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Home-cooked meals generate an average of 2.1 pounds of carbon emissions per person compared with restaurant meals which generate 7.4 pounds CO2e per person.

- Fact #34
Hawaii’s Gold Macadamia Nut Oil

Deborah says: "Macadamia nut oil has an ultra-mild flavor and a high smoke point which makes it ideal for stir-frying and high-temperature roasting. It’s my go-to oil in ethnic cuisines whose flavors are not compatible with olive oil. Because it’s healthier than any of them, I substitute it for canola, peanut, vegetable, grapeseed, sunflower, and safflower in any recipe calling for a neutral oil. Oils of Aloha, a small family-owned Hawaiian producer, makes the finest macadamia oil on the market."

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Amazing Black Beans

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Photo Deborah Chud

Deborah Chud

STRATEGY SESSION: I reduce both fat and calories in this recipe by omitting the oil altogether.  Then, by reducing the liquid, I intensify the flavor of the sauce.


The following is one of my favorite transformations for several reasons. First, my main intervention was a no-brainer (omit the oil). Second, my compensatory strategy was a classic—reducing liquids.

Two important points: Cooking time depends entirely upon the age of the beans. If they’re fresh, they might be tender in 1 hour; if not so fresh, they may take twice that long. Since you can’t tell their age by their appearance, it’s best to start checking them after the first hour of cooking. When you can mash one or two easily between your thumb and index finger, they’re done. Also, beans have a tendency to boil over, particularly in the absence of oil, so make sure you use a large pot. Mine holds 10 quarts and I’ve never had a problem. However, if your pot is smaller than mine, add a teaspoon of oil at the outset to decrease the risk of a boil-over.

Amazing Black Beans

Adapted from Kemp’s Black Beans http://tinyurl.com/Kempsbeans

  • 1 pound black beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 1½ cups chopped onions
  • 8 cups water
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¼ cup Amontillado sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon highest quality Balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Place the beans and onions in a large kettle or Dutch oven, preferably 10-quart, and add the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in ½ teaspoon of the salt, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until tender, 1 to 2 hours. Start checking after 1 hour.
  2. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, sherry, soy sauce, and vinegar. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  3. Set a colander over a large heat-proof bowl. Pour the beans and their liquid through the colander. Set the beans over another bowl and return the bean liquid to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat and reduce, stirring often, until syrupy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, return to the pot any additional bean liquid that has collected in the bowl under the colander. Return the beans to the pot. Add black pepper to taste and more soy sauce or vinegar if needed. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate until ready to use. The beans will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 12 servings

Per serving: Calories 144, 1 g total fat,  trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol,  26 g total carbohydrate, 6 g dietary fiber, 8 g protein, 360 mg sodium.


  • December 27 2009, 2:56 PM
    marla {Family Fresh Cooking}

    hi! I just found your blog via Tastespotting. I have a similar philosophy on food. I love fine food, but I am mindful about what I choose to feed myself and my family. High energy, healthy, flavor filled, organic ingredients are what we shoot for at each meal. These beans look great. You provide a wealth of info on your ingredient choices, very cool!

  • December 27 2009, 4:36 PM

    It does sound as though we have a great deal in common. I hope you’ll visit often. The beans (which I happen to have in my refrigerator at this very moment) are delicious. I never tire of them. If
    you make them and end up with alot of lquid, be sure to reduce it at the end of cooking. That makes all the difference!

  • July 5 2011, 10:20 PM

    That photo looks delicious- I so want to make this recipe! However, do you think these beans would be good at all if I omitted the sherry? I’m only 20, so I can’t buy sherry quite yet…

  • July 6 2011, 6:54 AM

    I have no idea what they’d be like without the sherry, but it’s can’t hurt to try. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks.

  • July 14 2011, 10:24 PM

    So, I made these yesterday, and the title says it all - even without the sherry, these beans are amazing! I love that they need so few ingredients and no pre-soaking. The slightly sweet background flavor from the juice complements the black beans perfectly. I can only imagine how fantastic they must be with the sherry. Thanks for the recipe!

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