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Sweet and Sour Kidney Beans

Posted Aug 26 2011 11:07pm

I’ve been thinking about my meat + dairy consumption a lot after hearing Dawn Jackson Blatner speak at the Healthy Living Summit . Dawn is a registered dietitian and published author, among other accolades.

She literally wrote the book on the Flexitarian diet . I have been unknowingly following her advice for the past year, as I’ve tried to eat less meat and more produce .

I will write more about what I learned from Dawn and the Flexitarian diet, and other invaluable advice for living healthy without feeling deprived. You may surprised to learn you are also a beginner flexitarian!

One snafu: if you don’t like beans, this whole ordeal might be a challenge for you. Beans are a good source of protein so they are a go-to substitute in many meals. Plus, they are very cost effective.

Kidney, garbanzo, pinto, cannellini, navy, butter, and black beans; there is a bean for every day of the week! Here’s a quick vegetarian stir-fry that is satisfying and flavorful. I promise you won’t miss the meat!

Sweet and Sour Kidney Beans and Stir-fry Vegetables

Adapted from Elizabeth Bowen’s recipe . Serves four.

The original recipe I followed included pineapple chunks + juice, but I didn’t have any on hand. I sweetened our stir-fry up with agave nectar and brown sugar. Remember that stir-fry is a flexible dish; use anything you have on hand as vegetables or protein!


  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 small onion, medium chopped
  • 1 can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cup steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbs agave nectar
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a large wok, sweat onions for a few minutes over medium low heat until translucent. Add kidney beans and steamed vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, agave nectar, hoisin, brown sugar, and white vinegar. Pour sauce into wok, stir well to combine. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Make a clearing in the center of the wok and turn the heat up to high. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Pour into the center well of the wok. Allow egg to cook for approx. 1 minute. Slightly scramble the egg for another minute until cooked through. Stir egg into the rest of the dish. Serve over brown rice.

I’m usually indifferent to choice of beef, pork, or chicken at Asian food restaurants. So, why spend the extra money on chicken breast at the market to half-heartedly serve at home? A can of beans will season up just fine in a hot pan, and I promise you will feel full.

If we had ordered stir-fry as take out, I’m sure there would have been a side of crab rangoon or beef teriyaki. I will have to think about how to swap out the meat in my favorite Asian side dishes. Fried wontons are a start.

What’s your favorite cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, or maybe some kind of fusion? What is your go-to take out order?

My favorite is Thai and I always trust in Curry dishes.

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