1. Leek and bean linguine
Heat a knob of butter in a large pan over a medium-low heat. Add 400g washed, sliced leeks with some salt and pepper. Cook for 7-8 minutes until softened, stirring often. Drain and rinse 2 x 400g tins of cannellini beans and add to the pan with 850ml vegetable or chicken stock and 1 tsp dried thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 350g linguine until just al dente. Stir 100ml cream and 50g grated Parmesan into the sauce, then drain the pasta and stir that in. Heat through for two minutes, then serve.
2. Bean and pepper burrito
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add ½ a chopped red onion and ½ a deseeded and chopped red pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 crushed garlic clove and cook for one minute. Add 1 x 400g tin of pinto, black or kidney beans and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in 2 tbsp soft cream cheese with some salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in 1 tbsp chopped coriander and 1 tbsp grated Cheddar. Warm a large tortilla wrap in the microwave for 30 seconds, then spoon the beans down the middle of the wrap and roll up.
3. Bean and veggie jambalaya
Cook 350g rice according to package instructions, then cool to room temperature. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan over a medium-high heat and cook 1 chopped onion, 2 deseeded, chopped red or green peppers and 1 chopped celery stalk for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 bay leaf, 1 deseeded, chopped chilli and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Cook for two minutes, then stir in 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp cayenne pepper and ½ tsp paprika and stir to combine. Add 4 tbsp vegetable stock, ½ x 400g tin of kidney beans, 2 tbsp chopped coriander and the rice. Stir well and cook for 5-6 minutes until the rice absorbs all of the liquid.
4. High-fibre bean, veg and bacon soup
Cook 3 streaky bacon rashers in a pan over a medium heat until golden. Set aside and discard half of the bacon fat from the pan. Return the pan to a medium-high heat and cook ½ a chopped onion, 1 chopped celery stalk, 1 chopped carrot and 1 chopped courgette for 3-4 minutes. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and cook for one minute. Add 1l chicken stock and 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add 1 x 400g tin of butter or cannellini beans and cook for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the bacon. Taste and add salt and black pepper as necessary. Serve hot.
5. Bean and kale comfort food gratin
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Heat 1 ½ tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 100g chopped kale and some salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes until very soft, adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed. Add 1 crushed garlic clove for the final minute. Stir in 2 x 400 tins of chopped tomatoes, 20g butter, 1 tsp fresh thyme and 1 x 400g tin of butter beans. Cook for 4-5 minutes until reduced slightly. Transfer to a baking dish. In a small bowl, stir 1 ½ tbsp olive oil into 120g breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top of the the gratin. Bake for 10-12 minutes, uncovered, until golden brown. Divide between plates and drizzle with a little olive oil to serve.
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