Category Archives: Beans

Vibrant Collard Green Rice and Bean Rolls

I really like collard greens. I grew up in the South, well if you can count Florida as “the south”, as eclectically diverse as it is. My grandmother cooked them down until very soft, but only in water so they weren’t unhealthy. She had a jar of spicy jalapeno vinegar to splash on them and they were so filling and satisfying. You don’t need to cook them down so much to enjoy them as so many people are catching on to the delights of gently steamed or shredded raw collard greens. For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked Brown or Bhutanese Red rice (preferably organic when cooking with rice)
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (can use chicken stock or water)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (Chick peas), drained
  • ½ cup minced celery
  • ½ cup  prepared cole slaw (cabbage and carrots)
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted black olives (can substitute green if you prefer, I like Cerignola olives particularly)
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup vegan soy mayonnaise (can substitute thick strained plain Greek style yogurt)
  • 1-2 teaspoons your favorite seasoning blend (Jane’s Crazy salt is always a winner)
  • 8 collard green leaves, washed and dried

To make the collard wraps:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with the broth and sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then you want to reduce the heat  to a gentle simmer on low, covered, for approximately 40-50 minutes or until the rice is fluffy and soft.
  2. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, except the collard leaves. Mix well and set aside to cool.
  3. To prepare the collard leaves, you will need to trim off the stems. You can do this by laying each leaf out on a cutting board and running a small paring knife down the thick central stem in a V-shape towards the middle of the leaf. You do not want to cut the entire leaf in half, just remove the thick vein and stem.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat and add 2 or 3 collard leaves. Boil for a minute or two, until dark green and tender. Remove with tongs and transfer to a colander to drain and cool. Repeat with remaining leaves.
  5. Take a cooled collard leaf and lay it stem side facing up. Place 1 cup of rice-bean mixture in the center and roll the collard leaf around the filling to make a wrap. Do this for the rest of the collard greens.

This serves 4 people with 2 wraps each. I recommend a bright and tangy Tahini dipping sauce with this.

Tahini Saice

  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste easily found in a grocery store)
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)

Combine the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and whiz together into a nice dressing consistency. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, and thickness by adding a little water if you want to thin it out.

 

Lucky Peas and Kale

The year is almost up and if you’re just beginning the diet, or an old hat by now, you will want to prepare some of these black eyed peas for your New Year. Lucky or not they are sure good for you!
You will need:

  • 2-cups Dried Black Eye Peas
  • 1-medium white or yellow onion, minced
  • 1- large, fresh Bay leaf, dry is ok too, I prefer fresh
  • 2-good cloves of garlic, smashed and minced (about 1 teaspoon if using prepared garlic)
  • 2-Tablespoons Olive oil, or Grapeseed oil
  • 1 -6 ounce can chopped tomatoes, organic if possible
  • 4-cups Kale, washed, rinsed and chopped or 1 ready to use bag
  • 2-Tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1-teaspoon smoked Paprika
  • 1-teaspoon ground Cumin
  • Juice of 1-sour orange, or 1/4 cup of a blend of lemon and orange or lime and lemon
  • Fresh black pepper in a grinder, about 1 teaspoon
  • 2-teaspoons sea salt
  • Optional sliced Serrano, or Jalapeno chili.

In a pot have your soaked beans at the ready in double the amount of water to beans. 4 cups water to 2 cups beans in this case. To quick soak you can boil the peas in water and set the cover off the heat and let it sit until room temperature again. This takes about an hour or two. Or you can soak overnight, or even use canned, but drain and wash well due to the excess sodium that tends to be used in canned peas. Dried are best and easy if you just soak and drain them prior to use.

Depending on  how you like your kale add it at the beginning or the end. I prefer it to be tender and silky in a dish like this, so I add it with the dried peas at the beginning with the garlic, onion, spices (except salt) Bay leaf, oil and tomatoes to the pot. You will want to sweat the onion in the oil first on medium-low heat. Then add the spices and garlic and stir until fragrant and add the peas, tomato and water. Bring it up to a boil and skim off any scum that arises.  Bring it down to a simmer and gently cover with a little ventilation. Cook for about 45 minutes until the peas are nice and tender as you like them. Don’t add salt until the end when cooking beans and dried peas. When it’s ready for the salt test and add the citrus juice and vinegar. That should brighten things up and not necessitate more salt, but just in case, taste again and add it if you like. Let it sit to cool some and serve over wild rice or brown rice if you like, or just as it is.

Makes about 6 hearty servings

Variation: Use same amount of low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth or stock in lieu of water.

Kale and Lentil Salad

Red Lentils are quick to cook, and very filling. This salad can be served warm as a side dish, or chilled until cool and eaten as a cold salad. You will need:

  • 2 cups red lentils, cooked and drained
  • 1 Tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons good vinegar such as balsamic or sherry
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
  • wedge of lemon
  • 1/4 cup Dinosaur kale, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • fresh basil, minced or chiffonade
  • 3 Tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts or other nuts like hazelnut
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To prepare the salad have your ingredients ready and warm a skillet or sauté pan gently over medium heat and warm the oil and garlic until it softens, about 3 minutes. Stirring occasionally to ensure no sticking or burning. Add your vinegar and kale and wilt the kale, stirring to coat the greens with the warm garlic dressing. Once wilted remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix this with the basil and nuts and tomatoes while still warm but not hot. Squeeze a little lemon over the salad and toss gently ensuring an even coating. You may serve this chilled or warm as it is and it is a lovely summer dish. This is excellent with a grilled fish as an entrée.   Serves-4

Roman bean and Lentil Soup with Greens

 

  • 1 bunch mustard greens, washed well
  • 1 bunch turnip greens, washed well
  • ½ bunch kale, washed well
  • 1 cup dried Roman beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup dried lentils, soaked overnight
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 8 oz. can low sodium canned tomatoes, crushed or diced is fine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste or Janes Krazy Mixed-Up Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Sri Lanka curry powder, or other spice blend of your choosing
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Sri Lanka curry powder, or spice mix of your choosing

 

Soak beans overnight and drain well, washing two or three more times.

Wash the greens in a sink full of clean water and then drain in a colander. To prepare them begin by holding the vein that runs down the length of the leaf into the stem. Pinch that as you tear off the leaves with your other hand, leaving the tough stem to be discarded. Tear the leaves into pieces, or slice with a knife.

In a large pot heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat, and begin to sweat the carrots and celery and onions. Add a few pinches of Kosher salt and stir occasionally. Crush the garlic cloves, or if you like a stronger flavor, grate or mince them. Stir again and toss in bay leaf, greens and spices. Let cook for 3 more minutes stirring occasionally to ensure no burnt spots. Add the beans and cover with water or vegetable stock up to two finger widths above the ingredients. *If using store bought vegetable stock make sure it is low-sodium and organic if you can find it.

Bring the soup to a boil and skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Add more water if necessary.

Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook covered for about an hour and a half. Check for seasoning and adjust salt.

This soup can be frozen and holds up well in the refrigerator for up to a week. Heat only the portions you intend to eat at a time, as with any dish you re-heat.

Easy Black Bean Soup

Black beans are one of my personal favorites along with cannelloni and red kidney. If I had to choose three, which I don’t, because there are so many beans to choose from which are all delicious additions to soup, salad, and sides. If you haven’t eaten a lot of beans you might think they pretty much all taste the same. They all have a bean taste, I’ll give you that, but there are differences in flavor and texture between them. Some cook up firm and grainy, others softer and smooth inside, some firm and smooth and some soft and grainy. Some change color when you cook them, others grow to four times their original size. All pack amino acids, protein, fiber, vitamin c, calcium and much more. They have a high fullness factor and are very low in saturated fat. They help you lose weight. They taste good with just a little salt and pepper, and even better added to dishes. They carry flavor well and have a satisfying give under your teeth when you bite down on them. Which can help if you’re weaning off of red meat. Beans will help you with that.
Black beans in particular pack an impressive 15 grams of protein and fiber into one 1 cup serving. They have a rich, creamy texture when cooked, and good toothy mouth feel when you bite them, dark broth, and an earthy, minerality which is very satisfying paired with aromatics like onion, cilantro, garlic and strong spices like bay leaf and cumin.
Cuban Style Black Beans (Floridian Version)
Ingredients:

1 lb bag black beans, rinsed and picked over

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, olive works fine

1 yellow onion, diced (Vidalia if you have one)

2 medium Bay leaves, fresh are ideal, dry is okay

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 bunch cilantro, minced

water

Directions:

Soak the beans overnight in a large pot. In the morning, set beans aside, but do not drain. Save the soaking liquid.

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat, until you can begin to see little swirls running through it or smell it. Add the onion and saute for about six minutes, until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add two cloves of the garlic and continue cooking for another thirty seconds so the garlic releases it’s aromatics but doesn’t burn. Toss in the Bay Leaves.

Next add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and enough of the soaking water to cover everything by an inch to an inch or so. Bring beans to a boil then cover (leaving a small crack open), reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

After an hour, stir the beans and add the remaining two garlic cloves. Return to a simmer and cook another hour until beans are tender and the cooking liquid is thick. Stir occasionally while cooking.

Once cooked, add salt and adjust accordingly, and the minced cilantro if desired. I prefer my black beans with freshly minced raw onion on top as well.

Additional options: Serve beans over rice, for a complete protein, puree and serve as black bean soup or save for additional uses.
This recipe serves about 6 people and freezes very well.