Basic Beans (Legumes)

This is one of my family's favorite recipes. The best thing about this dish is that it can be used for any legume, resulting in a variety of dishes that taste great. I use a countertop pressure cooker for this recipe, but it can be done using a stove top pressure cooker, or a regular pot on the stove.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

  • 2 cups dry beans or peas of your choice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced (I use 1/3 green, 1/3 red, 1/3 orange)
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves
  • 3 to 4 cilantro stalks with leaves
  • Course salt to taste


  1. Wash beans/peas and place in a bowl. Cover with 6 cups cold water and soak overnight, or at least 12 hours. Drain and rinse beans until water runs clear.
  2. With the pressure cooker set to brown setting (or in a 6-quart pot on the stove), heat olive oil. Add onions, bell pepper,  jalapeño pepper, garlic, and oregano. Sauté until tender and fragrant. 
  3. Add soaked beans. Cut celery stalk so they fit inside pot and place on top with whole cilantro stalks (these will be removed after cooking). Cover with water until 1 inch above level of the beans. Season with salt until water is slightly saltier than you want the final dish (If following a low sodium diet, read this first). Cook for 80 minutes at 40 lb. pressure.  (If cooking in a regular pot on the stove, simmer until beans are tender.)
  4. When finished, continue to cook, uncovered, until "gravy" is the desired thickness to serve over rice, or leave thinned out to serve as a soup.


  • Serve as soup (add more water if needed) with diced avocado, diced tomato, chopped fresh cilantro, and a dollop of sour cashew cream.   
  • Serve over Cauliflower Rice, Wild Rice or Brown Rice