Tag Archives: black beans

They’re not pretty but . . .

This is an easy and delicious recipe for “refried” black beans.  These are great in tacos, enchiladas, or as side.  

I like to use freshly cooked dry black beans in this.  I used to think that it was a lot of extra work to start with dried beans . . . until I started doing it.  Obviously it’s not an option if you come home from work on a weeknight and want to whip these up, but if you know you want to make them in the next couple of nights, you just throw some in a pan of water to soak, then boil them while you are doing something else around the house.  Once I started using the dried beans, I really noticed the improvement in flavor and texture.  Now I use dried beans almost exclusively.  Of course, you can absolutely use well-rinsed canned beans and have a great result with this recipe as well.

Probably more important than the beans is the broth.  Be sure to use a good broth that you really like the taste of, because the broth adds a lot of flavor to the final dish.

These freeze well, so when I make them, I make a big batch, have black bean tacos that night, and use the leftovers in another meal later in the week, or freeze them.

 refried beans
Continue reading They’re not pretty but . . .

Black Bean Soup

I highly recommend using dried black beans for this soup.  However, canned beans can be substituted if you would like to make this soup quickly.  You may think the quantity of spices looks high.  I have found that black beans tend to require a heavier hand with the spice jar if you really want to taste the flavor of the spices.  

I like to garnish with cilantro lime crema, and pico de gallo or mango cucumber salsa.  However, any of the following would make terrific garnishes: crumbled tortilla chips, minced red onions, pickled onions, diced avocado, sour cream, freshly squeezed lime, cheese, cilantro . . .

 black bean soup

Continue reading Black Bean Soup

Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans Two Ways

I use the words “sweet potato” and “yam” interchangeably.  I prefer yams though.  Garnet yams to be precise.  I love the combination of slightly sweet garnet yams and earthy black beans.  Here are two ways that I like to serve this vitamin-rich combination.  

I like to make these dishes at the same time, have the tacos for a Saturday night dinner or Sunday lunch and refrigerate or freeze the enchiladas for an easy weeknight meal in the future.  I make the cilantro pesto in my mini food processor, transfer it to containers, then use the unwashed processor bowl to make the black bean dip.  The black bean dip benefits from the bit of pesto remaining in the bowl.  

I went a little crazy with the pickled onions in the picture, but I do love them.  

sweet potato tacos

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Cilantro Pesto
Yields 6
These tacos are vegan, but adored by meat-eaters as well.
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  1. 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  2. 3 TBSP rice vinegar (I use seasoned vinegar, but unseasoned will work fine too.)
  3. 1 medium or large yam or sweet potato (l like garnet yams), cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  4. 1 TBSP canola or olive oil
  5. 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  6. 1 1/2 tsp ancho chile or chipotle
  7. salt and pepper
  8. 1 recipe Black Bean Dip
  9. 1 recipe Cilantro Pesto
  10. 6 corn tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine sliced red onion and rice vinegar in small bowl and allow onions to marinate and pickle while you cook the potatoes.
  3. Toss potato pieces with oil, spices, and salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange potato pieces on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure that potatoes are spaced and not touching each other so that they will roast and brown instead of steaming.
  5. Roast potatoes for 15-20 minutes until softened and browned.
  6. When potatoes are done, lightly grill tortillas on a cast iron grill pan until softened. (If you don't have a grill pan, you can put them in a skillet on medium heat until softened.)
  7. Top tortillas with bean dip, potatoes, cilantro pesto and pickled red onions.
  8. Serve immediately.
  1. All of the components of these tacos are great as leftovers, so you can keep the leftover components in the fridge and make the tacos for lunches and snacks until you have used up the leftovers.
  2. Avocado slices are great on these tacos as well.
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balck bean enchiladas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas with Mole
If you're feeling motivated and want to make your own mole, I recommend an ancho and pepita or sesame based mole. However, Rick Bayless has a prepared mole that works great in this dish.
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  1. 1 cup mole sauce
  2. 1 batch Black Bean Dip
  3. 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  4. 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  5. 1 1/2 tsp ancho
  6. 1 pinch chipotle
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. 8 corn tortillas
Optional Ingredients
  1. 1 small bunch kale or chard, tough stems removed, chopped and sauteed in olive oil with garlic
  2. 1/2 to 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  3. Cilantro Pesto
  4. Cliantro Lime Crema
  5. sliced avacado
  6. chopped cilantro or scallions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss potato pieces with oil, spices, and salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange potato pieces on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure that potatoes are spaced and not touching each other so that they will roast and brown instead of steaming.
  4. Roast potato for 15-20 minutes until softened and browned.
  5. When potatoes are done, assemble enchiladas by pouring a thin layer of mole into the bottom of a 9x12 baking dish.
  6. Spread a few tablespoons of bean dip in the center of the tortilla and top with ~6 potato pieces. (If using kale or chard, add a few tablespoons of the greens to the tortilla as well.)
  7. Roll tortilla into a tube shape and place it seam side down in baking dish.
  8. Continue rolling process until pan is full.
  9. Cover enchiladas with remaining mole.
  10. If using cheese, sprinkle on top of the dish.
To Bake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and bake covered with lid or foil for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
  3. Serve garnished with cilantro pesto or crema, avacado, and chopped fresh cilantro or scallions.
  1. Prepared enchiladas can be covered with plastic wrap for foil and refrigerated or frozen for future use. Defrost on the counter before baking.
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