Gallo Pinto (Beans and Rice)

Nanzaro learned to enjoy this beans and rice dish while he was on a school humanitarian trip to Costa Rica in spring this year.


The rice did not turn out as black as those Nanzaro had in Costa Rica. I used a mixture of chicken broth and the liquid from cooking the black beans to cook the rice. Perhaps I should use only the cooking liquid from the beans to gives the rice more colour.


  • 1 pound of dried black beans, soak in water overnight (or use canned ones for simplicity)
  • a small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups dry whilte rice (I used basmati rice); do not wash
  • 3 cups of chicken stock or liquid from cooking the beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying the Gallo Pinto


Missing from the ingredients is the black bean.

P/S: the cup I used to measure the rice and cooking liquid is the cup that came with a rice cooker. It is smaller than the regular measuring cup.

Source: Nanzaro found the recipe for me from the internet.


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Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet

Michelle prepared a Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet for the main course for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.


Original cassoulet is loaded with meat. This is a vegetarian version where protein is substituted with white beans. This dish can be made in less than half an hour if you use canned beans, but Michelle prefers the texture of the cooked, dried beans with some planing ahead as the dried beans will cook faster after soaking in boiling water for overnight.

Serve with crostini or slices of baguette alongside.


  • 1 1/2 cups dried beans (Zuni or other white beans) or 3 canned white beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 4 sprigs thyme, stripped from stem or 1 teaspoon dried one
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • optional: cooked bacon (veggie or pork for the carnivores!)




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Quinoa Black Bean Salad Spiced with Cumin

The second recipe made in the South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen is a high fiber salad.


The Quinoa Black Beans Salad Spiced with Cumin is filing and nutritious.


This salad is high in protein as 1 cup of black beans has 13g of dietary fiber.

Minoo shared with us some facts and nutritional values of quinoa in the kitchen. I had blogged about it here.

1/4 cup of quinoa has:

  • 170g calories
  • 3g fat
  • 5mg sodium
  • 30g carbohydrate
  • 3g dietary fiber
  • 1g sugar
  • 5g protein


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen or from can)
  • 2 x 15 ounces (540ml) cans black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or more for drizzling on the salad
  • chili powder for garnishing, optional


Source: via Minoo


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Black Bean Mango Salad

For the last kitchen of the season, the South Arm Seniors’ Kitchen decided to have a BBQ theme. Unfortunately, the weather was not as warm as desired, so, we prepared the food indoor instead of an outdoor BBQ.


The first recipe is a Black Bean Mango Salad. The twist to this pretty common salad is the use of BBQ sauce as dressing. It seemed to be a weird combination but it turned out really great.


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/3 cups Peaches & Cream corn (we used frozen corn)
  • 1/2 yellow peppers, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce (spicy preferred)
  • 1 lime, juiced


Source: via Colleen

Serves 8


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Locro de Habas (Fava Bean Soup)

Colleen prepared 3 dishes for the South Arm Seniors’ Kitchen. Her goal for this menu is to introduce some new ingredients to the participants.


The first recipe is a Fava Bean Soup. The soup is thickish with the addition of egg. It has some similarity in ingredients like this Chinese Tomato Egg Soup.


Fava Bean is also known as Broad Bean, Bell Bean, Field Bean or Tic Bean. Preparing fava bean involves first removing the beans from their pods, then remove their exterior coating of soft shell before cooking.


So, the kitchen started with everyone seating around the table to prepare the fava beans. This job is great to involve everyone in the family to help out while catching up with one another.


  • 4 cups twice peeled fresh fava beans, from about 4 pounds of whole fava pods
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups diced white onion, about 1 large onion
  • 2 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon achiote powder (annatto seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3 large gold potatoes, peeled and diced, about 3 cups
  • 6 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, light beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled queso fresco (we substituted with feta cheese)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or pasley
  • 1 avacodo, peeled and sliced for garnishing
  • hot sauce, optional


Source: via Colleen

Serves 6 to 8


The Annatto seasoning gives the soup the reddish colour.


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Tuna Salad with Cannellini Beans, Red Onion and Tomatoes

Minoo served a Tuna Salad along the dips and chips at the South Arm Community Kitchen.


Cannellini beans go well with tuna in this salad. This is an easy to make salad with canned tuna and cannellini beans from the pantry.


  • 1 x 6-ounce can tuna, drained
  • 4 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked cannellini beans or canned beans (rinsed if canned)
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, halved and very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Source: via Minoo


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Black Bean Soup with Citrus Fruit

The next Mexican inspired recipe is a Black Bean Soup with Citrus Fruit.


This is high fiber soup. It is tasty and filing.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 lime cut into 4 wedges
  • 4 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream (optional)
  • 2 green onions, chopped


Source: via Colleen

Yield 4 servings

P/S: we doubled the recipe in the kitchen


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Mexican Refried Beans

Lez served the Mexican Potato Empanadas with a side dish of Mexican Refried Beans.


Lez used a mixture of beans for the Refried Beans.


  • 2 1/2 cups dry beans, cooked
  • 1/4 cup water (from the water you cook the beans)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Source: Lez


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Spiced Squash and Corn Chili

The second dish prepared by the seniors at the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors is a vegetarian chili dish. This is a healthy and hearty dish for the cold winter.


The Spiced Squash and Corn Chili has a little kick in it and it utilizes butternut squash which is in season. The addition of walnuts adds a little crunch to the chili.

Butternut squash is a good source of fiber, vitamin A, C and E, manganese, magnesium and potassium.


  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 4 cups
  • 2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder or according to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper or according to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander and ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes or according to taste
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika or according to taste
  • 3 bell peppers, mix colors, chopped
  • 1 can corn nibblets
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)


Source: unknown

Serves 8 to 12


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Venezuelan Cuisine: Sauteed Black Beans (Caraotas Negras Fritas)

The third element in the Pabellon Criollo dish (Venezuelan’s national dish) is black beans. If you want to learn more about bean, check out the post ”All About Beans’ here.


Maria prefers her Caraotas Negras Fritas to be sauteed to almost dry and not soggy.


  • 1 large can black beans
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • oil for sauteeing
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: Maria

Prep time: 15 minutes;  Cook time: 20 minutes;  Serve 4 to 6


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