Friday focus: Red Kidney Beans

Like all beans, red kidney beans are a power-house of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
They are an excellent source of protein, which helps keep energy levels steady as well as maintaining and repairing cells. One average serving of red kidney beans provides one third of the recommended daily intake of fibre. Fibre curbs hunger for longer which may help you in your weight loss endeavours and encourages good digestion and efficient elimination of toxins and waste matter.

Red kidney beans are also rich in vitamin B1 to keep the memory sharp and in magnesium to promote physical and mental relaxation. They also contain iron, which is essential for the production of the immune system’s antibodies and white blood cells.
Finally, red kidney beans are rich in folic acid, a B vitamin that is important for good reproductive health, especially in early pregnancy for protecting the foetus from spina bifida. Folic acid also helps speed up wound healing and support cardio-vascular health.







Vegetarian Chilli


Serves 2
1tbsp olive oil


1 small onion, chopped


1 red chilli, finely chopped (seeds and ribs removed if you do not want this dish too spicy)


2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


1tsp ground coriander


½tsp ground cumin


4 large mushrooms, roughly chopped


1tbsp apple cider vinegar


1 tin of red kidney beans (400g), drained and rinsed


1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)


1tsp of sugar


Salt and pepper to taste




(Note: you could use dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight then cooked, for this recipe. But I see no problem with using tinned beans or vegetables. They are incredibly handy and practical if you are pushed for time. However, as they are often packed in salt and sugar water, please make sure that you rinse them thoroughly before using them.)




1-      Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low to medium heat and cook the onion for 10 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the garlic and red chilli and cook for an extra 2 minutes until fragrant (make sure the garlic does not burn as it will turn bitter.)
2-      Add the ground coriander and cumin and cook for another minute.
3-      Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften (stir often.)
4-      Add the cider vinegar to deglaze the pan (scrape the bottom of the pan to release the flavours.)
5-      Add the red kidney beans, tomatoes and sugar to the pan. Pour freshly boiled water a third of the way up in the empty tomato tin and add to the saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes until piping hot.
6-      Add salt and pepper to taste. This vegetarian chilli can be served with boiled brown rice.




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