Posts Tagged 'black beans'

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Rice and Beans


Recovery from Wildflower is going really well.  I ended up taking 3 complete rest days, and then somehow found myself committing to a marathon that’s 5 weeks away.


My sister’s last race marathon was in San Francisco two years ago, and she wants to get revenge on the course (it was a rough day).  “Hmmm maybe” turned into “registration confirmed” within 24 hours, and the best part is that my dad is doing it too!

I’m planning on running 16 or 17 miles this Saturday, I have a trail half marathon next weekend, and I’ll do a 20-miler the week after that.  It will definitely not be my best marathon, but I think it will be fun (which is kinda weird, since just a few weeks ago I was fairly certain it would be years before I signed up for another one).

We started getting a CSA box last week, and our first two deliveries have been awesome.  There was some zucchini this week, and although I usually hate it raw, it’s fine if it’s shaved into ribbons.  I usually keep some kind of cooked grain in the fridge, and this week it was brown rice, so I just tossed that with some black beans, green onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and sunflower seeds for a quick, healthy dinner.




Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Remember how I was going to be really smart as I was getting back into running shape? And I’d never increase my mileage or intensity too quickly and I wouldn’t get injured?

Weeeelllll, I may have sort have overdone it just a little bit, and my right hip has been pretty cranky the last couple days. Fortunately there’s no way my hip will break because there are 3 titanium screws holding it together, but the pain in my hip flexor is not pleasant.

So I’ve decided to take a couple days off running. That means 5 AM spin classes and Jillian Michaels 6 Week Six-Pack for a little while, which is not my first choice, but I REALLY don’t want to miss any of the races I’ve signed up for.

Since I’ve been getting my workouts done at ridiculous pre-dawn hours, it leaves more afternoon time for baking. I made these crunchy-top orange chocolate chip muffins, and I’m not sure if I just completely spaced it or if there was a problem with the recipe but instead of crunchy-top I got melted-sugar-mess-top.

HOWEVER, the muffins themselves were super delicious, if you’re into the orange-chocolate combo. They’re very rich, but the flavor is amazing (especially if you sub semi-sweet chocolate chips for milk chocolate.)

Ellie was hanging out while I baked and at one point the light was so perfect I grabbed my camera and went just a little bit picture crazy.

I love this girl so much, it’s kind of unreal.

When you get into the afternoon baking habit, it’s quite helpful to simultaneously get into the healthy dinner habit, and this recipe can help you out with that. It’s kind of similar to this other black bean and quinoa salad but the fresh mozzarella is a nice addition (and the dressing is a little different). I served it over a bed of butter lettuce for dinner and packed the leftovers (without the lettuce) for lunch. It’s great both ways!


(adapted from Apple a Day)

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls

Yesterday I did my first speed workout in a looong time. It was cold and miserable outside (total Portland weather, it kind of made me homesick) but I finally got myself out the door around 3 PM for a 5 mile run. I decided to see if I could run the first four miles each faster than the one before, and then cool down with the last mile.

The one nice thing about running when it’s 53 and drizzling is getting the running path all to yourself! Except for that one crazy bum feeding the crows. But anyway…I think the workout was a success:
Mile 1 – 9:18
Mile 2 – 8:37
Mile 3 – 8:33
Mile 4 – 7:37 (yay!)
Mile 5 – 8:46

I think my A goal for this weekend’s 8K race will be 40 minutes, B goal will be 42 minutes. I won’t be running with the stroller, which should feel amazing!

On to the recipe…

I have nothing against tortillas, but since I’ve been eating carbs like it’s my job lately, I figured a burrito bowl with a huge pile of lettuce might be a healthier choice (and it was good! Mike and I both loved these.)

The original recipe for the burritos is one of those that’s been floating around the blogs I read for a few years, getting rave reviews every time, but I somehow never got around to making it. And I guess technically I still haven’t, at least as it’s written. Because even though I used all the ingredients, I didn’t combine them in the food processor (I HATE washing that thing) and I didn’t bake the burritos. Next time, I’ll try them in their originally-intended form.

(adapted from Branny Boils Over)

1 heart of romaine, thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
4 tsp cumin
4 tsp lemon juice
salsa, sour cream, sliced avocado

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss with a little oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook another 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, spices, salt, sweet potatoes, and lemon juice, and stir well. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until everything is heated through.

Put a handful or two of lettuce in each bowl, then top with the bean mixture. Add salsa, sour cream, and avocado as desired.

Black Bean and Butternut Tacos

Today happens to be Mike’s 30th birthday, so I’m spending most of it in the kitchen making a Middle Eastern feast, which I’ll have more details on tomorrow. This weekend we decided to get a new chair for the living room (a birthday chair…?) and we had Ellie test it out. She approved.

I am so, SO happy it’s butternut squash season again. First I put it on pizza, and now I’m putting it in tacos. I still haven’t made my favorite curried squash soup this season, but it’s coming!

Mike and I both loved these tacos, and I loved how easy they were to make. The pickled shallots are a definite must, and they’re simpler to make than you’d expect (or at least I was surprised how simple they were…)

The squash just gets diced and sauteed in a skillet until it’s tender but not falling apart, then you mix in some beans and you’re ready! I love them with a generous spoonful of plain yogurt, which I used because I just discovered that ALL the sour cream at Trader Joe’s has gelatin in it. So lame. Fortunately yogurt was just as satisfying, and gelatin-free.

(adapted from Food Network)

pickled shallots
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
8 large shallots, peeled

1 small butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups black beans
8 soft corn tortillas
chopped cilantro
sour cream (omit if vegan)

First, make the shallots. Combine all ingredients except the shallots in a medium saucepan and heat over medium until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the shallots and boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool. You may not use them all with the tacos, but they’ll keep in a jar in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

To make the tacos, peel the squash and scoop out the seeds. Cut into small bite-sized cubes.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the squash and stir, then sprinkle with cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-high, stirring frequently, until the squash is tender but not mushy, 10-15 minutes.

Stir in the beans and cook until heated through. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Heat the tortillas over the flame of a gas burner, in the oven, or in the microwave. Assemble tacos with the squash and bean mixture, some sour cream (or yogurt), pickled shallots, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.

Black Beans with Poblanos and Corn

I am definitely going to need a lot more quick and easy dinners like this in my arsenal for when I go back to work in December. I’m trying not to stress too much about how I’m going to fit in workouts, work, cooking dinner, and caring for an infant, but stressing is just kind of what I do…

This was a perfect thing to throw together after a long walk with the stroller on Saturday night. I hadn’t really thought too much about dinner, but by the time we got home we were both really hungry. This came together really fast and we both like it a lot. Plus, it only uses one pan, which is always a plus!

If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, pick up some of their fire-roasted frozen corn. I used it in this and loved the smoky flavor it added. Obviously regular corn will be just fine if that’s all you have. I think this would make great burrito filling as well!

(inspired by Apple a Day)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, seeds discarded, cut into thin, inch-long strips
1 lb frozen corn
2 cups cooked black beans
1/2 cup sour cream (or full-fat yogurt)
salt to taste
cilantro, for garnish

Saute the onion in the oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until they’ve softened up and taken on a little color. Add the garlic and poblano and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes, until the peppers are nice and soft.

Stir in the corn, beans, and a little salt, and cook, stirring, until everything is nice and hot. Stir in the yogurt, heat through, and adjust salt to taste. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

3-Bean Slow Cooker Chili

I really don’t understand the obsession with slow cookers. Yeah, I use mine all the time to cook dried beans, but most main dish recipes either have way too much meat and processed food or just seem like they’d be really unappealing.

Chili is basically my one exception, though. The other day I wanted to see if I could make chili starting with dried beans, and I’m delighted to report that it worked beautifully! I was thrilled.

Ellie was thrilled, too.

Basically, I made a fairly standard chili recipe, but added a few extra cups of water. I started it on high for 2 hours, then turned it to low for 5. Because of the toxins in kidney beans, they need to boil for awhile, so cooking on low the full time is not a great idea, unless you’ve boiled the beans for awhile first.

Now that it’s officially Fall, get out your slow cooker, ditch the canned beans, and make a big pot of chili!


1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chopped chipotle chile en adobo
2/3 cup beer (I used amber ale)
15 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cup dried pinto beans
1 cup dried black beans
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 1/2 cups water
shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onions, for garnish

Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add the chili powder, cumin, and chipotles, and mix well.

Transfer to a slow cooker, add all remaining ingredients, and stir well.

Cook on high for 2 hours, then turn to low and cook for an additional 5 hours. Taste and add salt or other seasonings if needed.

Serve with shredded cheese and green onions.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

After baking 50 cupcakes for a summer school event, then following that up with cake, frosting, and fondant this weekend, I was ready for a good, healthy meal.

My favorite weeknight dinners are always the ones that just require a single bowl and fork or spoon. This one is awesome because it’s full of protein, and it gets a nice kick from the salsa verde. I don’t know why I don’t keep tomatillos around the house more often because they make the BEST salsa!


4 medium tomatillos, papery husks removed, halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
2 chopped serrano chiles (or less if you’re not into spicy food)
1/4 cup water

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
juice of one lime
2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced
chopped cilantro, for garnish

First, make the salsa. Put the garlic and tomatillos under the broiler until softened slightly and browned in places. Transfer to a blender and add the cilantro, salt, chiles, and water. Blend until nearly smooth. Set aside.

Bring the water to a boil in a covered pan. Add the quinoa, stir, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, covered, until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes, then add the lime juice and fluff with a fork. Let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cooled quinoa with the black beans, tomato, and avocado. Stir in about half the salsa, taste, and add more if desired. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro, and pass the remaining salsa on the side.

Lime Cilantro Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans

This is kind of a random dish, but it’s beautifully simple and adaptable. I could see using it in a burrito or taco or sprinkling the cold leftovers over salad greens, and of course it’s divine eaten warm, just after it’s been made. My mom emailed me the link to the original recipe, because she’s living in New Zealand, where apparently they eat lots of sweet potatoes. The black beans are my addition, because I think they’re such a perfect match for sweet potatoes, and they elevate this from side dish status to light main course.

It may not exactly be the perfect dish for summer because it requires a hot oven, but it still tastes nice and fresh, and with so few ingredients and minimal prep work, it’s a good dish to keep in the rotation. It’s also really healthy! Black beans are a great source of fiber, sweet potatoes provide Vitamin A, and lime juice keeps you from getting scurvy. Awesome.

(adapted from Epicurious)

3 tbsp olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes (I guess they’re actually yams? The ones that are orange inside…), diced
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 cans), rinsed and drained
juice of 2 limes
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp salt, divided
pinch or two cayenne
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 450 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Toss the diced sweet potatoes with oil and 1/2 tsp of salt and spread evenly on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake about 20 minutes (time will depend on the size of the sweet potato pieces), or until tender. Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, whisk the lime zest, lime juice, remaining salt, and cayenne together in a large bowl. Add the black beans and sweet potatoes (after cooling slightly) and toss well. Sprinkle with cilantro, toss again, and serve.

Black bean, corn and sweet potato cakes

I have a thing for black beans, particularly in burger/cake/patty form. And since I discovered how easy it is to cook beans in the slow cooker, I now have some variety of bean cooked and ready to go in the fridge at all times.

This week has been pretty nuts so I’ve been trying to use up odds and ends from the fridge and pantry so I don’t have to go to the store. I knew my single ear of corn, sweet potato, and black beans would go together well, but I wasn’t very inspired until I came across a spicy black bean patty cake recipe on Dishing Up Delights. I made a few adjustments to include corn and to make the recipe vegan, and I loved the results. They don’t hold together quite as well as commercial veggie burgers would, but they didn’t totally fall apart either, you just have to treat them with care. I served them with some cilantro slaw, and it was a pretty nice little dinner.

(adapted from Dishing Up Delights)

makes 8 cakes

1 ear of corn (or 1/2 cup frozen corn)
1 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chile, finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed, if desired)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup black beans, with their liquid, pureed until smooth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated (1 medium sweet potato)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Cut the kernels off the corn and saute in the oil until tender. Set aside to cool.
Stir all ingredients (including corn) together until uniformly mixed. Pat into 4″ patties on parchment or silpat-lined baking sheets.
Bake at 475 for about 30 minutes or until set. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then serve.

Smoky Black Beans with Spinach and Masa Dumplings

I’ve cooked almost every recipe in Mexico One Plate at a Time since I got it in high school, but this and the guacamole are two I make the most. For a long time I was completely intimidated by cooking dried beans, but this recipe helped me get over that. If you want to simplify your life a lot, you can even use a slow cooker for the beans a day or two before you plan to make this.

I had this recipe in mind when I threw these black beans with spinach, mushrooms, and pasilla chiles together while we were living in Korea. If I could have gotten my hands on some chipotles and masa, I would have made this instead, over and over. I don’t know what it is about the smoky flavor that is so addicting, but that combined with cute little masa dumplings and the spinach just have me hooked!

(adapted from Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless)

1 pound dried black beans
10 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 roma tomatoes
4 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, chopped
1 cup dried masa mixed with 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp hot water
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped (stems removed)

Put the beans, water, onion, and garlic in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the beans are tender. (If you don’t have a slow cooker, simmer them on the stove, uncovered, for about 2 hours.
Roast the tomatoes under a hot broiler for a few minutes on each side until the skin is blistered and black. Let cool, then remove the skins and transfer the tomatoes to a food processor or blender. Add the chipotles and puree until smooth.
Stir the tomato mixture into the beans and season with salt to taste. At this point you can refrigerate the beans for a day or two, or just keep cooking.
To make the dumplings, mix the masa, water, and baking powder to make a smooth dough. Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Roll small pieces of dough into marble-sized dumplings between your palms, then gently press your finger into the center to form a dimple.
Cook the dumplings in two batches, removing them with a slotted spoon once they rise to the surface. Cover with plastic wrap until you’re ready to add them to the beans.
Stir the spinach into the beans and stir occasionally until it is wilted. Add the dumplings, stir carefully so you don’t break them, and serve.


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