Black beans are small, black, shiny beans, packed with protein, fiber, iron, and various minerals, plus they are loaded with antioxidants. They have a delicious smoky flavor.
They can be purchased dried, in packets or from bulk bins, or precooked in cans. Canned beans are more convenient, and very little is lost nutritionally, so they are handy to keep in your pantry. Choose a brand which doesn’t add extra salt or other additives.
Black beans can be added to many different soups and stews. They can be used in burritos, served with rice, or as a topping for a baked potato. They can also be made into a tasty dip.
Mexican Black Bean Salad
This salad makes a handy lunch and leftovers are equally delicious the next day. For an especially quick meal, you can use a 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Enjoy the cilantro in this dish or substitute parsley if you prefer.
½ pound potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen corn
1½ cups cooked black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 radishes, thinly sliced
5 scallions, chopped
¾ cup medium-hot salsa
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup low-sodium tomato juice
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 avocado, chopped into bite-sized pieces
In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until nearly tender. Add the carrots and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the corn, stir, then pour the vegetables into a colander. Rinse under cold water to quickly cool the vegetables and stop the cooking process. Drain well.
Combine the black beans, red pepper, radishes and scallions in a medium serving bowl. Add the potatoes, carrots and corn.
Combine the salsa, cilantro, tomato juice, lime juice and olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix well and pour over the vegetables. Toss gently but thoroughly. Before serving, top with the avocado.
Easy Black bean dip
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
1 cup salsa (any variety)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Combine beans and salsa in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add cumin. Serve with tortilla chips.