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Recipes: Beans three ways (all of them delicious)

Shrimps with romano beans

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Beans are a nutritional gold mine as well as being inexpensive and easy to cook. Featured in many regional cuisines, they are high in fibre, protein and minerals, and low in fat. During this time of year, when you're tired of all the root vegetables and kale, you can bring originality back into your diet with beans.

The following recipes allow you to replace cooked beans with canned, but using home-cooked adds much more flavour to the dish. You can still cook your own in the final recipe, where I used canned beans. I often cook twice as much as I want and then freeze half.

Beans need to be soaked before cooking but you can speed up the process with the quick-soak method. Place beans in water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil, boil for 2 minutes. Cover and let pot sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse well. If you are organized, soak them overnight. Never salt beans until you're finished cooking, because it toughens them.

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