Basic Black Beans From Scratch – Recipe Redux

Looking to “amp-up” your freezer-meal arsenal? Have no fear, because my Basic Black Beans are here!

Ok, so that was a little hokey, but it’s true! This month’s theme for the Recipe Redux was to share one of our favorite freezer meals. Immediately, I thought of my favorite recipe for basic black beans. How many times have they saved my life? More than I can count, let’s just say that.

What’s so great about these beans? EVERYTHING!

I’m not joking. They are just an all-around hero in my house and let me tell you why. First, they are made from scratch and that makes for some pretty perfect beans. Oh, I hear you mocking me about that, but hear me out. When you cook beans from scratch, you get to flavor them and control their firmness. Have you ever tried to eat a bean from a can, just by itself? It’s not that great, right? Generally flavorless and slightly on the mushy side, right? Well, those beans have their purpose, but not when I just want to sit down and eat a bowl full. Second, these beans are freezer champions. Meaning, you can stick these beauties in the freezer and then break off bits and pieces when you want them. It’s amazing and such a time saver!

Oh, I can almost hear you now…”Sara, this is great, but what the heck am I going to do with all of these beans?”

Don’t freak out! I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that! There’s sooooo much you can do with these. First, you can literally just eat them out of the pot like soup. Top a bowl of black beans with Greek yogurt, a little salsa and cheddar cheese and you’ve got an amazing meal. Or, drain them and add them to tacos or burritos. Still not buying it? Try mashing them up and putting them in a quesadilla or on top of a piece of whole grain toast along with some avocado. Sound good? Whew…now go make them and see for yourself!

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Basic Black Beans From Scratch


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

With just a little planning, delicious black beans can be yours to be used in any meal. These beans freeze well, so enjoy some now and stick them in the freezer to have later.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Instructions

The night before

  1. Place the rinsed black beans in one or two large, sealable container(s) and pour enough water over them to cover by a few inches (they’ll expand a little, so give them room!)

To cook the beans

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, stirring and cook an additional 1 minute.
  2. Drain the beans from the soaking liquid (you can toss the soaking liquid) and place in the pot with the onions and cumin. Add the water, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Stir, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover partially with a lid. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, Add the salt and cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until the beans are tender, but still holding their shape.
  3. Remove beans from the heat and stir in the Mexican oregano.
  4. Serve as is for the perfect side dish or drain and add to tacos or quesadillas. They can also be served as soup and topped with Greek yogurt, chopped tomatoes and fresh cilantro.

Notes

  • Makes about 6 cups drained black beans.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 12
  • Calories: 146
  • Sugar: 1
  • Sodium: 8
  • Fat: 2
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 25
  • Protein: 8
  • Cholesterol: 0

 


Black Bean Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

Well, it’s officially September and it’s blazing saddles here in Chicago. That means it’s time to be creative in the kitchen. Read, “how can I cook without cooking?” Luckily, Mother Nature is on our side during the warmer months, providing us with a wealth of fresh produce that requires very little preparation. How kind of Her! So, to keep the sweat at bay, I created this hearty bean salad that’s both refreshing and satisfying.

If you’ve got a can opener and a knife, you’re all set for this recipe. Just pop open a couple of cans of beans, then chop up some fresh veggies and you’ve pretty much got this dish made. Lots of beans and veggies means you know it’s good for you, which is just an added bonus, really. Then, to jazz it all up a bit, I’ve created a tangy, yet sweet vinaigrette made from fresh lime juice and zest as well as honey, mustard and olive oil. That’s it! So easy, just like I promised.

Serve up a big bowl of this tonight for dinner and save the rest to munch on during the week. This salad tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge.

P.S. – If you’re not in the mood to cook an ear of fresh corn, you can substitute thawed corn or canned corn. See, so easy!

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Black Bean Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

This delightfully healthy dish comes together fast and it not only looks beautiful, but tastes great too.


Scale

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 ear of fresh corn, shucked and cleaned (or about 1 cup corn kernels)
  • 1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or any other bean will work here too)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)

For the dressing

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste

Instructions

To prepare the salad

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the corn and return to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse the corn under cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and when cool enough to touch, cut kernels from the cob and add to a large serving or mixing bowl.
  2. To the same bowl with the corn, add the beans, peppers, onion, cilantro and jalapeño, if you’re using it. Toss to combine.

For the dressing

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the mustard, lime zest, lime juice and honey. Whisk in the olive oil.

To serve

  1. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to evenly coat the beans and vegetables. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Toss again before serving.

Notes

  • This recipe makes between 7 1/2 and 8 cups salad.
  • You don’t have to let this salad sit in the fridge before digging in, but it does taste so much better when you do!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8
  • Calories: 201
  • Sugar: 7
  • Sodium: 140
  • Fat: 10
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 25
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 0