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In honor of Meatless Mondays – the benefits of beans!

Video: Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Cindy Kleckner talks about the benefits of beans!

I’ve long been a fan of beans. Not much of a meat eater so it’s a great way for me to get my protein. I had the pleasure of chatting with Cooper Clinic registered dietitian Cindy Kleckner at the annual Cooper Nutrition Expo during National Nutrition Month about the benefits of beans. Cindy is co-author along with Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies. It’s loaded with information and features 150 of Cindy’s sodium-friendly recipes. Here is one of my favorites using beans. I love hot artichoke dips but usually they’re loaded with lots of cheese making for a rather unhealthy, high calorie appetizer. Not Cindy’s version!

Hot Artichoke Bean Dip

(page 181, Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies)

  • 1.5 cups reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • two 14-oz cans artichoke hearts, well rinsed and drained or four 4-oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts
  • one 15.5oz can Great Northern beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, 1 can (or 2 jars) of artichoke hearts and beans in food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add the remaining artichokes, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and garlic. Pulse until artichokes are coarsely chopped.
  3. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray. Spoon the mixture into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Yields 24 servings

Per serving: 50 calories; 3g fat (1g sat fat); 5mg cholesterol; 80mg sodium; 5g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 2g protein

Serve with your favorite unsalted whole grain crackers, pita chips or bread cubes.

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