili powder, etc. So thinking of what I used to use red meat for – spaghetti sauce, beef burgundy, sloppy joes, meat balls, chili, etc., red kidney beans, black beans, and black lentils are all things I’ve used in those types of meals and with those flavors. Something that I’ve made and I don’t have a written recipe for yet, was a sloppy joe recipe using black lentils. Delicious!

Make your meals more plant-based, branch out, and have a happy, healthy, and fiber filled Shared Kitchen!


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