Since there's food galore during the holidays themselves, I like giving this zippy mix as an after-Christmas present instead. I just slip the containers of seasoning, beans and rice into a decorative paper bag. A recipe card completes the package.
I discovered this recipe several years ago at a church function. The combination of flavors is tantalizing-this dish is a real crowd-pleaser! The kidney beans, chili beans and corn chips all represent the cooking of the West/Southwest region. This dish is great for your family, or for family gatherings.
I've made these zesty beans many times for picnics and potlucks—they're hearty and zippy with chili pepper and the extra flavor of lentils in the ban mix. The recipe can be made ahead and heated before serving.
—Arthur Morris, Washington, Pennsylvania
Basil and parsley, plus a generous dash of lemon, help perk up the flavors in this pretty and appealing side dish from Dorothy Smith of El Dorado, Arkansas. Starring both pasta and potatoes, it's a hearty choice to round out almost any menu.
Since my husband's a Navy meteorologist, we've sampled food all over the world. I adapted this recipe from one I was given while we were stationed on the Aleutian Islands. Fresh meat was difficult to obtain in that part of Alaska, so I learned to make many meals featuring grains and legumes instead!
We're looking forward to retiring soon to a small farm in central Maine. All three of our children were 4-H leader for 9 years.
"My husband and I are fans of canned beans...especially when they're combined with pasta," shares Carol Gaus of Itasca, Illinois. "This quick-to-fix recipe makes a wonderful after-work meal served with whole wheat rolls and a salad with light vinaigrette dressing."
For years, my mother made this savory-sweet bean dish. I was always thrilled when it was on the menu, and now I serve it often to my own family. You can vary the types of beans used, if you wish.
This recipe is popular on both sides of the border. It came from a friend in Alaska, then traveled with me to old Mexico, where I lived for 5 years, and is now a potluck favorite in my Arkansas community. It's easy to keep the beans warm and serve from a slow cooker.
-Barbara Short, Mena, Arkansas
Whipped up by our Test Kitchen, this colorful combination of beans, summer squash, tomatoes and spinach makes a bright addition to any meal. Topped with roasted almonds and served warm, this tasty side dish is sure to be requested often!