Helpful Hints: What to do with that can of beans?

I was fortunate enough to intern at a Catholic Charities food pantry in San Diego this past spring. It taught me more about humans than I could have ever imagined. That experience also set my brain ablaze with different ways to manipulate ingredients. I found myself sorting through stacks of cans, boxes of produce, and other random items while thinking to myself, “How would I cook this?”

I would converse with clients about different ways to dress up the canned items they received. It was a lot of fun, and it gave me great joy knowing I could have possibly helped someone out with dinner. Here are a few pointers:

  • If you have the option, always buy low sodium and unseasoned beans.
  • Rinse the beans until they are free of the juice they were packaged in.
  • “The lighter the beans, the darker the greens!”
    • When you want to mix vegetables in with your beans- opt for darker veggies with lighter beans, and lighter veggies for the darker beans.
    • For example: cannellini beans go great with kale, spinach, bok choy, and escarole. Black and pinto beans go better with onions, bell peppers, and root vegetables.
  • Stretch the can of beans by adding a lot of vegetables (frozen totally okay!) and some chopped meat, sausage, rotisserie chicken, etc.

And of course… I have a quick recipe for you. This took less than 15 minutes to put together. Enjoy!

Cannellini Beans, Sausage, and Kale Skillet


You will need:

  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of chopped kale, fresh or frozen
  • 1 package of smoked sausage of your choice, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of broth of your choice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil. Toss in the sliced sausage and cook until sausage is starting to brown on both sides. Add in the broth and kale. Stir around until the kale has wilted (if using fresh) or softened and separated (if using frozen). Once the kale is how you want it, add in the beans and give it all a good stir. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes until everything is nice and hot. Serve in a bowl or on a plate.

This takes less than 15 minutes to put together and cook. Not to mention it is packed full of healthy ingredients. It is also versatile and makes great leftovers.

I hope you love this, and I hope you think twice before bypassing the canned section. There are a lot of gems there, and if you’re concerned about organic and non-GMO options- trust me, there are beans in those categories as well.

See you again on Sunday for Week 3 of Slow Cooker Sundays!

Lots of love and many blessings,


The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.

Mark 1:15


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