This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

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My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


Lunch for Leo’s mum and dad

Photo credit: simplyrecipes.com

Years ago, some good friend (I can’t remember who) made me a dinner that included a black bean dish made with orange. I’d love to know its origin. Cuban? Brazilian? Can anyone tell us?

Every-so-often I try to reproduce it. My latest experiment is on behalf of new baby Leo and his parents, Suz and Ted. Such a lovely family, I sure hope the beans turn out well for them.

Black Beans and Orange

This morning, I cooked the black beans plain in the pressure cooker. (For more on pressure cooker cooking see the Chicken and Beans and Greens post here.)

I weighed out 1 pound of dried black beans; sorted through them for any little stones; rinsed them; threw them in the pot; added water up to the 8 cup measure; drizzled a little oil on top (so the frothing doesn’t clog the cooker’s valves); set the timer for 30 minutes at High Pressure; and let the pressure release naturally after the beep sounded.

While the beans were cooking, I warmed a sauté pan to medium heat; added a couple of tablespoons of olive oil; and slowly sautéed a sliced onion, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, and an inch of peeled, chopped ginger.

While the onions were melting, I measured out spices into a bowl: 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 3 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon ground sage, 2 teaspoons salt ( I use Herbamare), and chili powder to taste (put a little on your tongue to check for spiciness).

When the onions were translucent, I took the pan off the heat and stirred in the spices. Once the spices were warm and fragrant, I added a layer of orange flavor by grating the peel of half of an organic orange into the mixture. Then I added the juice of half of the orange and the juice of half of a lime.

Once the beans were done, I drained the excess liquid, leaving about a cup of liquid behind. I took the bay leaves out of the sauté pan and pushed the rest of the spice mixture into the beans.

Just before serving, I plan to add the juice from the other half of the orange and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Today, it will go with collards, brown rice and salad.

I hope this happy family enjoys the meal!

Love & Light,


10 Comments to Lunch for Leo’s mum and dad

  1. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    March 11, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    How wonderful that Leo has arrived to add to the joy of his mommie and daddy and all his happy neighbors in Rock Creek Woods. May the food you are preparing be a blessing for all!
    Love, mom

  2. Louise's Gravatar Louise
    March 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Feijoada is a Brazilian black bean dish that often has orange. Yum yum yum. Sounds like a lovely meal you have prepared with even more live!

  3. Louise's Gravatar Louise
    March 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Ah spellcheck- that was supposed to say love not live. But maybe I should leave it!

  4. Susan Sobel Finkelpearl's Gravatar Susan Sobel Finkelpearl
    March 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink


    I’m eating the rice and beans and collards as I read your post! SO GOOD!! I never thought to put citrus flavor with beans. It’s just wonderful! Thank you for so lovingly preparing this meal for us! I will definitely be making this again in the future.

    Suz (and Ted and Leo)

  5. Melinda's Gravatar Melinda
    March 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Yum! Sounds delicious!

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