Although I don't grow black beans, they are something I really love to use in my cooking. Especially since I've been trying to integrate vegetarian meals into my famil diet. Luck for me, our home grown tomatoes and black beans are wonderful eating companions!
In light of the whole "Meat-free Mondays" thing I mentioned in a previous post, I thought I would add a few of my favorite dishes using both black beans and the tomatoes we grew last year and froze.
For the record, black beans are a great source of vitamins and nutrients. The website called the world's healthiest foods (or whfoods.com) says "The amazing protein-plus-fiber content of black beans. From a single, one-cup serving of black beans you get nearly 15 grams of fiber (well over half of the Daily Value and the same amount consumed by the average U.S. adult in one entire day of eating) and 15 grams of protein (nearly one third of the Daily Value and equivalent to the amount in 2 ounces of a meat like chicken or a fish like salmon). You won't find this outstanding protein-fiber combination in fruit, vegetables, grains, meats, dairy products, nuts and seeds, or seafood. The almost magical protein-fiber combination in legumes--including black beans--explains important aspects of their health benefits for the digestive tract, the blood sugar regulatory system, and the cardiovascular system."
First we have a big feed of vegetarian burritos!
Burritos are an easy and quick way to feed your family healthy, nutritious food.
I fry up some onions and garlic in a frying pan. I add black beans, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, chili powder and cumin. S & P to taste. Then I add some pre-cooked brown and wild rice. (I always keep some cooked rice in the fridge in case) FYI beans and rice served together make up a complete protein! Livestrong.com says "Beans and rice combined provide all of the B vitamins except B12, including thiamine (41 percent DV), vitamin B6 and niacin (23 percent DV each) and 8 to 9 percent of thiamine and pantothenic acid. Beans supply 230 micrograms (mcg) of folate; rice has 128 mcg, for a huge total of 90 percent of the recommended daily value."Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/96675-nutrition-beans-rice/#ixzz1okGgEzC6
Then comes the fun part! I lay out the ingredients in small bowls so it feels like a buffet! (Plus i don't have to build everyone's burrito...) I shred cheese, chop lettuce and spinach, chop tomatoes, chop orange peppers (thats just what I had on hand, you can use any flavour or colour). I use white tortilla wraps (because I find the whole wheat kind breaks easily) I also set out some home made salsa and ranch dressing for those who want it.
My husband Ches made home made salsa back in September when all of our veggies were ripening at the same time (or so it felt like it). Everything went into the salsa and placed in jars.
Next you fill the wrap and roll it. Bibs may be required but at least you'll know its all good stuff.
Another recipe I made was Southwest soup.
Take a large pot and add onions and garlic with a bit of oil. Simmer until translucent.
Add a dozen or a dozen and a half of frozen tomates (we had both red and yellow tomatoes).
Add some water and simmer until the tomatoes are all thawed. I always add a tsp of white sugar to lessen the bitterness of the tomatoes. Then I add black beans (I use canned and then rinse thoroughly) and corn (frozen from last fall), as well as lemon or lime juice. Next you add the yummy spices that give it its southwestern flavour. Chili powder and cayenne...1/4 tsp each or more depending on your taste. Or go the easy route and add taco seasoning...but you can't control the salt as easily with this method.
You can simmer this soup all day if you like and serve with corn bread (aka johnny cake) or sprinkle with bits of seasoned taco chips.
So now you can enjoy some meatless alternatives that really don't feel like alternatives.
Try something meat free today! (start planning for this Monday...)
And as always, check out my facebook page for Small Purse, Big Garden...it has loads more recipes, photos, links and helpful tips for growing and cooking your own food, living green and living a bit more gently on this earth.