Thursday, January 20, 2011
Black Beans - Learning to love black beans!
Black beans have certainly increased in popularity over the last few years. They have become a staple for many, used not only for their flavor and to add a southwestern flair to meals, but also as a meat extender. They are healthy as well as inexpensive. Black beans can be one of the main ingredients in any dip, adding other ingredients such as corn, tomatoes, avocados, salsa, chilies or anything else you like. They are a great addition to soups or chili. Black beans have certainly earned the reputation as one of the most versatile beans you can use. They are healthy and can be added to lots of meals. A great way to teach your kids to like beans.
Black Bean Tips:
Freezing: My favorite tip for using black beans is to soak them overnight, cook 1 ½ - 2 hours till tender. Drain and cool the beans. Spread on a baking sheet or tray on waxed paper or and freeze till firm. Store in a Ziploc bag in your freezer. Take a few out whenever you wish to add to any dish or salad. You eat more beans because they are already cooked and ready in just a moment. They are a great way to make the meat in your favorite dish go farther.
Chili substitution tip: To use black beans in your favorite chili recipe, substitute half the kidney beans for black beans.
Money-Saving tip: 1 lb. (2 c.) dry black beans cost about $.77 (at Winco). Much cheaper than buying by the can. If you freeze them they can be used in any amount, for example added to a salad, without having to use a whole can and maybe throw some out.
Black Beans Cooking Tips & Cooking time tips:Sort beans to be sure there are no small twigs or stones that might break a tooth. Depending on the age of dried black beans, they could take 2 hours or longer to cook. Fresher dried beans will contain more moisture and cook in less time. Pre-soaking black beans overnight will significantly reduce cooking time. Cover with 2” water and allow for expansion in the container. Drain and cover with fresh water before cooking.
Quick-soak method: cover beans with water, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 2 hours. Drain, cover with fresh water and continue cooking. The beans may prematurely break up with a quick-soak method. Use the overnight method for dishes where it is essential the beans stay whole, such as salads and relishes.
Do not add salt or acidic ingredients such as lemon, vinegar, wine, and tomatoes until the beans are finished or nearly done cooking. Adding earlier can cause the beans to toughen.
If additional water is needed during the cooking process, use boiling water rather than cold water.
Equivalents and Measuring tips:
Amount of beans in1 can of black beans = 1 2/3 cups
1 cup dry beans = 2 ½ – 3 cups cooked
Today we’ll share some recipes that use black beans and some ways to incorporate them in your cooking and maybe even baking. These recipes are a great way to introduce black beans to your family and learn to use them on a regular basis.
Lawry’s Burrito Casserole
1 lb ground beef
1 2/3 c. cooked black beans or 1-15 oz can black beans
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1½ c. water
1 (1.4 oz) package Lawry's Chimichurri Burrito Casserole seasoning
8 flour tortillas
1 ½ c. shredded Mexican Cheese blend
In a large skillet brown your ground beef over medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
When the beef is browned, drain the fat off. Add cooked black beans or drain and rinse canned black beans and add them to the browned beef. In a small mixing bowl, or glass measuring cup mix together water, tomato sauce, and Lawry's seasoning packet. Pour 1 c. red sauce into beef and bean mixture. Stir to mix. Fill each tortilla with some of the meat mixture. Troll up. Lay in a 9x13” pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with other 7 tortillas. Pour rest of red sauce over the top of the rolled burritos. Cover with cheese. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes or till heated through and cheese is melted. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes green onions and sour cream, cilantro or avocado if desired. Yield: 8 servings *Note: these freeze well. Make and roll burritos. After topping with red sauce, cover with foil, label and freeze. Thaw before baking, top with cheese and bake as directed.
Jenny’s Crock-Pot Aztec Chicken
1 2/3 c. black beans + ½ c. cooking liquid or use 1 can black beans, undrained
1 can whole kernel corn – drained
1 jar salsa
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. cream cheese
In a crock-pot, layer beans, corn, ½ jar salsa, chicken breasts and remaining ½ jar salsa. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. At the last half hour, cut up chicken and stir in cubed cream cheese. Stir occasionally till cheese is melted. Serve over hot cooked rice.
Black bean brownies (gluten free)
1 2/3 c. cooked black beans or substitute 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 T. vegetable oil
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. white sugar
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (optional)
Note: For a healthier recipe substitute the oil with 3 T. unsweetened applesauce + 1 t. coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish. Combine black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract, sugar, and brown sugar in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.
Chicken and Black Bean Quesadillas with lime dipping sauce
3 large chicken breasts
1 ½ c. water
1 T. canola oil
1 envelope Fajita Seasoning mix
1 2/3 c. cooked black beans or substitute 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. corn
1-2 c. shredded Cheese, Mexican blend or cheddar
8-10 flour tortillas
Put chicken in a crock-pot sprayed with cooking spray. Mix seasoning packet, water and oil; pour over chicken. Cover and cook for 4 hours, or till done. Shred chicken and return to crock-pot. Simmer for 1 hour longer. Spray a skillet with cooking spray; over medium heat, lay a tortilla on the skillet. Cover half of the tortilla with some chicken, black beans, corn and cheese. Fold over the other half of the tortilla. Heat until the cheese has started to melt. Flip it over and let the other side of the tortilla get heated; melt the cheese completely. Cut in wedges; serve with lime-sour cream dipping sauce.
Lime-sour cream dipping sauce
1 T. lime juice
¼ c. sour cream
¼ c. mayo
1 ½ T. grated lime peel
Blend together sour cream, lime peel, mayo and lime juice until smooth.
Black bean soup
¼ c. chopped onion
W garlic cloves, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
½ t. chili powder
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 2/3 c. cooked black beans or 1 can drained and rinsed
1 c. beef or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 T. lime juice
1/6 t. hot pepper sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional garnishes: Sour cream, tortilla chips or strips, cilantro, shredded cheese
Sauté onion and garlic in oil till tender. Stir in cumin, oregano and chili powder. Sauté 2 minutes longer. Add tomato sauce, beans, broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in lime juice; simmer 10-15 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf and add salt, pepper and hot sauce. Garnish as desired. Y: 2-3 servings
Black Bean Cola Chili
About 3 cups dried black beans soaked overnight
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup cola soda (Coca Cola, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper)
About 3 c. chicken broth
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. chili powder, or more to taste
1 t. kosher salt, or more to taste
Garnish: sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, lime wedges
Place black beans, chopped onion, and garlic in a large heavy pot. Add cola, chicken broth, and enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until black beans are tender, about 1½ - 2 hours. Remove 1½ cups of the black beans and place in a blender with lime juice, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt. Puree the mixture and return to the pot of black beans. Stir to combine. To serve, garnish with dollops of sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, and lime wedges to be squeezed into the soup at the table. *Note: if you wish to add meat, add 1 lb. cooked and crumbled ground beef or sausage after you puree’ the beans and heat through.
Yield: 8 servings
Black Bean Salsa
1 2/3 c. cooked black beans or 1 can black beans
1 1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed or 1 can corn
1 can petite diced tomatoes (With or without chilies)
1 c. finely diced celery, optional
1 green pepper chopped
¼ medium Red onion chopped
½ c. Italian salad dressing
1 diced avocado (optional)
Drain beans & corn. Mix all ingredients. Add Avocado just before serving and do not store salsa with avocado. Serve with tortilla chips. Y: 6 c.
Black Bean Burgers
3 cups black beans, prepared
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 T. plus 1/2 c. chunky salsa for topping
1 t. cumin
1 t. onion powder
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. Tabasco sauce
Soak beans overnight. Cook 1 ½ - 2 hours until soft. If using canned beans, drain liquid from 2 cans beans. Mash beans, add ingredients mixing well together. Form into patties and cook on a skillet over the stove in a little oil, or on the grill. Be careful when flipping so they won't fall apart. Cook on a grill over low heat for 3 minutes on each side or until they develop the crust you want. Top with salsa or other toppings.