August 2002    Vol. 1   No. 8


I have been preparing this recipe for over 25 years with very few changes.  It is a family favorite and I always make extra to have as leftovers the next day.  If you haven’t tried this delicious meal yet, buy the ingredients this week and serve it to your family.  The bean lovers will have a new favorite!

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  3-4 hours
Servings:  4-6


2 cups dried black beans
6 ½ cups water
1 large whole onion
8-10 whole cloves
4 large garlic cloves
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped


6 medium tomatoes, chopped
8 green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
4-5 dashes Tabasco sauce

Place beans and water in a large pot.  Peel the whole onion and stud it with the whole cloves (poke holes in the side of the onion with a toothpick about ½ inch apart, push the stem end of the clove into each hole).  Place the onion in the pot with the beans and water and add the whole, peeled garlic cloves.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours.  Remove and discard the whole onion and cloves.  Mash the whole garlic cloves into the beans ( use a spoon or fork and gently mash into the side of the pot).  Add chopped onion and bell pepper.  Cover and simmer for an additional 1-2 hours until beans are tender.

Place the tomatoes, onions, and seasonings into a separate bowl.  Mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Mix again and adjust seasonings.

Serve black beans over brown rice and spoon some of the tomato mixture over the top.

HINT:  Whole cloves are sold in a jar in the spice section of your supermarket.  They are the dried buds from a tree and add a unique flavor to this dish.  Handle them carefully while inserting into the onion so they don’t break.  To remove onion and cloves from the beans use a slotted spoon.  Season beans with a small amount of salt after cooking, if desired.


This recipe was sent to us by Dina Aronson, a faithful newsletter reader.  Garbanzos are one of my favorite beans and this recipe is as easy as it is delicious.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  7 minutes
Servings:  2

1/3 cup vegetable broth or water
1 onion, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1  15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
dash paprika
freshly ground pepper to taste
dash salt

Place the broth or water in a medium saucepan.  Add onion, cook and stir over medium-high heat until onion is translucent and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add tomato and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garbanzos and seasonings.  Cook and stir until heated through.  Serve over brown rice or couscous.

Hint: Middle Eastern markets sell a seasoning called sumac powder. It is made from the small red berries of the rhus coriara bush, which grows wild in the Middle East.  Sumac has a lemony, astringent taste with a bit of fruitiness. If you are able to find this, it may be used in place of the lemon juice and paprika for a more authentic flavor.

By Heather McDougall

Heather likes to prepare this meal in many different forms, depending on her mood and what is available in the refrigerator and pantry.  Most of the preparation can be done ahead of time, and cooking only takes a few minutes, so this is a meal that can go together quickly.   This is delicious with the black beans, vegetables, and aioli or with the tofu, cabbage, and aioli.  Or try it with a combination of all of the fillings for your own variation.

Preparation Time:  30-45 minutes
Cooking Time:  15-30 minutes
Servings:  4-6

Black beans:
½ cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
dash salt

Sauté onion in broth until translucent, about 7-10 minutes.  Add corn and beans and heat through.  Add salt to taste.  Set aside.

Vegetable Sauté:
1 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
3 cups chopped summer squash (zucchini)
½ cup chopped cilantro

Sauté onion in ¼ cup of the broth until softened.  Add remaining broth and squash, simmer until softm about 15 minutes.  (Add more broth if necessary to keep from drying out.)  Remove from heat, add cilantro, mix well, and set aside.

Spicy Tofu:
24 ounces firm tofu (not silken)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne

Drain tofu in a colander and press out excess water with paper towels.  Cut into ½ inch cubes.  Combine soy sauce, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne in a large bowl.  Add tofu and mix gently.  Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Place a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat.  Add tofu and cook turning occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

4 cups finely shredded cabbage
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
½ tablespoon lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Corn Tortillas:
As many as needed

Soften individually on a dry non-stick griddle, or wrap in a towel and heat in the microwave.

Optional Toppings:

Chopped tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Sliced olives
Sliced avocado
Shredded soy cheese

To assemble:
Take a soft corn tortilla, spoon your choice of fillings down the center, such as beans and vegetables or tofu and cabbage, add a bit of aioli and your choice of optional toppings, roll up and eat with your fingers.

By Heather McDougall 

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  Makes 1 ½ cups

1 ½ cups tofu sour cream (see recipe below)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
dash salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Hint:  Will keep in refrigerator for about 2 weeks.  This also makes a great dressing for salads or pour over sautéed vegetables.


Use as a substitute for dairy sour cream.  Will keep in the refrigerator about 2 weeks.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Chilling Time:  2 hours
Servings:  Makes 1 ½ cups
1  12.3 ounce package lite silken tofu
2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 ½ teaspoons sugar
dash salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.


2002 John McDougall All Rights Reserved

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