Miso-Tahini Green Beans

November 24, 2010

Are you looking for a last minute, extremely easy to prepare, gourmet-tasting, and of course, healthy recipe to round off your Thanksgiving spread?

This recipe is from Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen, a cookbook written by some of my favorite teachers, supervisors, and mentors:  Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir, and Mika Ono.

Americans do not consume enough vegetables.  Plain and simple.  Often times when I recommend vegetables to my patients, their first response is:  “I’ll eat more salads.”  For some reason in this country, salads are the go-to health food.  While they do contain healthy vegetables, salads are raw and cold in nature and can be difficult to digest if there is any weakness in the digestive system.

I have found that many of my patients have weakened spleens and stomachs.  According to Chinese Medicine, too many raw and cold foods (salads, smoothies, sushi, etc) are very taxing on the digestive system.  Think about it:  Our body is 98.6 degrees.  If we dump a lot of raw, cold foods into our guts, we must also provide the extra energy needed to warm, break down, and digest them.  With time, over-consumption of these foods can leave the digestive organs tired and sluggish.  Other factors that can weaken the digestive system are:  eating at irregular intervals, eating quickly and on the run, and eating while emotional.

Cooked foods are much easier to digest, and are less taxing on the body.   This dish does not taste like “health food,” but it is full of nutrition that is readily accessible for your body.  Also, you need not be a chef to prepare this recipe.  Personally, I have made it many times and will be bringing it to the Thanksgiving table tomorrow.  Please share your feedback after preparing and tasting this dish!

Miso-Tahini Green Beans – Makes 3 Servings


2 tablespoons tahini or other sesame paste

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon white miso

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons water, or to taste

3/4 pound green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

A pinch of salt


1.  Mix the tahini, lemon juice, white miso, garlic, and water together in a small bowl and stir until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.  This may take a few minutes.

2.  Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add the green beans and the salt.  Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until done.  Drain.

3.  Spoon the dressing over the beans, toss well, and serve.


According to the authors of Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen, this recipe is especially good for promoting sustained energy and longevity, and addressing conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and puffy joints.  I highly recommend this cookbook as a resource for delicious recipes and for those who wish to embrace the idea that “food is medicine.”

You are what you eat.

In good health,



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