The theme this month is re-connect, re-balance, re-energise and beans are a great addition to any diet to support this. Our sweet and sour vegan bean bowl recipe is easy to make and has many health benefits. The combination of sweet and sour flavours in this recipe brings a lovely balance to your palate. All beans are a great source of slow-release energy, helping you to re-energise and they can also bring balance to your digestive system.
Health benefits of beans
Beans are high in fibre, are low in fat and free from cholesterol, so they bring many health benefits to your body and can support anyone looking to lose weight (or to maintain their healthy weight). The fibre in beans contributes to a healthy digestive system. All beans are a good source of vegan protein (read more about this in our earlier article: what is vegan protein and how do I get it?. They are also a complex carbohydrate, which means that they release energy slowly after eating, helping you to avoid that mid-afternoon slump.
An added bonus is that beans are usually relatively low-cost food items to buy, so as well as being good for your body, they are kind to your pocket!
This recipe uses cooked beans, so if you are planning on using dried beans, make sure you soak them in cold water the night before and cook them first.
Cooking tip: Using fruit in a recipe, like pineapple or plums, can bring a lovely natural sweetness to the dish, without using processed sugars. To use pineapple in a cooked dish, you can either finely chop them or put the pineapple through your juicer and use the juice instead. In this recipe we use small pieces of pineapple because we blend the sauce later.
Time-saving tip: This is another great recipe to make in bulk and freeze for a quick meal another night!
Vegan Sweet and sour bean bowl recipe
Calories: 1,090 (136 per serving)
1 cup red beans, cooked
1 cup white beans, cooked
1 cup black beans, cooked
2 red onion, chopped
2 large chunks pineapple, finely chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup water
3 tbsp tamari (or soya) sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp tarragon
1 tsp ground coriander
Zest from 1 lime
Juice from 1 lime
2 tsp cornflour
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
To garnish: coriander leaves
In a frying pan, cook the red onion until soft.
Add the pineapple, chopped tomatoes and water, stirring well. Add the tamari, apple cider vinegar, paprika, tarragon, ground coriander, lime zest and lime juice. Stir well then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Using a hand blender, blend the sauce for 60-120 seconds, until it becomes smooth.
Return the sauce back to the pan, add the cornflour and beans. Return the sauce to a boil, stirring continuously. The sauce should start to thicken (due to the cornflour).
Turn down the heat to low and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh parsley and fresh coriander.
Serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves.
Serving suggestion: We love serving these beans with our tasty brown rice salad (serve hot or cold), and some simple steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon, for a nutritious balanced evening meal. Combining with the brown rice and/or a green leafy vegetable will ensure that you are giving your body all the elements it needs to make a complete protein. (Remember, no single plant-based food item is a source of a complete protein – unlike meat – so to have a complete plant-based protein, you need to combine your food items).
Need inspiration? Try our other bean recipes
Beans are incredibly versatile and there are many different varieties that you can choose to cook with. We have lots of other bean recipes published on our health and wellbeing blog including these popular dishes:
- Beans make a fabulous base for vegan burgers, providing a creaminess with some bulk in our veggie bean burger recipe.
- Meat lovers will not even notice that there is no meat in this plant-based hot n spicy vegan chilli bean recipe.
- They make a great base for a creamy dip, try our cannellini beans with roast garlic and rosemary dip recipe.
- You can also add beans to soup. If you blend white beans, they make a lovely creamy base or you enjoy them whole, like in our wholesome winter vegetable soup with vegan pesto and white beans.
Plant-based vegan food at La Crisalida health and wellbeing retreat
Beans are an important part of the plant-based menu that we serve here at La Crisalida, so we serve them a few times each week, in different dishes. All the food served at La Crisalida Retreats is plant-based, giving you lots of wholesome nutrition. A plant-based diet can support people with their health and wellbeing, enabling you to re-balance, re-connect and re-energise.
I hope you enjoy making and eating this recipe. If you want to try other dishes, there are lots of plant-based vegan recipes on our health and wellbeing blog.