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 ensure that the lasagna doesn't come out watery, it's important that the greens go in dry. Let all the water evaporate during cooking, and then blot the leaves with a paper towel if necessary after removing them from the saute pan.
Detox Cred: Try to add one more vegetarian entree to your diet each week. Eating more plant-based meals has been proven to lower your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Brussels sprouts contain compounds that trigger the production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver.
You can make a double batch of roasted tomatoes early in the week (say, for this whole-wheat penne dinner) and save half for this recipe. With the tomatoes already prepared, the rest of the preparation will only take 15 minutes.
Cannellini beans are full of fiber and protein. Collards, rich in vitamins A and K and calcium, are in the cancer-fighting cruciferous family. Parmesan rind -- don't toss it! -- lends an incredibly rich flavor. (No bacon required.)