Bean Dishes for Breakfast

Beans may not be common fare for American breakfasts, but they are not the least bit unusual in some parts of the world. Starting the day with beans makes sense. Their combination of protein and fiber gives them staying power, keeping hunger at bay throughout the morning. Here are five ways to include beans in the most important meal of the day.

• Spoon baked beans (your own or from a can) onto toast for a super-easy British-style breakfast.

• Fold black beans into a flour tortilla or an omelet and top with salsa for a Mexican-style breakfast

• Give hash brown potatoes a protein and fiber boost by stirring cooked pinto beans into them.

• Try Gallo Pinto or “Painted Rooster” which is a traditional Nicaraguan breakfast. This red beans and rice dish is often served with scrambled eggs. Make it by sauteeing 1 finely chopped onion and 1 finely chopped sweet pepper plus 2 minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add 2 cups of cooked red beans and season with salt and pepper. Serve over hot, cooked rice.

• If you eat breakfast on-the-go, bean muffins offer a healthy alternative to pastry or energy bars. Beans add protein and a pleasant moist texture to breakfast muffins. Try this recipe for White Bean, Banana and Walnut Muffins from the Today Show.