I start out with a big fruity breakfast, then a hearty bowl of soup for lunch, and an Asian-inspired dinner that is based on black beans. Plus I’ll explain why black beans are such a large part of my diet and one of the things I always have in my pantry. I’m so lucky to have them as my favorite bean!
- 1 banana
- 1 kaki fruit
- 1/4 c. dates
- 1 T. ground flaxseed
- 1/2 c. berries
- 1/4 c. nuts
I sprinkled the flaxseed over the fresh fruit. It goes best with the banana because of it’s nutty flavor.
Checklist items: berries, 3 other fruit, flaxseeds, nuts (6 out of 18 servings)
For lunch, I just threw together a quick soup of:
- 1/2 c. purple carrots
- 1/2 c. black beans
- 1 c. spinach
- 1/2 c. mushrooms
- 1 T. ginger, minced
- 3 T lemon juice
- 1 T. turmeric
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- a tiny bit of cinnamon
Checklist items: 1 beans, 1 greens, 2 other vegetables, spices (5 out of 18 items)
Black beans are super awesome, because they have all the benefits of legumes plus black & purple foods. Black beans are loaded with both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. They are especially supportive of the health of the digestive tract, the colon in particular. The indigestible fraction of black beans is relatively high, which is probably why they are associated with a lower risk of colon cancer in some studies.
From 1 c. black beans you get 15 g of fiber and 15 g protein. Only legumes contain this “almost magical” (according to whfoods.com) combination, beneficial for blood sugar regulation, regular digestive processes, and cardiovascular health.
Just one word of warning: they are high in oxalate content, so anyone needing to follow a low oxalate diet for medical reasons may need to minimize black bean intake.
Unlike vegetables, legumes don’t lose nutritional content when canned, so feel free to buy canned beans in order to save yourself time – just be aware that some brands (perhaps I should say many brands) add extra salt and other additives. You’ll also want to make sure you buy cans that are BPA-free.
If you opt to cook the beans from dried (as I do), soak them first if you can plan enough ahead. Soaking beans overnight before cooking them improves the health benefits. Now, I know that there is debate over whether to throw out the soaking water or not. I’ve decided to follow this advice and toss it. If you don’t have time to soak, no worries! It’s not necessary. I like to use a pressure cooker to cook the beans, because it cuts down drastically on the cooking time (and thus saves some electricity or gas or whatever you use to power your stove.)
The recipe I’m making today is one I made up myself. I love sauces that I can make by just throwing everything in the blender! This is one of those. The full recipe for the sauce is here.
- 1 generous cup of Black Bean Soy Ginger Sauce
- 1 1/2 c. bok choy
- 1/3 c. black beans
- 1 1/2 c. cooked brown rice pasta or soba noodles
- Water-saute the bok choy
- Add beans and sauce and cook until heated through
- Pour over the pasta or noodles
Checklist items: 2 beans, cruciferous, 1 greens, spices, 3 whole grains (8 out of 18 servings)
* the amount of bok choy is enough for 1 serving of cruciferous and 1 serving of greens
Taking account of the day:
19 servings in total
We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything today, plus an extra serving of spices.