Hot & Sour Beans (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free)

Hot and Sour Beans (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, tomato-free, easy) photo

Hot and Sour Beans. Normally, I would cook them so that there was a little liquid/sauce left. But that's what I get for making fun of mom's cooking, isn't it?

Hot & Sour Beans is my ultimate in comfort food.  When I get sick, or am cranky, grouchy, or otherwise need a solid round of comfort food, this is what I crave. Mom used to make it all the time for us, when we were growing up (the high amine version, of course). Now, I love my mom. But she was never aces in the kitchen. Simple foods were great, but anything more just wasn’t her style. So Hot and Sour Beans was a staple. Easy to make, delicious, and filling. I’ll show you the original recipe, before I move on to the low-amine hot and sour beans recipe made with homemade baked beans.

The Original (high amine) “Hot & Sour Beans” Recipe a la Momma:

2 (15 oz) cans of original baked beans

1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne

1 C white vinegar

1 lb ground beef

Several cups rice, cooked.

  • Start your rice cooking.
  • Cook ground beef in a pan till mostly done, breaking it up into small bits. Drain fat.
  • Add beans, vinegar, and cayenne to a pot. Heat on medium and reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cayenne or vinegar as needed.
  • Serve piping hot over rice.
To make it a low amine food, I swapped out baked beans in a can for homemade baked beans and exchanged vinegar with ascorbic acid. The rest is delicious history.

4 C homemade baked beans

1 C water

3 tsp ascorbic acid

1 lb ground beef

1/2 tsp – 1 Tbsp cayenne, to taste

Several cups rice, cooked

  • Start your rice cooking.
  • In a large pan, cook ground beef over medium high till mostly done, breaking it up into small bits. Drain and discard fat.
  • Add beans, ascorbic acid, water, and cayenne. Once hot, reduce to a medium-low simmer.
  • Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cayenne or ascorbic acid as needed to tweak flavor.
  • Serve piping hot over rice and enjoy my low-amine version of Mom’s awesome, easy, ghettofabulous Hot and Sour Beans!


Very Low Amine: water, ascorbic acid, ground beef, rice

Low Amine: homemade baked beans

Very High Amine: cayenne pepper


Baked Beans (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, tomato-free)

Baked Beans (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, tomato-free, low-fat, vegetarian, vegan) photo

Baked Beans (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, tomato-free, low-fat, vegan)

I’m not huge on baked beans on their own as a side dish, but they are an integral part of one of my all-time favorite comfort foods: Hot and Sour Beans. But for those baked bean lovers out there… This low-amine, vegan baked bean recipe is for you.

1 lb dried navy beans

1 large onion, chopped

1 carrot, minced

1 tsp celery seed

12 garlic cloves, minced

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 C molasses

1/4 C no-tomato ketchup substitute

2 Tbsp soy sauce substitute

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp liquid smoke

1 Tbsp cornstarch (mixed in with 1 Tbsp cold water)

  • Pick any pebbles, debris, and icky beans out and discard.
  • Rinse beans and cover in water. Soak using one of two methods:
  • Soak overnight (8+ hours) in the refrigerator.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Turn off heat. Skim foam off the top and cover beans. Let stand for an hour.
  • Ensure you have enough water in the pot, and bring pot to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook beans, covered for 30 minutes. Beans should be fairly cooked through at this point (test your beans, as older beans take longer to cook).
  • Drain beans, but reserve cooking liquids.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Transfer beans to a large casserole dish or Pyrex pan.
  • Add all ingredients in with beans and stir. Make sure that when you add the cornstarch, you stir right away so that it does not clump.
Baked beans ingredients (low-amine, low-fat, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, tomato-free) photo

Baked beans ingredients (low-amine, low-fat, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, tomato-free)

  • Pour back enough water to cover the beans by a quarter to half inch.
Baked beans with water over the top (photo)

Baked beans with water over the top

  • Cover beans and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 3 hours, stir, and continue cooking for another 3 hours.
  • Beans are done when tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Very Low Amine: beans, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, no-tomato ketchup substitute, soy-sauce substitute, black pepper, salt, liquid smoke

Low Amine: brown sugar, molasses

Very High Amine: dry mustard powder 

Cajun Black Beans

Low Amine Cajun Black Beans plated  photo

Low Amine Cajun Black Beans

For my low amine Cajun Thanksgiving feast, I made low amine Cajun black beans. They’re fairly simple, and I was able to make them the night before, just leaving the final cooking step till Thanksgiving day. It was a nice high-protein addition to what is normally a very carb-heavy meal.

2 C dried black beans

6 C water

½ bag frozen sweet corn

1 green chili, de-seeded and minced

3 Tbsp garlic powder

2 medium onions diced

1/2 C cilantro, minced

1 Tbsp safflower oil

3 Tbsp Cajun seasoning

1 Tbsp vegetable boullion

  • Sort through beans and remove any debris and bad beans.
  • Add beans, water, half the onion, vegetable bouillon, oil, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and chilies. Cook for about three hours over medium heat, or until beans are done.
  • Reduce heat to low. Remove about 1 C cooked black beans and mash into a paste. Add back into the pot. Mix well and cook down until the liquid is fairly reduced (it should end up like a thick soup or wet porridge). Be careful to stir often and keep temperature low so that the beans don’t burn.
  • Add corn, the rest of the onion, and cilantro. Turn up heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Low Amine Cajun Black Beans with Corn, Cilantro, and Onion photo

Low Amine Cajun Black Beans with Corn, Cilantro, and Onion

  • Keep Cajun black beans warm in the pot until serving.
  • Garnish with thinly sliced cilantro leaves, if serving plated (rather than at the table).
Very Low Amine: black beans, water, corn, garlic powder, onion, cilantro
Low Amine: safflower oil, Cajun seasoning
Very High Amine: green chili, vegetable boullion

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