MamaBake on a budget: Black Beans – 5 recipes

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With Winter upon us, and energy prices soaring, it’s never been a better time to shop, cook and eat with a budget in mind.  This is where beans and pulses come out to shine in some amazingly delicious, warming, filling and nutritious recipes!

A very good friend of mine is completely enamored with black beans, calling them ‘Nature’s Lollies’, which, if nothing else, provide some incentive for encouraging fussy eaters to hook into these delicious recipes.

Black beans are delicious and nutritious, high in potassium, fibre, protein, calcium, iron and magnesium. Black beans turn up a lot in Mexican dishes, where the beans are a staple food. These delicious recipes are mostly gluten free and Vegan, including a surprising dessert recipe. Check out Dry Pulses and Beans: A Guide to Buying, Storing, Soaking and Cooking for how to select and cook your black beans.

Recipe 1:
Bean Chilli (GF and vegan if you use Vegan cheese or omit the mozzarella and yogurt)

Ingredients
400g dried black beans, soaked overnight and then drained
2 onions
1 bunch coriander, including stalks
1 garlic clove
1 large chilli
1 red capsicum
2 tins of whole tomatoes
to serve:
1 avocado
200g mozzarella cheese
2 tomatoes
1 lime
tabasco sauce
yogurt or sour cream.

Method

  1. Finely chop the onion and capsicum. Remove the leaves from the coriander stalks, and set them aside. Finely chop the coriander stalks. Finely dice the garlic and chilli.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed pot, add a couple tablespoons of cooking oil and bring to medium heat. Add the onion, capsicum, garlic, coriander stalks and chilli and cook until soft.
  3. Add the soaked black beans and the contents of the cans of tomatoes
  4. Place the lid on the pot and allow the chilli to simmer for 2 hours. Season at the end of cooking time with salt and pepper and not before, because the salt will cause the outside of the beans to be hard.
  5. Meanwhile, skin and dice the avocado, dressing it with lime juice. Dice the tomato and combine with the chopped avocado and the reserved coriander leaves. Season this salsa with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve the chilli, distribute chilli into bowls and allow people to add their own salsa, grated mozzarella, tabasco sauce and yogurt or sour cream.

Recipe 2:
Black Bean Dip (GF and Vegan)

Ingredients

1 ½ cups cooked black beans
1 garlic clove
1 large chilli
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground corriander
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons oil
Juice of one lemon or lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin.

Method

  1. In a food processor, combine the cooked black beans, garlic, chili, ground spices, water, oil and lemon or lime juice.
  2. Process until smooth. Scrape the insides and repeat to  make sure everything is combined and smoothly processed.
  3. Taste the dip and season with salt and pepper and additional lemon juice to taste if necessary. If you prefer a smoother dip, add a tablespoon or so of water and process more.
  4. Serve with raw vegetables and corn chips.

Recipe 3: Black Bean Salad

This salad is a summer favourite and goes down particularly well and BBQs, especially when a vegan or vegetarian guest has been poorly catered for

Ingredients
1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 large tomatoes
1 avocado
1 red onion
1 bunch coriander
1 red capsicum
3 celery ribs
1 large red chili
2 ears of corn
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Juice and zest of  1 lemon
salt and pepper.

Method

  1. Chop the tomato, red capsicum, celery ribs and avocado into roughly the same size. Finely slice the red onion.
  2. Chop the coriander leaves and finely slice the red chilli.
  3. Remove the kernels from the corn.
  4. Combine the vegetables, chilli, cooked quinoa, herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and zest and lime juice and zest in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Recipe 4: Black Bean burgers (GF and vegan)

Ingredients

1 red capsicum
1 onion
1 large chilli
2 garlic cloves
2 cups of cooked black beans
½ cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup gluten free flour
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons olive oil

Method

  1. Finely dice onion, red capsicum and finely chop chilli and garlic cloves.
  2. In a large pan, add a tablespoon of oil and sauté the diced vegetables until soft.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the cooked black beans with a potato masher (this is easier to do when they are hot) or puree in a food processor.
  4. Add the spices and the cooked vegetables and stir or pulse in the food processor to combine. Obviously you will get more chunky burgers doing it by hand and smoother burgers in the food processor.
  5. If using food processor, scoop out mixture into a large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa and gluten free flour and stir to combine.
  6. Divide the mixture into 10 balls and dust with more GF flour. Flatten them gently until they are about 2cm thick.
  7. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the large heavy pan and cook for about 7 minutes on each side, or until both are browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Recipe 5: Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients
1 ½ cups of cooked black beans
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of ground flax seeds (flax seed meal) combined with 6 tablespoons of water (otherwise known as 2 flax ‘eggs’)
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
¾ cup of high quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup golden caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius.
  2. In a food processor, puree together the black beans, flax eggs, coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla, sugar and baking powder until smooth.
  3. Thoroughly grease a muffin tin.
  4. Distribute the brownie mixture into each tin.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes to half an hour until the tops are dry to the touch and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the baking tin.
  6. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan because they will be fragile.
  7. Keeps in an airtight container for up to 4 days or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

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