Ah, the comfort of knowing there are beans in the house. Really. Beans are rich in vitamins and minerals, are a low cost source of protein and can be very versatile. You may be equating beans with spicy, high calorie dishes like chili and refried beans, but a single serving of beans, about a half cup (128 g), only contains 120 calories and has six to seven grams of protein. The dense texture of most beans, together with their protein content, will make you feel full and satisfied, too.
Toss kidney beans into salads, or mix black beans with sour cream and green onion, and serve them as a cold summer side dish. Beans are a low-cost, lower-calorie alternative to many meat dishes, so keep a few cans around.