Washington Post food and dining editor Joe Yonan's ode to the versatility of legumes, from the workaday can of kidney beans or red lentils in your pantry through to more exotic lady cream peas and gigantes. Because beans have a long history in almost every international cuisine, you’ll find Ethiopian dips and Mexican tacos, along with French lentil salads and Japanese desserts. Recipes are written for cooked beans, so you can grab a can, or plan ahead and cook from scratch. Eating more legumes is a no-brainer for health, the environment, your wallet and for supporting local farmers. And with so many delicious, creative ways of using them...all we can say is, Cool Beans!