MBC DIetitian Blog

A Tasty & Nutritious Addition to Family Meals

Parents often crave more time to connect as a family and spending mealtime together can help accomplish this. Whether it’s talking about everyone’s day, sharing a funny story, or working out a school or work challenge, the dinner table can serve as a needed time to gather together. 

In addition to creating memories and strengthening the family bond, there are many benefits to more frequent family dinners.  For example, young children and teens who eat more family dinners have more balanced eating patterns. This includes a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods. In addition, adolescents with a higher frequency of family meals are less likely to be overweight or to have disordered eating patterns.  While teens report having high stress levels, those who eat family meals more often report having less stress; these teens are also less likely to use tobacco, alcohol or marijuana.  

While tiredness, limited time, and lack of recipe inspiration are reasons families don’t have dinner together more often, cooking with Michigan Beans provides a convenient and affordable way to assemble quick meals that provide taste, texture and nutritional benefits. Beans provide key nutrients of need, such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and zinc and they can be used to create a delicious main meal in minutes, or a tasty side dish. And beans count as both a protein and a vegetable serving so they do double-duty as a meal ingredient to keep your family healthy and well.

Our recipes below are an easy way to add variety and fun to family meals. Making Sheet Pan Nachos with Beans, for example, allows each family member to customize their dinner by choosing their toppings; the family can both make and enjoy dinner together.  Cooking once and eating twice ensures you have a meal ready on busy week nights – our Black Bean and Beef Blend and Can Do Chili are delicious recipes for this option as they can be used in a variety of dishes. 

Time to gather around the table with more family meals and Michigan Beans – healthy choices that will provide benefits today and for years to come.  

Plant-Powered Black Bean & Beef Blend – Make Once – Eat Twice! Blend yields approximately 8 cups which can be used in our Mexican Lasagna and Burrito Stuffed Peppers recipes below. Prep time: 20 minutes

See recipe

Burrito Stuffed Peppers                                  

See recipe

Mexican Lasagna

See recipe 

Sheet Pan Nachos with Beans – A budget-friendly meal idea that is guaranteed to be a family favorite. Get the kids involved in the assembly and feel free to be creative with the ingredients so you can use up what’s on hand. 

See recipe

Can Do Chili – By opening a few cans this quick and delicious chili comes together in minutes! 

Lean ground beef simmered with spices, Michigan Beans, tomatoes, and corn. Use leftover chili to make quick chili-cheese topped baked potatoes for another meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) Michigan Kidney Beans
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Michigan Pinto Beans
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes with garlic and onions
  • 1 can (15 oz.) no added salt, whole kernel corn, with liquid
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the ground beef in a large pot over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain off fat.
  2. Add kidney and pinto beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt and pepper. 
  3. Simmer over low heat for about 40-60 minutes. 
  4. Serve with a variety of toppings (avocado, shredded cheese, light sour cream) and corn muffins.

Click here for more delicious recipes with Michigan Beans.

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