On a warm summer evening in Durango, Colorado, I sat beneath the pines on the deck at my beautiful friend Carrie’s home sipping handmade mojitos, hanging out with her family and excited to try the vegan dishes she was preparing for dinner. Little did I know how GREAT of a cook she was until I tasted her Killer Vegan Black Beans which accompanied grilled Portobello’s and red peppers, muy rico guacamole, and feisty chipotle salsa. Hands down the best meal I had in a LONG time. I polished off the tortillas then subbed in tortilla chips to scoop up the beans and veggies on my plate. The beans are completely addicting (and she’s not even vegan).
After we left, I was craving the beans badly (like crack). When she texted me the recipe, I found the Adobo spice (at Wallmarto) and made them that day. I served the beans with a kale salad and grilled vegetables (roasted are great too). Also try adding them to guacamole for a whole new level of yum.
Black Beans for Your Well-being
Before college I leaned towards a vegetarian diet. I cut red meat, then chicken, then fish……. etc. But instead of replacing it with healthy foods, my diet consisted of simple carbs like bagels, pretzels, cereal, and crackers. I didn’t know that “simple carbs” can affect your mood by quickly spiking your blood sugar levels (which crash a few hours later). This roller coaster effect made me irritable, emotionally fragile, and easily depressed. I thought feeling this way was normal.
Finally, learned the difference between simple and complex carbs which changed everything.
Simple vs. Complex carbs:
Simple carbs are sugars, or “fast-acting carbs ” that burn up fast, spiking your blood sugar and causing it to crash, leaving you with a craving for—more carbs! They’re found in fruits and vegetables, but also in refined (processed) grains, cakes, and other baked goods.
Complex carbs take more time for your body to digest because they consist of long chains of sugar molecules that your body has to break down for energy. These carbs take more time for your body to digest and therefore, keep you full longer.
So, to eliminate the drama I got serious about what I ate. I lost weight, but more importantly, I felt better. I was less reactive and more balanced.
Canned or Dry?
For this recipe, you can use either. Canned beans offer convenience and the ideal consistency however, cooking beans from scratch is fresher and eliminates unwanted added salt, BPA lined cans etc. If using cans, I like organic with no added salt.
Only 5 Ingredients
- Black beans— 1 cup dried (=3 cups) or 2 cans. Save 1 cup of liquid.
- Goya Adobo spice – (Politics aside) this Goya Adobo spice blend is a combination of salt, garlic, tricalcium phosphate (anti-caking), black pepper, oregano, and turmeric. After some research, I have found NO indication of MSG. But, you can also make your own: recipe here.
- Garlic – cooked until golden.
- Olive oil – Your favorite olive oil works well.
- Cilantro – Because of its detoxing nature, its best to purchase organic cilantro.
Recipe: Carrie’s Killer Vegan Black Beans
Thank you Carrie for this wonderful recipe!! Make these beans for your friends and family or just keep them all to yourself (like me). Serve as a base for tacos with grilled veggies (Portobello’s or squash) and guacamole, or sprinkle over salad (my favorite). Add to steamed vegetables with quinoa, sliced avocado and tahini dressing.
Tips: Carrie says Goya black beans are the best however, I like organic black beans preferably with no added salt. Here is a homemade Adobo spice blend recipe.
**To Use Dried Beans. Soak 1 generous cup dried beans in water for 2 hours until they swell up. Rinse and add to a large soup pot. Add enough water to cover beans by 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil (use a spoon to remove any foam). Cover and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until beans are tender. Save 1 cup liquid when you drain the beans.
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups cooked black beans (2 cans or 1 cup dried -see above**) rinsed – save 1 cup liquid
- 1 ½ teaspoons Adobo Spice Seasoning (key ingredient)
- 1 bunch cilantro rinsed and chopped
- Rinse black beans saving 1 cup liquid and set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and add olive oil.
- Add garlic and stir until lightly golden in color ~ 3 minutes (be careful not to burn).
- Stir in black beans, 1 cup liquid and Adobo spice.
- Cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes.
- Stir in chopped cilantro and adjust spices as needed.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.