Well, you know how the rest of the rhyme goes! Over the past 7 years or so, my palate has been expanded in ways that I could have never imagined. I have been compiling a list in my head of all the foods or types of foods that I used to detest, but now really enjoy. And the food that would top that list, hands down, is beans. The word "detest" doesn't even begin to do justice in describing the way that I used to feel about beans. Words like horrified, disgusted, and vomitous would be slightly closer in describing just how much animosity I had towards the legume family. In the past, I developed quite a talent in being able to eat an entire bowl of chili without consuming a single bean. (My Mom can confirm this.) Why did I hate beans so much? I really don't know, but I came to a point in my life where I came to the decision that I was going to give beans a chance. My body was saying to me, "Sarah, we need iron! We need protein! Please, could you give us some fiber and potassium?" I started listening to this body that God has given me and now, some years later, I eat beans on a regular basis.
So how do you feel about these little goobers? Do you gag at the thought of beans? Or maybe you're just a little hesitant to eat them? Or perhaps you're eating beans for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Regardless, here are a two bean recipes that have universal appeal: they are quick, economical and choc-full of healthy goodness. (And remember: take Bean-o before, and there will be no gas!)
Black Bean Soup
This is my adaptation of a recipe I found on a saltine box 4 years ago. It quickly became one of those faithful stand-by recipes that every cook needs. The cornbread recipe from this post pairs extremely well with it!
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 T. ground cumin
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T. olive oil
- 3 (15 oz.) cans black beans, undrained
- 1 (15 oz.) can chicken broth (preferrably low-sodium, low-fat)
- 3 cups chunky salsa
- juice and zest of one lime
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste
- optional toppings: low-fat sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions or guacamole
In a 4-qt. saucepot, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, cumin and garlic in oil until onion is tender, about 4-5 minutes; remove from heat
Puree 2 cans of beans and their liquid in batches with the chicken broth in a blender; add to saucepot. Drain and rinse the remaining can of beans; add to saucepot. Stir in salsa, lime juice, zest, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Heat the mixture to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with desired toppings.
Yield: 5-6 servings
Caribbean Black Beans
I found a link to this recipe from one of my frequently-visited-blogs: Foodmomiac. It really lived up to the description she gave, as it was so incredibly simple to prepare, yet didn't lack in flavor one bit. For the recipe, click here.