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Chicken or Sardine Sandwich With Black Beans and Avocado

Categories: Large Intestine Fluid Vacuity, Large Intestine Qi Stagnation, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Published: May 7, 2010
This spicy sandwich is inspired by one often served in the city of Xalapa in the Mexican state of Veracruz. It’s called pambazo, which is also the name of the flaky roll it’s made with. The bread is spread with pureed black beans and traditionally filled with shredded chicken, chorizo or sardines (the sardine version is not easy to find today), as well as lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion and pickled chipotles. Since tomatoes aren’t yet in season, they’re optional here.
Recipes for Health

Each week this series will present recipes around a particular type of produce or a pantry item. This is food that is vibrant and light, full of nutrients but by no means ascetic, fun to cook and a pleasure to eat.

* See previous recipes »


Recipes for Health: When the Sandwich Is a Salad (May 10, 2010)
Recipes for Health: Sardine and Coleslaw Po’Boy (May 11, 2010)
Recipes for Health: Smoked Trout and Cucumber Sandwich in a Bun (May 12, 2010)
Recipes for Health: Spinach Salad, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Bun (May 13, 2010)

1/4 cup cooked black beans (you can use canned but homemade will taste better)

1 whole wheat hamburger bun

1/4 ripe medium avocado, sliced thin

Salt to taste

Lime juice to taste

A generous handful of shredded lettuce, cabbage, arugula, spinach or watercress

1 teaspoon vinegar (sherry, white wine or red wine)

1 ounce shredded cooked chicken breast, or 1/2 can (3.5 ounces) sardines packed in olive oil or water, drained

A few slices of canned chipotle chile (more to taste)

1 small tomato, sliced (omit if not in season)

A few slices onion, soaked for five minutes in water to cover, then drained and rinsed (optional)

1. Mash the black beans, and make sure they’re well seasoned. Spread over the top and bottom halves of the hamburger bun. Layer the avocado over the beans on the bottom half of the bun, and sprinkle with salt and lime juice to taste. Top the avocado slices with the chicken or sardine fillets and the sliced chipotle. Toss the salad greens with the vinegar or additional lime juice until thoroughly coated, and pile on top of the chicken or sardines and chipotles. Top with a layer of sliced tomatoes and onion if desired, and cover with the top bun. Press down and wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. If possible, allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, or for several hours in the refrigerator, before eating.

Yield: Serves two.

Advance preparation: This will keep for a day in the refrigerator.

Nutritional information per sandwich:

With chicken filling: 406 calories; 12 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 24 milligrams cholesterol; 53 milligrams carbohydrates; 10 grams dietary fiber; 591 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 22 grams protein

With sardine filling: 468 calories; 16 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 8 milligrams cholesterol; 52 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams dietary fiber; 710 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 26 grams protein

Black bean salsa

Categories: Appetizers, Kidney Yin Vacuity, Liver Qi Stagnation, Liver Yin Vacuity, Mexican, Side Dishes, Stomach Food Retention, Vegan, Vegetarian


Black Bean Salsa
2 cups fresh, halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1 Artichoke, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cubed bell pepper
2-4 slices jalapeno pepper
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 14oz can drained, rinsed black beans
¼ teaspoon cumin
Sea salt to taste (3/4-1 teaspoon)
1 freshly squeezed lime juice

Preparation: Place halved tomatoes, thin sliced artichoke & cubed bell peppers in a food processor & pulse briefly, until chunky. Add jalapeno pepper, cilantro leaves, minced garlic, lime juice, salt & cumin & pulse, just until well mixed. Add half the black beans & pulse briefly. Pour into a medium bowl. Stir in remaining black beans. Serve with gluten free rice or corn chips. Makes about 1 quart.

This recipe is good for treating liver overacting on spleen, tonifies earth to check wood.
Tomatoes: sweet, sour & cold, clears heat, promotes fluids, supplements kidney
Artichoke: cool, bitter, sweet, cools & regulates liver qi
Pepper: pungent, warm, warms middle jiao, invigorates blood
Jalapeno peppers: hot & pungent, warms middle jiao, dissolves stagnation, dries damp
Cilantro leaves: warm & pungent, balances qi, disperses blood, loosen digestive obstructions
Garlic: hot & pungent: detoxifies, removes stagnation & blood
Black Beans: sweet & neutral, nourishes kidney, invigorates blood
Cumin: warm & pungent, warms middle jiao, balances qi
Sea salt: cold & salty, clears heat, moisten dryness & loosen phlegm
Limes: cool & sour, generates body fluids, regulates qi, benefits liver

Vegetable-Bean Medley

Categories: Legumes, Liver & Gall Bladder Damp Heat, Liver Blood Vacuity, Liver Qi Stagnation, Liver Yin Vacuity, Vegan, Vegetarian


Vegetable-Bean Medley

Serving Size for 1 Person

Black Beans -½ cup cooked
Aduki Beans -½ cup cooked
Quinoa- 1 cup
Carrots -½ cup
Celery -½ cup
Lime Juice -¼ cup
Grapes -½ cup

Cooking Instructions:

This is simple. All you do is mix the quinoa with 2 cups of water and cook the same way as the rice. Mix the steamed veggies along with the already cooked beans, and the grapes. Sprinkle desired amount of lime juice to give flavor to the food. The grapes will provide a sweet reward for every bite of bitter doused vegetables and protein filled beans. This dish is perfect for on-the-go lunches if prepared in a large amount.

This recipe is intended for someone with blood and yin xu leading to heat in the liver, or just a stagnant liver system due to a stagnation of blood which turns to heat and damaging the fluids.

Black Beans -Nourishes Kidney, Invigorates blood
Aduki Beans -Clears Heat and Damp, Invigorates blood
Quinoa- Tonifies Middle Jiao
Carrots -Strengthens Heart, Nourishes and Soothes Liver, Drains Damp
Celery -Subdues Liver Yang and wind, drains damp and transforms phlegm, calms shen
Lime Juice -Reduces liver excess
Grapes -Tonifies qi, blood, yin

Honey-Balsamic Bean Salad

Categories: Blood Vacuity, Legumes, Qi Vacuity, Salad, Vegetarian


As I mention in the main post, the original recipe called for green beans, which are out of season here in San Francisco as I type this. I chopped up a head of structured, romaine lettuce instead. I also added and tweaked a few things, as I’m prone to do. If you’re trying to come up with a substitute for the green beans, imagine ingredients that might go nicely with the honey-balsamic vinegar. And I suspect it goes without saying, but you can certainly play around with the type of beans you use here. I would have used borlotti beans in place of the black beans, but I went with the beans I had on hand, rather than make a trip to the store.

8 oz / 225 g (about 1 1/2 cups) EACH cooked chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans

1 small head of romaine lettuce, washed, dried, shredded

1/3 cup / 1 oz / 30g sliced almonds, toasted

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4+ teaspoon fine grain sea salt

10 sprigs fresh thyme

Combine the beans, lettuce, and most of the almonds in a large salad bowl. Set aside. Make the dressing by whisking the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt in a small container. Taste, and adjust to your tastes.

Run your fingers up each thyme sprig, removing the leaves. Add to the salad bowl along with a good amount of the dressing. Toss well, and add more dressing if you like. Finish by sprinkling with the remaining almonds.

Serves 4- 6


Analysis – This recipe nourishes Liver Blood and Yin and astringing the LV.

Corn, Avocado and Black Bean Salad

Categories: Blood Vacuity, Dryness, Fluid Vacuity, Lung Yin Vacuity, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian


Corn, Avocado and Black Bean Salad
Yield: 4 2/3 cups (Serving size: 2/3 cup)

2 medium-size ripe avocados, cubed
1 (15.5-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 1/4-oz.) can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Gently stir together all ingredients in a large bowl.

This recipe is design for someone with Kidney Yin Xu, and Blood Xu.

avocados, cubed- Tonifies Yin and Blood, moistens skin and intestines
black beans- tonifies yin, blood, kidneys
corn- benefits gallbladder, clears heat
red onion- phlegm
lime juice- Tonifies Yin, Regulates Liver, Harmonizes Stomach
salt- tonifies Kidney
red pepper- helps with diarrhea

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Categories: Kidney Yin Vacuity, Soup

by Courtney Wilkinson

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 8

1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 (15-½ ounce) cans black beans, un-drained (6 cups of black beans)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
14-½ ounces of vegetable broth
1 (14-½ ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (11 ounce) can sweet corn, drained

Cook onion and garlic in a large pan, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Place the onion mixture, 1 can of the beans, the cumin, and red pepper in a blender and pulse until smooth; return the mixture to the large pan. Place 1 more can of beans in the blender and pulse until smooth; add to the large pan. Add the remaining can of beans, the broth, tomatoes, and corn to the large pan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, 20-25 minutes.

TCM Analysis:
Onion: Warm and pungent, promotes sweating, resolves phlegm, diuretic.
Garlic: Hot and pungent, anti-viral, anti-fungal, detoxifies meat and seafood, kills worms, removes stagnant food and stagnant blood, reduces abscess.
Black beans: Warm and sweet, tonifies kidneys, nourishes the yin, strengths and nourishes blood, brightens eyes, promotes urination
Cumin: Warming, bitter, acrid, dries phlegm-cold
Red pepper: Hot, acrid, dispels cold
Vegetable broth: Aids digestion (varies)
Tomatoes: Slightly cool, sweet and sour, promotes body fluids, quenches thirst, strengthens stomach, aids digestion, cools blood, clears heat, detoxifies, calms the liver, removes stagnant food.
Sweet corn: Cool and sweet, stops bleeding, promotes diuresis, benefits gall bladder, lowers blood pressure, clears heat, detoxifies.

Overall Analysis:
Overall this recipe is a warming soup, which aids in nourishing yin and tonifying the kidneys. The warming aspects also nourish yang as well, depending how much spice is added.

Making Tamales with Black Beans and Hoja Santo in Banana Leaf

Categories: Cooking tips, Kidney Unable to Grasp Qi

Tamales made with black beans and Hoja Santo are very traditional in southern Mexico. Hoja Santo (Piper auritum) is a plant with large, heart-shaped leaves that is used as a flavoring and medicinal. In Mayan, it is known as X’mak’ulan, and local healers use the plant for bronchitis and asthma. As this tamale combines black beans, which are nourishing for the Kidney and Hoja Santo, it would be the perfect dish for someone with Kidney qi insufficiency contributing to asthma or bronchitis.

First the banana leaves are cut into squares and blanched, then left out to cool. Frozen banana leaves can be found in Mexican groceries.

Leaves of Hoja Santo are washed and the center vein removed.

The tamale batter is made with masa corn flour, a touch of lard, and enough water to make a sticky dough a little softer than play-doh.

Each tamale is made by layering a banana leaf square with dough, some cooked black beans, and a leaf of Hoja Santo.

Making tamales is a family activity, otherwise they would never get finished.

Once all of the ingredients are on the banana leaf, it is folded in thirds lengthwise, then again in thirds crosswise.

The constructed tamales are layered in a steamer pot, or ‘tamalera’ or ‘vaporera’, and cook for about an hour.

Que Sabroso!