Vegan - Vegetarian RecipesBeans and Legumes - Ingredients Descriptions and Photos
From All-Creatures.org Vegan - Vegetarian Recipe Book: How Mary and Frank and Friends Eat

"We are dedicated to cruelty-free living through a vegetarian - vegan lifestyle. Let no animal suffer or die that we may live!"

Ingredients Descriptions and Photos
Beans and Legumes

Beans, Black
(Beans, Black)  Black beans, or black turtle beans, as they are also known, may have been so named because of their shiny black appearance.  They are one of the smaller sized bean.  Black beans are a variety of the common bean which has a 7,000 year history in Central America, where they originated. Black beans are very nutritious and hold their shape well while cooking. We put cooked black beans on our salads, and use them in soups and in a number of main dishes, especially Latin American and Caribbean dishes.  See our nutritional charts and recipes by clicking on the photo or link.
Beans, Black, Canned
(Beans, Black, Canned)  Canned black beans are a quick and easy way to enjoy this bean on salads and in "quick" recipes.  Do not buy canned black beans that have sugar or corn syrup added.  The major drawback to using canned black beans is the added salt, but pouring off the liquid before using them in a recipe will reduce some of the salt.  To see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Beans, Cannellini, canned
(Beans, Cannellini, canned)  Cannellini are white kidney beans.  We use these canned cannellini beans because of their convenience.  Their only drawback is the salt content, but these beans can be used in combinations with other unsalted ingredients to add the salt taste.  We use these white kidney beans as a base for dips, in "quickie" soups, and in a mixed bean salad.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Beans, Great Northern
(Beans, Great Northern)  Great northern beans are one of the fastest cooking beans.  They usually begin to fall apart after about one hour of cooking time, without pre-soaking.  We usually cook them for about 2 hours.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional information, click on the photo or link.
Beans, Great Northern, Canned
(Beans, Great Northern, Canned)  Even though great northern beans are one of the fastest cooking beans, the canned beans are a convenient way to enjoy these beans for a quick meal.  They can be added to salads, vegetable soups, and for making cream sauces and dips.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional information, click on the photo or link.
Beans, Green
(Beans, Green)  The most commonly eaten fresh beans are the green beans, which are also called snap beans or string beans.  The outer green covering is an edible bean pod.  We enjoy them raw in salads or with dips, or cooked plain or in other dishes.  Select beans that are young (without large bulges in the pod from maturing beans), firm, and bright in color and without blemishes.  The outer texture of the bean should feel velvety.  See the nutritional charts for raw and cooked green beans by clicking on the photo or link.
Beans, Kidney
(Beans, Kidney)  Kidney beans are so-called, because they are shaped like a kidney, and they usually hold their shape when cooked.  One of the other nice features of kidney beans is that they absorb the flavor of the seasonings with which they are being cooked.  Kidney beans and other beans such as pinto beans, navy beans and black beans are known scientifically as Phaseolus vulgaris. They are referred to as “common beans” probably owing to the fact that they all derived from a common bean ancestor that originated in Peru.  They are high in protein (22.5%), and very nutritious.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Beans, Kidney, canned
(Beans, Kidney, canned)  Red kidney beans are high in fiber.  We use canned kidney beans for their convenience.  Their only drawback is their salt content, but when mixed with other unsalted ingredients, the beans add the salt taste.  The canned kidney beans are great for "quickie" soups and for mixed bean salads.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Beans, Kidney, Dark Red
(Beans, Kidney, Dark Red) We could not find a lot of specific information about dark red kidney kidney beans; however, on eHow, we did find this comment: "Dark red kidney beans and light red kidney beans, while slightly different in color, are extremely similar in flavor, texture and nutritional value. While the two beans are actually different species, they can be used interchangeably." Dark red kidney been have a slightly thicker skin than the lighter red species, but we could find nothing about the specific species name, and references still list them as native to Central and South America. Dark red kidney beans, like other kidney beans have a whitish interior.  We use these cooked dark red kidney beans on our salads, in chili, and in other recipes calling for kidney beans.
Beans, Lima, Baby
(Beans, Lima, Baby)  Baby lima beans are a smaller, thin-skinned, milder flavored variety; they are not the same as the immature large lima beans.  Baby lima beans are also less starchy than the larger "Fordhook" or "Butter" variety.  Lima beans are believed to have originated in Guatemala and Southern Mexico about 5,000 years ago.  Baby limas are slightly over 20% protein and are very nutritious.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Beans, Mung
(Beans, Mung)  Mung beans are among the smallest of beans.  They are quite common in Asia, but are not usually sold in supermarkets in the United States.  We purchase our mung beans from our coop, a health food store, or from a specialty food store.  Sprouted mung beans are a common ingredient in many Chinese recipes.  Mung beans are also used to make cellophane noodles.  Whole mung beans can also be used in soup and other recipes.
Beans, Navy
(Beans, Navy)  Navy beans got their name because they used to be a staple on U. S. Naval ships.  They are a mild flavored bean which is excellent for soups and baking.  Navy beans and other beans, such as pinto beans and black beans, are all known scientifically as Phaseolus vulgaris. They are referred to as “common beans” probably because they all derived from a common bean ancestor that originated in Peru. Navy beans  are high in protein (22.33%) and minerals.  To enlarge the photo and see nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Beans, Pinto
(Beans, Pinto)  Pinto beans are so named because of their characteristic spots.  Pinto beans are related to kidney beans, but, in our opinion, they have a stronger flavor.  They are a native of Mexico and are used in many of their recipes.  Pinto beans can also be pureed and used in dips, as a soup base, or to thicken soups and sauces.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional information, click on the photo or link.
Beans, Pinto, Canned
(Beans, Pinto, Canned)  Most of the characteristic spots of the dry pinto bean disappear when cooked.  We prefer to cook the dry beans, but the canned beans are great (except for the added salt) for preparing a quick meal.  Canned pinto beans can be used in dips, for a tortilla filling, or in soups.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional information, click on the photo or link.
Beans, Mexican Red (see Beans, Small Red)

Beans, Small Red
(Beans, Small Red)  Small red beans are similar to red kidney beans, except that they are smaller in size, and, in our opinion, their flavor is slightly different. Small red beans are also called Mexican Red Beans.  They hold their shape and firmness when cooked.  Small red beans can be used in soups, salads, chili and Creole dishes.
Beans, White Kidney, canned (see Beans, Cannellini, canned)

Black-eyed Peas or Cowpeas
(Black-eyed Peas or Cowpeas)  Black-eyed peas (beans) are wonderful in soups, which is the most frequent way that we prepare them.  Every bean variety has a slightly different flavor and it is good to try different ones in your recipes.  See the nutritional chart for raw and cooked black-eyed peas by clicking on the photo or link.
Black-eyed Peas or Cowpeas, Canned
(Black-eyed Peas or Cowpeas, Canned)  Canned black-eyed peas are a convenient and quick way to enjoy these delicious beans; the only drawback being that most canned black-eyed peas are prepared with salt.  For this reason, we recommend draining off the liquid before adding the black-eyed peas to your recipe.  Canned black-eyed peas can be used in salads, dips, tortilla filling, and other recipes.
Carob Powder
(Carob Powder)  Carob powder is produced by grinding the roasted beans from the pods of a Mediterranean evergreen leguminous tree.  For many people, including us, carob has taken the place of cocoa and chocolate.  And, unlike cocoa and chocolate, carob has no caffeine and almost no fat.  And since carob is sweet, it requires much less sweetener than chocolate and cocoa.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Chick Peas or Garbanzos
(Chick Peas or Garbanzos)  Dried chick peas (garbanzos) are cooked and eaten on salads, or in soups or other dishes.  The dried beans (peas) are also ground into a flour for making falafel or other recipes.  Chick peas are higher in fat and protein than other commonly eaten beans.  See the nutritional chart for raw and cooked chick peas by clicking on the photo or links.
Chick Peas or Garbanzos, Canned
(Chick Peas or Garbanzos, Canned)  Canned chick peas (garbanzos) are a quick way to enjoy this bean in salads and other recipes.  The drawback to the canned variety of chick peas is that they are usually prepared with salt.  We suggest that you drain off the liquid before using them.  Mostly, we use canned chick peas on our salads, as a last minute treat.  Chick peas are higher in fat and protein than other commonly eaten beans.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Cowpeas (see Black-eyed Peas and Black-eyed Peas, Canned)

Lentils
(Lentils)  Lentils are legumes (beans) that have been cultivated for thousands of years.  The actual size of a lentil is about 1/4 inch.  They are mentioned in the Bible in 2 Samuel 17:28, 23:11 and in Ezekiel 4:9 where they are one of the ingredients of Ezekiel's bread.  Nutritional information: a 1/4 cup (dry) serving of lentils (32 grams) has no fat, 19 grams of complex carbohydrate - 10 grams of which is digestible (40 calories) and 9 grams in the form of dietary fiber - and 8 grams of protein (32 calories).  A serving of lentils also provides 15% of our daily requirement of iron.
Lentils, French
(Lentils, French)  French lentils are a small dark speckled lentil, which are sometimes referred to as "green".  They are a firmer lentil that takes a little longer to cook, but they have an excellent flavor.  French lentils originated in Southeast Asia along the Indus River, where they remain quite popular. Their French name "Puy" comes from their growth in the Puy region of France. We have not found French lentils in supermarkets in the United States, but they are readily available from coops, health food stores, and many specialty food stores.  They are an excellent ingredient for soups, salads, and many other recipes, including curries.  The actual size of the French green lentils can be seen in the photo of the cup to the left.  We could not find nutritional chart information for these lentils, but like other lentils, the French green are low in fat and high in protein and fiber.
Lentils, Red
(Lentils, Red)  Red lentils are the fastest cooking lentil that we have prepared.  The skins begin to come off after about five minutes of cooking and the lentils begin to come apart after about ten minutes.  During the cooking process, the red lentils change from their red color to a yellow-gold color.  They are great for making soups and chowders.  The only places we have found that sell red lentils are health food stores and food coops.  We could not find specific nutritional information for "red" lentils, but did find information on "pink" lentils, which we suspect may be the same lentil with a different name.
Peanuts
(Peanuts)  Peanuts are not really a nut, but an underground growing bean or pea, which led to their being called "Goober's peas".   Dry roasted peanuts are good tasting, a fun food (especially when in the shell) and not a junk food; but they are very high in calories because of their high oil content.  The nutritional chart, which can be seen by clicking on the photo or link, is for the shelled nuts.
Peas, Green Split
(Peas, Green Split)  Green split peas are commonly sold in 1-pound bags in most supermarkets.  Organic green split peas can be found in most health food stores.  We have found that green split peas are usually the least expensive dried bean in the markets.  When cooked, they easily break down to make a thick creamy soup or chowder, and unlike other legumes, split peas require no pre-soaking, and will soften in about two hours.  See the nutritional chart for raw and cooked split peas by clicking on the photo or link.
Peas, Yellow Split
(Peas, Yellow Split)  Yellow split peas are not commonly found in the United States, but they are quite popular in Northern Europe and other parts of the world.  Some larger supermarkets carry yellow split peas in the ethnic food section, where they are usually sold in 1-pound plastic bags.  They are almost always found in health food stores, where they are sold unpackaged in bulk bins.  Both green and yellow split peas, have an advantage over dried beans: they are as nutritious as beans, but they do not need to be soaked before they're cooked, that is, unless they have been stored for a long time.  For this reason, it is best to buy yellow split peas from a store that has a high turnover of their stock. We could not find specific nutritional information for yellow split peas.
Soup Mix
(Soup Mix)  This soup mix is a blending of approximately two dozen different dried beans and grains (not all are visible in the photos).  We purchase this mix from our food co-op.  The photo to the left shows the actual size of the soup mix beans and grains.  This soup mix adds interest and variety to any bean soup.  Try our spicy mixed bean soup or a recipe of your own.
Soybeans
(Soybeans)  Soybeans are not generally sold in supermarkets, but they are available at hearth food stores and from coops.  Some of the most common uses of soybeans are in making textured vegetable protein (TVP), soy milk, and tofu.  Soybeans have been grown in China for over 3,000 years, but are now grown in many parts of the world.  Soybeans must be cooked in order for the protein to be digested.  To enlarge the photo and see our nutritional charts for raw and cooked soybeans, click on the photo or link.
Tofu, block
(Tofu, block)  This is a one pound block of firm tofu, a bean curd made from soy beans.  Tofu is a very versatile product.  It can be broiled or roasted.  It can be used in salads, soups, stir fries, dips, and in making cream sauces.  Tofu has very little flavor of its own, but readily picks up the flavor of the other ingredients.  See nutritional information by clicking on the photo or link.

Return to: Ingredients Description and Photos

Vegan FlagThe above recipe is in keeping with God's creation intent (Genesis 1:29-31): 'Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-- everything that has the breath of life in it-- I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.' (NIV) Let no animal suffer or die that we may live!