Sunday, August 23, 2009

Freezer Black Beans

We love beans...if they taste good. My kids can get past the texture if there's enough flavor (like in chili). Here's my recipe for Black Beans. They are simple to make, but they do take time (soaking and cooking in the crock pot). Be patient, the time is worth the result. Enjoy! Freezer Black Beans (inspired by Chevy's Restaurant) INGREDIENTS: Soaking Water, 2 lbs Black Beans, 10 cups water, 2 cups chopped onion (or 1 cup dried chopped onion), 4 Tbsp garlic (or more if you like it a lot), 2 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 Tbsp chile powder, 2 tsp dried oregano, 2 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt (or 1/2 Tbsp. Table Salt). DIRECTIONS: Wash, sort, and rinse beans. Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on High 2 hours. Then cook on Low 8-10 hours (until tender). Turn off crock pot. Let beans cool 1 hour. Label freezer containers (you can use mason jars, ziploc freezer bags, or plastic freezer containers available in the canning section at the grocery store) with contents, date, and quantity. Measure beans into containers, close, and freeze. To use, thaw in refrigerator or microwave. Use in recipes that call for canned white beans. I like to measure the beans into 2 cup measures. That's about the right size for my family, and pretty close to a 14.5oz can. You can also buy pint containers and freeze them in pints.

Carribean-Style Beans and Rice

I was serving Salsa Chicken (2008 posting) the other night and was searching for a great side dish to go with it.  Here it is!  After making it, I realized this could have easily been our main course.  So delicious, and more than 11 grams of protein per serving with almost no fat.  Plus, it was cheap.  Most of the ingredients I needed were in my garden, and the rest were in my pantry and freezer. :)  Enjoy!

(from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook), adapted by Avalie

3 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup coarsley chopped tomato
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 pint Freezer Black Beans (today's posting), thawed and drained (or sub one can black beans plus extra garlic)
2 cups cooked rice

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium high heat until hot.  Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Add chopped tomato, salt, crushed red pepper, and cumin; saute 2 minutes.  Stir in cooked rice, cilantro, and black beans; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.  Serve with shredded cheese, if desired.  Yield: 4 servings, 1 cup each.  If you want to freeze this after preparation for a quick and easy side dish, simply freeze single portions in freezer bags.  Reheat in microwave.