I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in our meals recently. Oats. Chickpeas. Beans. Oats. In fact that is EXACTLY how our meals went this week! The usual oats for breakfast, chickpeas – in the form of hummus, wrapped in homemade tortillas – for lunch, beans of some form for quick weeknight dinners, and a final bowl of oats (with almond butter – our new discovery!) just before bed. To add to that, my baking recently has been packed with such things as beans and chickpeas too, which is getting rather ridiculous.
It’s the end of the month – can you tell?
The produce from this month’s food mail order has long since disappeared (with the occasional top up from the greenhouse) and my motivation for creating beautiful dinner time meals went out the window as soon as the temperatures hit high twenties. (I’d prefer the stinking heat that hangs around inside our house was the one heading out the windows but I wouldn’t dare write that outside of parenthesis in fear that it will come true all too soon. I think we are a little too excited for our first winter up here.)
Fortunately we have PLENTY of dried goods on hand – finally! It took many sneaky loads on flights (Jesse brings back a huge bag of some sort of dried good whenever he flies into a town with a decent store) but mostly this is thanks to a local caterer selling up her bulk goods. I jumped at the opportunity to get a bunch of dried and frozen goods that were taking up space in a (very expensively) cooled reefer. I came home with TONS (ok, kilograms) of chicken breasts, frozen berries, oats, grains (of all sorts!) and beans. So finally, our storage shelf (and freezer) is well stocked.
Amongst these goods is one huge bag of beans. See that sack at the back there?
We do love our beans. Actually, I should rephrase that – I love my beans. Jesse can’t understand why I am so excited about a huge bag of beans when there is CHICKEN IN THE FREEZER, chicken, Christina! I know.. it is lovely to have meat on hand, but.. beans! Check out the nutritional information on these bad boys. Ready? Here we go!
“We tend to think about brightly colored fruits and vegetables as our best source of phytonutrients, but recent research has recognized black beans as a strong contender in phytonutrient benefits. The seed coat of the black bean (the outermost part that we recognize as the bean’s surface) is an outstanding source of three anthocyanin flavonoids: delphinidin, petunidin, and malvidin.”
Ok I don’t know what any of those flavonoids are but I know they are to do with antioxidants and other good stuff found in fruit and vegetables. Let’s continue with some more digestible information (sorry – couldn’t let that one slip).
Basically, black beans are super high in protein (take that, meat!), fiber (to help prevent digestive/bowel issues, anyone?) and antioxidants (enough to rival the cranberry!). Dietary Guidelines for Brazil recommends beans to be consumed every day, and Dietary Guidelines for America recommends 2 cups of legumes a week (or a half cup serving 6 days a week). Source.
Wow. That’s a lot of beans! I don’t know if I could eat that many, everyday, but hey – when cooked like this it is jolly hard to say no to another helping. And why not replenish your iron stores and bust the hypoglycemia while you’re at it.
Spicy Black Beans on Rice
This isn’t much of a recipe to be honest. It’s awfully hard to write the recipe for a dish you make so often without ever taking note of what you use. I don’t know if I have ever made this exactly the same way twice. Go by taste – you like heat? Add some fresh, chopped chili. Like smokiness? A tsp of smoked paprika brings real depth to this. You have permission to improvise – just make sure you enjoy it enough to come back for more – six days of the week!
dash of oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 capsicum, diced (or any fruit/vegetable you like, zucchini is great too)
2 cups black/red kidney beans (soaked, cooked)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
handful frozen corn
Brown rice, cooked
Kataia Fire hot sauce (from NZ, thanks Mum!)
Heat oil. Add black bean ingredients. Bring to simmer until thickened. Serve on rice with roti, or lettuce cups.
There you are – can’t get a heck of a lot more simple, and nutritious than that! Does anyone else love beans like I do? What are some of your favorite ways to cook them?
I’m thinking for next week… homemade burger buns and an attempt at the perfect black bean burger.