Tag Archives: black beans

Chocolate and White Wine for Dinner

In my pantry today:

  • 12 oz butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 c sweet white wine
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • dash asafoetida
  • 1-2 c cooked Basmati rice


Sorry if you feel tricked after the title by now reading something about black beans and butternut squash… technically, I do not feel ethically bound to do more than reassure you that both things mentioned in the title of this post are in this meal. Stick with me though, sad faces — I will not disappoint!

P1110177 copyGrapeseed oil has a very nice, light nutty flavor that comes across a lot more chaste than extra virgin olive oil. Turn the stove onto ML and let the onions/garlic cook for about 10m, then reduce heat to L, add the mustard seeds and walk away for an hour. Ready and set out the rest of your ingredients, wash some dishes, tidy the downstairs bathroom… you know, normal weekend stuff.

When everything has paled in the pan, increase heat to M. Add all spices (except cocoa powder) when mustard seeds begin to crackle and mush everything together. Add a splash of water to create a friendly mash then add in the squash. Mix-toss that junk over M heat for a few minutes, scraping the pan and adding nominal splashes of water when needed. When you might need to add a second or third splash of water, go ahead and substitute that undrained can of beans and 1/2 c white wine (Sauvignon Blanc used). Mix in the cocoa, bring everything to a light boil then reduce heat to L, cover and leave for 30-60m (depending on how tender you like your squash). When you come back to see a more liquidy sauce than you’d expected, fear not! Smash some of the squash cubes and mix to thicken the sauce. Serve over Basmati rice for 4 spoons of spicy, sweet savoriness.


Black Beans ‘n Slaw

  • 1 12 oz can black beans
  • 2 c red cabbage
  • 3/4 c asparagus, minced
  • 1/8 c minced red onion
  • 4 baby carrots, shredded
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 dash asafoetida
  • feta cheese to taste (omit for vegan status)

P1100429This is easier than the ingredient list suggests: start by emptying a can of black beans into a small pot. Add 1 tsp garlic paste, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp turmeric and a dash asafoetida; bring to a low boil on MH and reduce to ML once said boil is reached. Cover, let cook for as long as it’s got liquid.

I did use the food processor for a quick few pulses on the cabbage for a closer-to-slaw-without-being-too-tiny-to-care-it’s-cabbage size, and I used a cheese grater on the carrots. Come to think of it, the cheese grater might’ve been a good idea for the onion too, but today a knife did the trick. I dealt with frozen whole asparagus stems, and carefully excised 1/8-1/4″ chips from the top half of the stems. So mix all of that together.

In a small sauce pan, heat oil on ML and add garlic paste. Stir until paste is one with the oil. Mix vinegar with the rest of the seasonings; once pan is hot and paste dispersed stir in vinegar mix. Pour over all the stuff you mixed together from the above paragraph and let sit at room temperature for an hour. Top with your preferred quantity of feta cheese (about 1/3 c here) and serve alongside black beans over rice. These two dishes are surprisingly good together; I ended up mixing everything together and it tasted like the burrito filling you’d get at a fancy, um, burrito filling place… except with no sour cream and little cheese it was a touch less terrible for your health. 4 spoons!

Chicken and Black Beans in Macadamia Nut Gravy

In my pantry today:

  • 1 6oz can chicken breast
  • 1 14oz can black beans
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp macadamia nut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1/2 S sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida
I forgot to take photos of this meal, so here is a picture of the most tantalizing of all nutmeats.

I forgot to take photos of this meal, so here is a picture of the most tantalizing of all nutmeats.

First and foremost, thank you mom for the bag of macadamia nuts that in part went to the making of the macadamia nut butter that makes this dish great. I don’t have a specific magic recipe for macadamia nut butter, but nut butters in general are all pretty similar. Grind the nuts until they are butter. Add a little oil. Maybe a little salt. There was just a little left in the fridge this time, and a little is all you need.

Start the onion and garlic in olive oil on ML and let cook 15-20m (depending on your patience), stirring occasionally,  then sprinkle with turmeric and stir a little more. Stir in the macadamia nut butter until it melts into a gooey, near-liquid paste, drizzling in the vegetable broth until a thin gravy is made. Add then the entire can of black beans and entire well-drained can of chicken; stir and increase the heat to MH until a boil begins. Before rolling commences reduce to the ML side of L, stir in the cayenne and cover. Let cook another 20-30m. Serve over rice or pasta. 5 spoons!

Holy Taters ‘n Beans, Batman!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 26.5 oz can black beans
  • 3 sm sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 small sweet pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chile de arbol powder
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida
  • dash water

Holy Taters 'n Beans, Batman!As it turns out, I am making a crock pot meal today… but not one which utilizes the free haunch-meat of rodents (April Fools!). A big spicy pot of something meatless was on the menu — in fact, I don’t see any meat happening in the very near future. Not until the image of the half-squirrel LouLou once did bring inside stops suddenly also being in a delicious sauce. Cut your onions, pepper and sweet potatoes. Put onion and pepper into the olive oil already heated to H on the slow cooker scale. Add turmeric and let simmer for a few minutes, then add the beans and remainder of the seasonings. Rinse out the can with a little water and mix it in along with your sweet potatoes. Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender… this can be arranged whether you’d like it set before you leave the house bright and early, or whether you want it a little quicker. Either way you’ll get at least 4 spoons for dinner.

Black Bean Soft Tacos with Broccoli Salsa Tapenade

In my pantry today:

  • black beans
  • 1/2 c minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c broccoli salsa tapenade (below)

broccolitapenadeI want to cook with the new white corn tortillas I found at Aldi which are exactly like the ones my favorite (and really, the only I eat) soft tacos at our favorite Mexican restaurant here. There are black beans in the cupboard and in the fridge a few leftover broccoli florets that I just don’t want to see die. But black beans and tortillas, ok. I see that. But fitting broccoli into the equation?

  • 1/2 c broccoli crowns
  • 4 tbsp salsa
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp taco seasoning packet
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime wedge

Invite the food processor and that big bag of frozen lime wedges you still don’t entirely know what to do with, and get going on this easy little addition that will turn out to be better than anticipated. Pulse the broccoli and garlic paste until the broccoli is more finely minced than your human hands could possibly muster (yet not completely pureed). Remove to a small bowl and add seasonings, salsa and finish off with the lime. Set aside — you can obviously eat this immediately, but a couple of hours sitting never hurt no seasoning blend.

limesTo make the beans, start out minced garlic and onions in olive oil on ML for a few minutes, then do a half-ass drain/rinse on your can of black beans (a little of the gook in there will be helpful) and put in the pan. Add most of the vegetable broth, saving a little for additions later. Stir everything together, then place two (frozen here) lime wedges on top, cover and let cook for 20m or so. Remove limes, stir and add rest of broth then let simmer until taco time. Heat your tortillas between wet paper towels in the microwave for 30s — layer on beans, broccoli and cheese — I give this 5 spoons for both taste and creative use of leftover broccoli.

Leftover Roast Beef Travels South of the Border

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c sliced roast beef, cut into chunks
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1.5 c vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c minced yellow onion
  • 1/2 lime, wedged
  • 4 tsp Taco Seasoning ganked from a boxed taco kit in the cupboard
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • pinch asafoetida

leftoverroastbeefSo I wasn’t even really planning at its onset to write about what I assumed would be a boring, last-minute meal. I was under the MS weather yesterday and have no idea from whence this amazing creation came. Thanks have to go to my dad’s amazing 14lb roast beef — nothing would have ended up this tasty without it. I cut up about 1/2 of the leftovers he sent us home with, stuck the other half in the freezer then took a step back and regarded the pile of meat on the counter before me. We love Indian food, but obviously there really aren’t a lot of recipes there including cow. I had no way to make gravy and not enough of the ingredients needed to throw together a Thai salad. The options here were limited — but there was cooked rice in the fridge and beans in the cupboard!

Start out the same way I always do — garlic and onion in oil warming to M. Just before it gets to full on M, reduce the heat to ML and let cook for about ten minutes while you cut up the roast beef, drain/rinse the beans and then, say, empty the dishwasher. When you return to the pan dust in your seasonings and mix everything into a paste; scrape the bottom clean as you do this, adding in little drips of broth to help the process. Add in beans; when coated completely, add in broth little by little until beans are halfway covered. Turn heat to M as you do this until near-boiling. Top with diced roast beef and lime. Turn heat back to ML and cover pot; walk away for 5-10m while the limes cook onto things. Come back, remove limes and mix meat into broth, adding enough more to nearly cover things now. Bring to a low boil on M then reduce to MreallyL for a few hours, checking in once or twice to make sure all the meat remains covered in liquid. The meat ended up getting much more tender and flavoring the vegetable broth with the black beans and lime to come out in its own gravy. This was a lick-the-bowl good meal over rice and earned every one of its 5 spoons!



Thanksgiving Black Bean Brownies

In my pantry today:
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tsp caramel extract
  • 1 tsp butter flavor extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

I was interested enough in the idea of baking brownies that used beans that I overlooked some of the obvious missteps in the recipe I found… at least, I personally stand by the belief that no pan of brownies needs a tablespoon of any extract no matter its fiber content nor will it bake to completion in 18 minutes. That being said, most of this stays true to its original inspiration. Go ahead and put the drained, rinsed beans in the food processor with the  softened butter and other wet ingredients, puree until smooth. Mix that into the large bowl wherein you’ve also mixed the dry ingredients, then pour into a parchment-paper lined 8×8 pan and top with pecans. Bake at 350 for 30-45m. These brownies were a dark-chocolately hit at the diabetic dessert table at Thanksgiving, but could stand to be a little richer in texture and moistness. 3 spoons.

Meatless v. Meatloaded

In my pantry two days ago:

  • 1/5 c black beans
  • 1 ear corn, kernals removed
  • 1/2 c Rotel® tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

This sounds a lot more complicated than it is — just mince your onion and garlic, saute on ML for a 10-20m then turn heat up to M and when the pan gets there, add a dash of vinegar and honey. Reduce heat to L and let sit for another 5m or so before you begin adding in beans and tomatoes. Mix seasonings with broth and corn starch, add to pan with corn and turn heat to M until a first few bubbles  pop. Turn heat to L and let rest for 10-15m before serving over (you guessed it!) rice with a little cheese on top for good measure (to remove the  vegan option on this already hearty meatless number). 4 spoons!

*It is of importance to me that on this day I also purposefully overcooked beans so that there are two more portions in the freezer for easy later use.

 In my pantry today:

  • a roll of pork sausage

So dinner the other night was excellent and meatless. Today — blame the steroids, because I’m not above doing that — I wanted to smell a big, cheap-ass tunnel of pork browning on my stove. After I met the odor quota, some was bagged for freezing, some grease reserved and then this:

  • 3/4 c browned ground sausage
  • 1 c leftovers from above (sans rice)
  • 2 c penne pasta

Toss all that together. NOM. 5 spoons!

*Also of note this week was the blanching, chopping and subsequent freezing of 10 giant tomatoes.


The Burritotal Package

In my pantry today:

  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 large zucchini
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1″ of a leek, minced
  • 1/4 c cream cheese
  • 2 c shredded cheddar
  • 1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 4 0z can tomato sauce
  • 1 4 oz can chipotle salsa
  • 1/2 tsp Fiesta chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 diced tomato (garnish)
  • 1/4 c minced cilantro (garnish)
  • 1/2 c sour cream (garnish)

This spent an extra day not getting written, but only because I’ve got other stuff to do and not because it’s been, like, sitting out on the counter waiting. I don’t have a whole lotta time for soliloquy now either, though, so this is gonna be a quick and dirty recipe rundown:

– Slice leeks and mince roasted garlic. Warm on ML in olive oil for 10m. Increase heat to M. When at full M,

– Add small slices of zucchini and stir fry for 2m. Then,

– Stir in beans. Reduce heat to L and cover.

– Prep garnishes; set aside.

– Mix chipolte salsa and can of tomato sauce together. Heat.

– Make a thick cheese sauce on ML with: cream cheese, cheddar and milk.

– Drizzle some of the salsa/tomato sauce mixture into the bottom of a glass baking dish.

– Smear the inside of a tortilla with cheese. Put in some beanzchini. Fold, place in baking dish.

– Repeat three more times.

– Cover burritos with remainder of cheese sauce and drizzle more red sauce on. Put in a 350° oven for 10m. Serve hot with tomato, cilantro and sour cream to garnish

5 spoons!

Polenta di Fagioli Nero

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c black beans
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 14.5 oz cans plain petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 c water
  • 4 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 c yellow ground corn (polenta/grits)
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1.5 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Parmesan cheese

You should start out with your beans mostly cooked, so canned would work in this just fine. I won’t judge you. Mine went back into the crock pot with the tomatoes, cayenne, 3 tsp of garlic paste and water for a few hours until they were meal-tender. Don’t overzealously season the entire pot in an assumption that you’re making an entire Italian meal for five; dinner tonight will only call for a fraction of the batch and the rest can be stored in universal flavor anticipation for a maybe Indian- or Mexican-inspired meal.

To make the polenta: put broth and milk with salt, pepper and 1 tsp garlic paste in a deep pot and bring to a rapid boil on H. Slowly add in the polenta whilst stirring; reduce heat to MH and stir constantly until liquid is reduced and an oatmeal-like consistency turns about. Pour into a small, greased loaf pan and bake at 350° for 15-20m. When done, let cool completely before slicing.

Upon dinner time, remove most of the batch and set aside to cool before refrigeration. To tonight’s dinner-for-two portion that still remains in the crock pot, add the pesto paste, 1/2 tsp garlic paste and stir well. Mince your fresh spinach for topping and set aside. And now, after being properly patient about it all, turn your polenta loaf upside-down on a plate, shake it out and slice it. Spoon beans and tomatoes over the slices then top that with Parmesan and minced spinach. The polenta was as velvety as if I’d made it with butter and cream, and was an excellent gentle compliment to those rowdy tomatoes and beans. 4 spoons!