Spicy Red Beans with Thyme

DSC_8663Today I started a week-long cleanse to restart my system and maybe shed a few winter lbs. No processed food, no dairy, no carbs, no wheat no sugar. Sounds daunting, but  I can have plenty of veggies and protein. I feel great so far!  Here’s a dish I made a few weeks ago  and I thought this would be great to help keep me full during the week.  I usually make red beans the traditional indian way–Rajma, with garlic chillies, ginger and spices, but I thought I’d switch it up with some leftover thyme and it tastes great! I don’t think I’ll feel like I’m on a cleanse eating this!

It’s shown here with a side stir-fry of spinach, tofu, chillies, cilantro, garlic and onion. DSC_8659

Since tomatoes are not in season, I used San Marzano tomatoes, which are sweet and give the sauce a lot of body. I also really enjoy crushing them between my fingers, but you are welcome to chop it up or break it up with a spoon. I also used dried beans instead of canned beans to cut down on the preservatives Dried beans also have an incredible flavor that you just can’t get out of canned beans. It just takes a little planning ahead (soaking for 4-8 hrs and pressure cooking for approx 20 mins)

I hope you enjoy!


  • 1 cup dried red beans (soaked for 4-8 hours)
  • San Marzano tomatoes (5 tomatoes)
  • Cayenne or red chili powder
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • Fresh thyme


  1. Pressure cook beans with 1 and a half tsp salt.  Allow it to come to 2 whistles, then reduce heat for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate wok or skillet, sauté 1 medium chopped onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped in 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. Crush 5 San Marzano whole tomatoes with your hands into the skillet.
  4. Add 1 tsp chilli powder and several sprigs of fresh thyme. You can either toss the thyme in and pull out the stems at the end, or pull of the leaves from the stem.
  5. Add in the beans with the water
  6. Make sure the water covers the beans by 1 inch and simmer on medium for at least 20 minutes, add salt if needed.
  7. Serve with brown rice and veggies!

Tip: when cooking beans, the longer you cook them the more the flavors come out. It tastes even better the next day and freezes and stores well!



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