Monday, July 12, 2010

Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit...

I won't finish the song, but I know you know it!

Today I want to talk about yummy black beans. I am by no means an expert, but I've come to really like and appreciate this little bean.

The internet says this:

An oval bean with a black skin, cream-colored flesh, and a sweet flavor. Black beans have long been popular in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and the southern United States. Also called turtle bean. Matches well with: avocados, bacon, cheese, chilies, cilantro, coriander, cumin, garlic, ham, jalapenos, mint, onion, oranges, peppers, rice, sour cream, tequila, tomatoes.

Me and beans haven't always gotten along. It's not because of it's magical properties (although I've been known to make some pretty loud "magic", if you know what I mean!), but more of a texture thing. When I was a little girl, I would sit in front of a pile of stewed tomatoes and gag at the thought of eating them. I may or may not have actually gagged, but you'll have to confirm that with my Mom. I'll never tell.
I had issues with many foods and their textures growing up. Peas (canned- still don't like them. I prefer frozen.), stewed tomatoes (LOVE tomatoes and always have, just not the slimy whole kind. Now I love any kind of tomato, stewed or fresh.), LIVER (ewww, who really "likes" liver besides my parents? I will NEVER grow to like liver...*shudder*) garbanzo beans, kidney beans, any beans except green, and that's really all I can think of now. But other than that, I loved food. Probably why I wanted to be a chef and have been fat all my life. Food is awesome and tastes REALLY good!! And it's fun...but let's move on shall we?

My Sister, Leslie has loved black beans for many many years ever since she was a Missionary in Guatemala and has some great recipes to share. Maybe if we encourage her, she'll post them here for all of us to try?

So, why black beans? Well...I was talking with my Mom yesterday on Skype and she was eating what she called "Speedy Black Bean Soup". I wasn't familiar with that recipe (like if she cooked it herself or bought it that way), and maybe she can guest post on here too and give us all the recipe?!

Anyhoo...this morning after I went to the bank, I got to thinking. "I have to package up some chicken for the freezer, why don't I just cook up some chicken with some black beans and tomatoes? Oooh yum, that sounds good", I said no one in particular. I was alone in the room, ok? Like you don't talk to yourself? I do! And viola! Easy-Peasy Black Bean "Soup" was born. Right there in my kitchen. It cooed at me and I tickled it under the chin and put it though college. Seriously though, anyone can make this. It's just that easy.

So onto the recipe right?? I know you are dying to hear my latest and greatest culinary discovery right? Riiiight??!!

No culinary discovery here, but this is some good eats!

Easy-Peasy Black Bean "Soup"

I call it "soup" because you can add more liquid, i.e. chicken broth or water to make it more soup-y, but I liked it thicker like a stew or thick soup. It's all about preference. Yours, not mine. I aim to please. 
Serves generously 2 or less generously 4
Time: about 30 min. or 45 if you want to simmer it longer


Chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
Onion, chopped
2 cans black beans, 
2 cans diced tomatoes
chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, garlic salt, and minced garlic to taste
Olive oil
*optional* sour cream or plain yogurt and shredded cheese.

Rinse and pat dry chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces, season with chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic salt. Drizzle with olive oil and mix in shallow bowl to distribute spices.
Dice onion. Heat skillet to medium high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Brown chicken for a few minutes and add onion and stir around until it looks good. :o) 

Sort of looks like this: 

Then add canned diced tomatoes with all the juice. Stir and admire your work.

It'll look something like this:

So far this isn't rocket science and most of my readers (all 3 of you...ok 5 since I know my FAMILY reads this) know how to do basic cooking, like browning meat, and stirring around some canned ingredients. 

Then I added the black beans. The first can I kept all the liquid, but the second can, I drained off some of the clear stuff on the top. Probably would have kept that in since I ended up adding some water because I let it cook too long and some of the liquid evaporated. 

And it looked like this: 

Lower the heat to simmer and cook with lid on until liquid is somewhat reduced and the flavors have had time to mingle and date. You'll thank yourself for it later when you taste its goody goodness!

Here you'll have to use your imagination. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. I know, I'm a dork. I did post about it on Facebook though...without a picture. 

Angie said: "I wish you had smell-a-vision or taste-a-vision because I just made killer black bean and chicken soup for lunch!! I impress myself. Thanks Mom for having black bean soup yesterday for lunch so I could today! ♥"

It was really tasty, and very easy to make. My Mom later told me she made hers with corn and balsamic vinegar. I'm thinking to myself, "Why didn't I think of that?" I guess I'll have to do some more experimenting and play with it some more!

I hope you give it a try. It was even better for dinner cold with some tortilla chips! It's like so versatile. And like, so like yummy! Oh muh gosh! For realz! (Did you hear my best valley-girl accent? You did? Yay, that is LIKE so radical!!) Ok, like enjoy your magical beans you guys!! They're good for your colon!

Tootles!  (Ha! I said "toot"!!! LOL)


  1. Oh, I am soooo trying this!! I may even try it without the chicken. I love black beans and this sounds delish!!

  2. I think Mom said her recipe came from the Desperation Dinners cookbook...I think.

    I just read a post from someone that said that Dave Ramsey said that if you have debt, you should eat beans and rice every day if that means you're putting money towards your debt.

    I just might try it considering how much I love beans! Black beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans. And, I have a lot of rice and beans in my larder.