Last weekend when Bush’s Beans sent me to Napa Valley, it was more than a wonderful weekend of learning and kitchen fun. I always knew that beans were healthy for you, but the meaning of the “bean” took on a whole new flavor for me as we created an array of recipes in the CIA’s William’s Center for Flavor Discovery Kitchen.

What caught my attention, having lost my Mother and recently my favorite Auntie to cancer, was that The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends a diet rich in a variety of plant-based foods and offers these tips for adding beans to your diet:

  • Keep canned beans in your pantry
  • Add a new-to-you bean to your diet once or twice a week
  • Make meatless meals by substituting beans for the meat in your favorite recipes

So keeping in mind that diets including beans may reduce risks of heart disease and certain cancers, I am truly going to try to implement this idea in my family’s diet. It only makes sense and in a way, it’s a wake-up call.

Some nutrients in beans which may help fight cancer include: antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals. We have the information; it only makes sense to me to start using more beans!

Back to the kitchen. As soon as we tied on our aprons and geared up for cooking, we got our hands dirty and the smells were tantalizing as Amy (She Wears Many Hats) and I made this incredible recipe that I am going to share with you today!

I’ll even share our blunders! Yup, I drained the beans (when it called for undrained!) and then as we were dishing up, we realized we’d forgotten to add the spinach!

We all make mistakes in the kitchen, right?

Bush’s Chicken and Kidney Beans Spanish Stew
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup Spanish chorizo, cut in 1/4″ chunks (peel it first)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced or quartered
1 1/2 cups onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. Spanish paprika (or regular, but I DID buy some at the CIA Store)
1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped (I’ll be using my own garden roasted tomatoes!)
3 cups chicken stock
1 can Bush’s Red Kidney Beans, with liquid (Don’t drain like I did – oops! I had to ask Chef Andy what to do!)
2 cups baby spinach, cleaned
1 cup chicken, cooked, shredded
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat olive oil in large pan; add chorizo, cook for 1 minute.

Add mushrooms, cook for 4 minutes.

Actually, Connie Guttersen, R.D., PhD told us that the longer you cook the mushrooms, the tastier.

Add onions, cook until caramelized, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and paprika, cook until aromatic.

Add tomatoes, stock, beans and their liquid. Bring to simmer, cook for 20 minutes.

Add spinach, chicken and vinegar. Cook until spinach wilts, approximately 4 minutes.

Pour into a beautiful dish and serve. You can even serve with sour cream or plain yogurt on top.

Delicious. I want to make it for my family this week because we LOVE red kidney beans.

Would you mind sharing what bean you cook the most with?

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