Meet our Featured Chef and Dietitian Abbie Gellman!

Abbie Gellman

Abbie Gellman loves beans so much that she even incorporates them at least twice a week in the breakfasts she prepares for her family!   After having spent time on Wall Street where she worked in hospitality, food and beverage consulting and equity research, she decided to pursue her passion and return to school for a Masters in Nutrition.

Abbie is a rare combination of a registered dietitian with both culinary and a business background. She uses all of these skill-sets to run her company, Culinary Nutrition Cuisine in New York City. Cooking provides an opportunity for Abbie to be creative and try different foods, flavors, cooking methods and more. Cooking is a form of meditation for Abbie, especially when she gets into a groove of whatever she is preparing.

Abbie encourages her clients to eat beans because they are simple to cook and easily integrate into a variety of flavor profiles and cuisines. Beans are also very satisfying, helping us to feel full longer as our bodies metabolize them. One dish that is a staple in her home is also her daughter’s favorite recipe. Black beans cooked with onions, cilantro, and lime combined with brown rice or quinoa, with toppings such as cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and peppers. Abbie finds that the dried beans are wallet friendly and provide a wider variety of beans than canned options.

Abbie has shared her Bean and Barley Chili with us! You can use any dry beans you have on hand in your pantry…don’t be afraid to mix and match!

photo courtesy of Abbie Gellman

photo courtesy of Abbie Gellman

Bean & Barley Chili
recipe courtesy of Abbie Gellman
Makes 6 servings



  • ½ pound dry beans, any mixture (for this recipe, I like pinto, white, and black beans, but use any type you prefer)


  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 6 ounces vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 1/3 cup barley, pearled
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional garnish: sour cream or yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese, avocado



  1. Soak beans overnight in a bowl with water covering them by a few inches. The next day, drain and rinse beans then transfer them to a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and leave undisturbed for an hour. If not yet cooked through at one hour, keep at a gentle simmer and begin checking every 20-30 minutes, adding water as necessary and tasting for doneness. Once done, drain, add a pinch of salt, and set aside. Note: do not season the beans while cooking, this will toughen them and they will not cook through.


  1. Heat dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat, add olive oil, then sauté onion, pepper, and garlic.
  2. Add tomato paste, cumin, and chili powder to create a paste and sauté for another minute.
  3. Add vegetable stock, beans, and barley. Cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook for another 40 minutes until barley is tender. Add more stock or water if barley absorbs all of the liquid too quickly.
  5. Add cocoa powder, chipotle pepper, honey, and water (to loosen if necessary). Add salt and pepper.
  6. Add garnish (optional) and enjoy!

*Note: can use 2 cups of canned beans, rinsed and drained, in place of dried beans if preferred





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