Thrifty Thursday: Mexican Style Pizzas

Everyone loves pizza, and these Mexican-style pizzas use a flour tortilla in place of a crust. Using a flour tortilla is a great way to put together a complete meal that can be assembled in just a few minutes. Beans are also used on the pizza for a great, low-cost source of plant-based protein.
 

Add Beans to Your Summer Menu

Hot summer days call for simple suppers with refreshing flavors like lemon and mint. Keep a jar of homemade mint vinaigrette dressing in your refrigerator and plenty of canned beans on hand. That way you’ll always be able to create a fast summer meal in minutes.

Combine a can of rinsed beans with chopped scallions, carrots and celery. You can also add cooked grains like quinoa or barley if you like. Then dress to taste with mint vinaigrette. Get the recipe here.

Kick Off Your Summer with Black Bean Burgers

With fiber-rich, protein-packed beans as their base, there is a reason that Chili’s iconic black bean burger is listed as the “guiltless” option on their menu.
 
If you’re a fan of these tasty burgers, you can make them at home for a weekend barbecue or fast weeknight supper. This copycat recipe suggests frying the burgers in a small amount of vegetable oil, but you can also place the burgers in a grilling basket and cook them over the grill.
 

Social Media Campaign Promotes Dry Beans in Turkey

 
With support from the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s Agricultural Trade Promotion program, the U.S. Dry Bean Council kicked off a social media campaign in Turkey. The goal is to educate Turkish consumers about all dry bean classes grown in the United States and increase U.S. exports to Turkey. Although they consume dry beans virtually every day, few Turkish consumers know that the U.S. is a major supplier of dry beans.
 
The campaign features recipes and weekly meal plans on Facebook and Instagram, the two largest social media platforms in Turkey. A second component of the program is the creation of a Turkish-language website to provide consumers with information regarding the types of dry beans that the U.S. has to offer, as well as the health benefits.
 

Thrifty Thursday: One-Pot BBQ Chicken & Bean Pot-Pie

This time of year you’re probably craving the flavors of summer barbecue. However, some nights it’s a little too cold to get outside and fire up the grill. This one pot BBQ Chicken & Bean Pot Pie combines all the flavors of summer into one dish, and the whole recipe can be made inside in the oven. Remember that using beans not only adds great flavor and nutrition, it also saves money. Beans cost about four times less than chicken, so using beans are part of your protein stretches your dollar. Click here to watch Megan Myrdal from Northarvest demo this recipe on North Dakota Today. 

One-Pot BBQ Chicken & Beans Pot Pie

Yield: 10 servings
Pre Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1 ½ – 2 lbs of chicken, cooked through & shredded or cubed
¾ cup barbecue sauce (smokey flavored)
1 (22 oz) can BUSH’s Southern Pit Barbeque Grillin’ Beans
1 (14.5 oz) can Fire Roasted Corn (or regular – fire roasted adds more flavor)
½ medium green bell pepper, diced
1 box (14-16 ounces) cornbread mix + ingredients listed on box (milk and eggs)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place cooked, shredded chicken in a bowl (or baking dish). Add beans, corn, bell pepper and remaining bbq sauce and stir to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish (if mixed in bowl)
In a separate bowl, mix together the baking mix, milk and egg and 1 cup of cheese. Spoon cornbread mixture evenly over the chicken and beans mixture.
Bake for 30-40 minutes., until cornbread is golden brown on top. You’ll know the dish is ready when the mixture is bubbly and the cornbread is baked through.
Remove from oven and sprinkle top with remaining cheese while hot from the oven, so cheese melts into the top of the cornbread.

Recipe adapted from Tidy Mom

Proposals Being Accepted for the Pulse Crop Health Initiative

The Pulse Crop Health Initiative is seeking submissions for research proposals for fiscal year 2019 funding. The goal of the Initiative is to use cooperative research on pulse crops, including dry beans, to provide solutions to the critical health and sustainability challenges facing the United States and the global community. The Initiative is guided by a steering committee that includes commodity groups, food industry, the health and nutrition community and USDA/ARS representatives.

Examples of dry bean focused research projects funded in the last year include enhancing nutritional traits and an analysis of human health traits. There is approximately $2.4 million available for funding, and the deadline for submission of new project proposals is June 17.

More information on submission guidelines, average annual budgets for previously funded projects or a template for submission is available by contacting Mike Grusak at mike.grusak@ars.usda.gov .

Dry Bean Council Meets with Cuban Officials

The U.S. Dry Bean Council, along with representatives from other agricultural trade groups, met with Ambassador Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, General Director for U.S. Affairs for Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, in Washington DC earlier this month.
 
Despite the renewal of several regulations limiting trade with Cuba, Cuba remains interested in engaging with U.S. entities whose commercial activities are still permitted by regulations. Fortunately, those regulations remain favorable to agriculture.
 
For the first time, the 2018 Farm Bill included language allowing for the use of marketing funds granted under the MAP and FMD programs to conduct trade development activities in Cuba. USDBC will continue to provide updates on this opportunity as it develops.

Brighten Your Day with Beans

Although depression and other mood disorders are complex conditions that often require comprehensive treatment, evidence suggests that food choices can help with symptoms. In the latest study on this topic, researchers from Spain looked at eating habits of people with and without symptoms of depression.
 
The subjects who didn’t have depression were more likely to be regular consumers of beans. Legumes are rich in the amino acid tryptophan and the mineral magnesium, both of which have been linked to improvements in mood and mental well-being.
 

Thrifty Thursday: Cheesy Pasta and Bean Bake

Did you know that for less than $10 you can make a delicious and nutritious meal for the entire family? This past week, Northarvest Director of Domestic Marketing & Communication Megan Myrdal was on North Dakota Today featuring cheesy past and bean bake.
 
Using beans as a protein is a great a way to reduce the cost of any hotdish recipe. Additionally, a serving of beans is significantly less than a serving of meat.
 

Roasted Beans Make a Simple Snack

Roasted beans make a crunchy, healthy inexpensive snack or topping for salad. And they’re easy to make at home. Large, firm types like pinto or kidney beans work best.
 
Drain and rinse a 15-ounce can of beans. Toss them in a bowl with one tablespoon of olive oil and ½ to ¾ teaspoons of favorite spices like chili powder and garlic powder plus a sprinkle of salt. Transfer the beans to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until they are dry and crisp, about 30 minutes.
 
(Recipe courtesy of The Bean Institute)