Beans are a cheap source of protein, fiber and vitamins and canned beans are very filling. Here are some fast and easy meals using beans.

Veggie chili with couscous
In a stockpot, combine a variety of drained, canned beans with canned tomato puree, vegetable broth or water, chili powder and couscous (uncooked). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and simmer 5 minutes or until couscous is tender, adding more broth or water if needed. A sprinkle of Cheddar cheese or dollop of sour cream would be a nice addition when serving.

Tomato soup with white beans
In a stockpot, combine tomato juice, canned pureed tomatoes, canned white or cannellini beans (drained), a sprinkle of lemon juice, a little sugar and hot sauce to taste. Heat about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Moroccan couscous
Heat 1¼ cups water or broth to boiling in a small saucepan. Add a cup of couscous, a cup of drained canned black or pink beans, a handful of raisins and a teaspoon of ground cumin. Remove from heat and cover; after 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Baked bean and sausage soup
Cook chopped onions in a little oil until softened, add four cans of baked beans (about 1 pound each, do not drain), a pound of cooked brats or other cooked sausage sliced into rounds and a cup of broth or water. Heat and eat.

Chickpea sandwich
Using a fork, mash canned, drained chickpeas with Italian dressing and spread on bread. Top to taste with alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrots, sliced tomatoes or other vegetables.

Red beans and rice
Make enough rice for two servings. Drain a can (about 1 pound) of dark red kidney beans and drain and dice a can (about 1 pound) of tomatoes; add to cooked rice with a small can of green chiles (optional) and hot sauce to taste, then microwave until hot, about 3 minutes.

Stuffed sweet potatoes
Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork (to let steam escape while cooking) and microwave until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Combine a can of diced tomatoes and a can of drained black beans with a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste; microwave about 2 to 3 minutes to heat. Cut baked sweet potato lengthwise without cutting through and press open to make a well in the center. Top with bean mixture.