Eat Beans for Climate Change

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

A while back I read this article on about how swapping our beef consumption for bean consumption would make a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions. According to the article, "If every American made one dietary change: substituting beans for beef. They found that if everyone were willing and able to do that—hypothetically—the U.S. could still come close to meeting its 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals... That is, even if nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changed—and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese—this one dietary change could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target."

This statistic has stuck in my head, and I've been striving to eat more vegetarian meals at home (even though we rarely cook beef, I figure replacing beans for other animal protein also helps the cause!). I know it's hard for people to make the switch from the standard meat + starch + vegetable = dinner equation, so I thought I would share a few favorite bean and lentil recipes that make great main dishes for weeknight meals.

Deborah Madison's Lentil Salad (above) from the original Greens Cookbook is a classic. Find the recipe on (photo by Mark Weinberg).

I've been making Heidi Swanson's White Beans and Cabbage for years—it's a great one-dish meal. (Also a great way to use all the cabbage I got in this year's CSA!)

Pair this chickpea and cauliflower dish with a big green salad and you've got a hearty dinner.

Another long-time favorite is Melissa Clark's Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. Read her commentary, if you need convincing.

Melissa has a ton of bean and lentil dishes in her new book Dinner: Changing The Game that I am dying to try, including this Black Bean Skillet Dinner.

A recipe inspired by the late great Chickpea Sandwich that used to grace the menu at 'wichcraft, and a excerpt of the original recipe from Tom Colicchio's book.



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