Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit…

Chickpea vs. garbanzo

I know a lot of you are probably scared of beans because they have a substantial number of carbs but they have a lot of benefits as well.  Only you can decide if they work well in your diet.  Beans are high in protein, most types are in the double digits and high in fiber.  For example, soy beans have a whopping 33g of protein, 11g of fiber and 124% of your daily Vitamin C.  Nice, right?  Legumes are controversial–some camps say eat them, they’re a great source of fiber and protein, others say they’re too difficult to digest because they’re both a protein and starch.  Personally, I eat them.  I love chickpeas (garbanzos), black beans, cannellini (white) beans, fava beans, soy beans…you get the picture.  What about y’all? Beans or no beans?  If so, what are your favorite ways to incorporate them into your diet?  4-5 cups weekly is ideal.

Below I have included two of my most favoritist recipes.  Both can be enjoyed while juice feasting.  The first one, Maya’s Chickpea Salad, was inspired by my friend of the same name.  She made hers with fresh Thai chiles but being that I had none on hand, I did what I do best, improvise.  It really doesn’t take much longer than chopping up the avocado so it’s quick, easy & scrumptious.  The addition of avocado pairs well with the chickpeas because of the contrast in textures & the lemon adds a perfect amount of zip.  I love the idea of taking it to my next BBQ or get together.

Maya’s Chickpea Salad:

2 cups dry chickpeas prepared according to instructions or 1 can organic chickpeas

1/2 cup red onion

1/3 cup cilantro

celtic or himalayan sea salt to taste

the juice of one lemon

1 tsp garlic chili paste (more if you prefer more spice)

1 avocado chopped

Mix the first 6 ingredients (everything but the avocado).  Add the avocado and toss until blended.  Serve immediately.  If you have left over, the salad will keep 2 or 3 days, just squeeze more lemon to refresh.

Cannellini or white beans look similar to kidney beans but smaller.  They’re loaded with nutrition, help reduce cholesterol & prevent headaches.  Also, they have TWICE the iron as red meat, they’re low-fat, high in fiber AND provide a high quality of magnesium, fiber, iron and folate.  What I love about white beans is how creamy they are on the inside.  That makes them perfect for spreads or dips like hummus.  I actually prefer white bean hummus to chickpea hummus because the texture is so much creamier.  Trader Joe’s sells a fantastic white bean and basil hummus if you wanna try it.  I’m hooked!  So here is a fast way to make a veggie sandwich sparkle!  Yes, I said *sparkle.*  It’s that tingle food gives me when I bite into something really good & I’m overcome with a sense of euphoria.  That’s what tells me my food is sparkling.  As in, “That white bean & veggie sandwich sparkles!”  Ok, maybe I built it up too much.  Try it & let me know.  In this rendition I use tomato, onion, sprouts–I personally ❤ pea sprouts.  They taste a lot like the peas themselves, sweet & flavorful.  If you want a sandwich that is heartier or warm, maybe for dinner or Winter months, pair the spread with roasted or grill sliced vegetables such as eggplant, squash, zucchini, red bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and on & on.  Sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary or pine nuts would be  a good mix-in as well…basil to replace the sprouts.  I like it open-faced.  Use you imagination.  When I’m being bad I’ve been known to add a slice of thick cut (nitrate-free, thank you!) applewood smoked bacon in there.  Damn, I wish bacon was a vegetable!

Vegetable Sandwich w/ Garlic White Bean Spread:

2 slices whole grain or sprouted bread (nix the bread during juice feasting, opt for grilled veggies to dip or lettuce wrap–I like collards because they’re sturdy–and wrap white bean spread & veggies like a burrito).

1 can white beans or 2 cups (cooked) dry beans prepared according to pkg. instructions

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp cold pressed olive oil or coconut oil

3 cloves garlic crushed

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cumin

tomato slices

onion slices

sprouts (bean, alfalfa, pea, radish, etc.)

Toast bread.  Spread white beans thick on both pieces.  Layer the veggies & enjoy.

I’d love to hear what you think of the recipes!

love & light,



7 thoughts on “Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit…

  1. Southwest Black Bean Soup
    (remember, I cook for 10 people so half this recipe)

    4 cups dried black beans, reconstituted (Place black beans in a crockpot, rinse beans and fill the crockpot all the way to the top with water. Cook on low 8-10 hrs or overnight.)

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 yellow onion, diced
    5 large carrots, sliced
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    2 fajita seasoning packets (I make my own from scratch)
    the juice of 3 limes
    chopped cilantro, to taste
    2 avocados, diced
    2 diced tomatoes or 2 cups pico de gallo
    Mexican cheese (the crumbly stuff that looks like parmesan)

    In a large soup pot, saute the onion, carrot, peppers in the olive oil on medium high heat until browned and soft. Drain the excess water from the crockpot off the beans, then add beans to the pot. Add the broth, lime juice, and fajita seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve in bowls. Top the bowls with diced avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and cheese.

    • This sounds great! I LOVE black soup…AND I can set it & forget it? Now we are talking! 🙂 I would also love to see the recipe for your fajita mix. I love to mix seasonings up and put them in labeled canisters on my kitchen wall (compliments of Ikea) so I have them within reach when I need ’em. BTW- the crumbly cheese is queso fresco. For those of you that don’t do cheese, maybe Braggs nutritional yeast would do the trick…it has a cheesy taste. Thank you for sharing!!

      • I have never tried dumping everything in a crockpot, setting and forgetting. The reason I don’t is you never know how much water the beans are going to take up (it varies by bean variety) and you want different water in the soup to reduce gas producing qualities from the beans which you lose when you drain that water off. But if anyone tries it, it let me know how it turns out.

        Fajita Seasoning
        1 tbsp cornstarch (optional, used as thickening agent)
        2 tsp chili powder
        1 tsp salt
        1 tsp paprika
        1 tsp sugar (optional)
        1 tsp chicken bouillon
        1/2 tsp onion powder
        1/2 tsp garlic powder
        1/4 tsp cayenne
        1/4 tsp cumin

        Mix ingredients together in a jar or plastic container. 2-3 tablespoons mix equals one package from the store.

  2. I know this is a post about beans, but I love lentils, too! This is my favorite curried lentil soup recipe, and its very vegan/juice feast friendly. For the kids, pour the thicker version over brown rice or serve with naan or pitas for dipping.

    Moroccan Lentil Soup- My Way
    serves 10-12

    •1 tablespoon olive oil
    •1 yellow onion, chopped
    •1 bell pepper (any color, pablano, serrano or jalepeno works great), chopped
    •1 cup celery, chopped
    •1 cup carrots, sliced (optional)
    •2 large sweet potatoes, diced
    •12 cups broth (chicken or vegetable, even plain water is fine)
    •2 cups lentils, 3 cups if you like it thicker
    •1 teaspoon garam masala (I make my own)
    •1 tablespoon curry powder
    •1 teaspoon powdered ginger
    •1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom OPTIONAL
    •1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    •1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    1.In large soup pot saute; the onions, peppers, celery, and carrots in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.
    2.Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil for a few minutes then simmer until the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft. (About 20 minutes to cook)
    3.Puree half the soup in a food processor or blender. Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir and enjoy!

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