Different kinds of beans cook at different rates, so it's best to prepare them in separate pans (working in batches if necessary). The salad can be made with just a few types instead of all five, as long as the total amount of dried beans still measures 2 1/2 cups.
Endlessly versatile soups, stews, and chili are an essential part of the vegetarian repertoire. Packed with vegetables, and often filled with protein-rich beans, these meatless recipes can be great starters or a complete meal in a bowl.
To quick-soak the beans, cover them with water in a saucepan, and bring them to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let them stand for an hour. Red beans -- a source of cholesterol-lowering fiber -- are pureed, then topped with yogurt and caramelized onions.
Ground turkey is a lower-fat alternative to beef chuck, and kidney beans -- loaded with vitamin C and omega-3s -- are an especially nutritious option. Yes, turkey contains tryptophan (an amino acid that can have a pleasantly sedative effect), but this one-pot dish has two other comfort-food essentials going for it: a warm temperature and a hearty makeup.