Quick Kitchen Your Guide To Cooking With Beans

Quick Kitchen: Your guide to cooking with beans

From chickpeas to black beans and everything in between, we discover the pros and cons cooking with beans and a delicious meat-free burger recipe!

While beans may be famed for being the musical fruit, there’s a lot more to them than meets the ears, nose and eye.

Let’s face it, beyond the stockpiling of beans that happened at the beginning of a certain p-word last year, many of us rarely picked up a can of beans.

Let me tell you — beyond being the backbone of hummus, Mexican chilli and my favourite dish ever, dal, legumes are nutrient-dense and rich in fibre, B vitamins and protein. Plus, they’re beneficial for the health of your heart, gut and waistline. So, which bean or legume is the healthiest?


Pros: Firstly, hummus. That’s all we need to know (only kidding). Chickpeas are full of fibre and have 19g of protein per 100g. They reduce blood-sugar level, the risk of severe diseases and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Plus, the water tinned chickpeas swim in is called aquafaba, which is extremely fun to say and great for replacing whipped egg whites.

Cons: Canned chickpeas can contain a hefty amount of sodium and sugar. To avoid this, opt for canned chickpeas with no added salt or boil them yourself.

How to consume them: Make hummus or use them in a casserole.


Pros: Lentils offer a decent amount of protein, weighing in at 9g per 100g. They also have 3.8g of fibre per 100g serve. Our gut and heart love lentils, as they help improve bowel function by slowing our stomach emptying rate while reducing LDL cholesterol. Lentils also contain antioxidants that can minimise vascular stiffness.

Cons: They’re not as high in protein or fibre as chickpeas. Plus, large amounts can cause bloating and gas and exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome.

How to consume them: In a word — dal.


Pros: Peas are high in fibre, low in fat and contain no cholesterol. Peas are small but mighty, helping to reduce blood triglycerides and increase fullness.

Cons: Green peas aren’t as high in protein as other legumes, weighing in at only 5g of protein per 100g.

How to consume them: Have a smashing time eating them smashed with a crispy pan-fried salmon and saffron aioli. You can find the recipe in WellBeing issue 192.

Kidney beans

Pros: Coming in at a whopping 24g of protein and 25g of fibre per 100g, kidney beans are the dark horse of the legume world. Kidney beans are high in the minerals magnesium, zinc and calcium. They help slow the absorption of sugar into the blood and reduce blood sugar levels. In traditional Chinese medicine, kidney beans are used for their ability to tonify blood and yin, clear heat and resolve dampness, which sounds pretty cool to me.

Cons: Like most legumes, improperly cooked kidney beans can cause flatulence, bloating and gastrointestinal issues.

How to consume them: To jazz up your Mexican dishes and casseroles.


Pros: Did you know soybeans (the bean that tofu is made from) are edamame beans! Soybeans are rich in antioxidants, specifically isoflavone, which is wonderful during menopause, as it helps mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body. Plus, soybeans help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Cons: While soybeans have an awful reputation for causing man boobs and breast cancer, the jury is out on this one.

How to consume them: Natural and non-GMO soy products (like tofu, tempeh and edamame beans) are perfectly safe and, dare I say it, good for you to consume in moderation. However, as a clinical nutritionist, I recommend staying away from soy isoflavone supplements and foods made with soy protein isolate. Tempeh is the star of the show in my vegan caesar salad.

Black beans

Pros: Black beans contain 8.9g of protein per 100g, and in a single serve 64 per cent of our recommended daily intake of folate and 20 per cent of our intake of iron. They’re also a great source of fibre and antioxidants and excellent for our gut and blood-sugar levels.

Cons: All beans, including black beans, contain complex sugars that the body can struggle to digest if we lack certain enzymes, causing gas and gastroinestinal discomfort.

How to consume them: Did someone say black bean burgers?

If you’re new to beans, I recommend incorporating them into your diet slowly and seeing how your body reacts to avoid untoward effects.

My Black Bean Burgers with Aioli are deliciously nutritious and a total win on taste factor. These burgers are also delicious served with a pesto or wholegrain mustard. If you don’t have time to make your own aioli you can use a store-bought one.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think on my Instagram page @leesupercharged.

Black Bean Burgers With Aioli 1152x1536
Black Bean Burgers With Aioli


Quick Kitchen: Your guide to cooking with beans

By: Lee Holmes

From chickpeas to black beans and everything in between, we discover the pros and cons cooking with beans and a delicious meat-free burger recipe!



Prep time

Cook time



  • Lemon & Garlic Aioli
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice + extra as needed
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 310mL light olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black Bean Patties
  • 75g (½ cup) sunflower seeds
  • 75g (½ cup) pumpkin seeds
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 400g tinned black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    ½ chilli, chopped
    2 tbsp cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Mushroom Marinade
  • 60mL coconut aminos or wheat-free tamari
    1 tsp coconut sugar
    1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
    4 large portobello mushrooms
  • Salad
  • 20g (½ tightly packed cup) rocket, washed & dried
  • 4 thin slices red onion
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cucumber, sliced


  • To make the aioli, beat the egg yolks and garlic in a small bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the lemon juice and water and keep beating. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, beating continuously, until the mixture has the desired consistency. Add more lemon juice and sea salt to taste if needed. Alternatively, prepare in a food processor. The aioli will keep in a sterilised, tightly sealed jar in the fridge for up to seven days.
  • Once the aioli is made, preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease a baking tray.
  • Pulse the sunflower seeds and pepitas in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the carrot and pulse for 10 secs.
  • Add three-quarters of the black beans, the onion, spices, chilli, olive oil, salt and pepper, then pulse again for 10 secs. Stir the remaining beans into the mixture.
  • Using your hands, shape portions of the mixture into four small patties and place them on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 20 mins.
  • Meanwhile, make a marinade for the mushrooms by mixing the coconut aminos, coconut sugar and vinegar in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Put the mushrooms in a large frying pan, generously spoon over the marinade, then place over medium heat until cooked through.
  • To assemble the burgers, place one mushroom on each plate, lay a black bean patty on top, then add the rocket, slices of onion, tomato and cucumber, and top with the aioli.


Tried this recipe? Mention @wellbeing_magazine or tag #wbrecipe!

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes is a nutritionist, yoga and meditation teacher, wholefoods chef, Lifestyle Food Channel’s Healthy Eating Expert, blogger and author of the best-selling books Supercharged Food: Eat Your Way to Health, Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, Heal your Gut, Eat Right for Your Shape and Supercharged Food for Kids.

Lee’s food philosophy is all about S.O.L.E. food: sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Her main goal is to alter the perception that cooking fresh, wholesome, nutrient-rich meals is difficult, complicated and time-consuming. From posting recipes, her passion to share her autoimmune disease story and help others has snowballed and the blog has recently taken home the overall prize at the Bupa Health Influencer Awards as well as the best blog in the Healthy Eating category. She also runs a four-week online Heal Your Gut program.

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