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Caribbean Black Bean Skillet

May 18, 2010

The Omnivore: “So what’s the main dish?”
Me:
“Beans.”
The Omnivore:
“Beans are the main dish?  What are we having with the beans?”
Me:
“You’re having a baked potato.  I’m having a sweet potato.”
The Omnivore:
“You know, beans as a main dish are really your thing and not exactly my thing.  I’ll just have like a tablespoon of beans, thank you very much.”

So I guess I’ve gotten lazy.  I can’t quite remember what I used to serve the Omnivore as his main dish when I was having beans as mine, because beans, after all, are a very appropriate main dish to me.  Maybe I gave him a slab of meat.  Whatever I served him as his entree, it wasn’t beans.

You see, I’ve got this new job.  And you would think it is great.  I get to cook dinner every night and get paid!  Wait.  I already cook dinner every night.  Score: I get to cook dinner every night, twice! Wait a second…

Honestly, it is a good gig.  I enjoy the cooking part of the new job.  But last night, I’d made a Shepherd’s Pie as a part of the job.   Shall we review how complicated that might be?

  1. Mashed potatoes, from scratch.  Peel, boil, mash potatoes.
  2. Chopped veggies.   And the knife provided was dull.  Doh!  Extra difficult.
  3. Skillet cooked beef and gravy.
  4. Baked casserole.
  5. Tons of dishes.

So by the time I got home, all I could muster was beans and potatoes.  And that was only because I’d made the beans earlier that morning and all they needed was a reheat.    I found my main course quite tasty and interesting.  The ‘vore found his side dish to be tasty as well.

The dish combines flavors that I don’t usually see with black beans: allspice, orange juice, ginger.

One Year Ago: Spanish Chickpeas and Kale

Caribbean Black Beans (3 servings, adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T grated fresh ginger root
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t allspice
3 cups black beans
juice from one orange (1/2-3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper

Spray a skillet over medium heat with nonstick cooking spray.  Add onion and pepper and cook 4-5 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes over low heat.  Add ginger root, thyme, allspice, salt, and pepper.  Cook 1 minute.  Add black beans and orange juice and bring to a low simmer.  Cook 15 minutes until thickened.  Mash some of the beans with the back of a spoon if you’re looking for a thicker consistency.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

3 servings
Calories 271.8
Total Fat 1.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Total Carbohydrate 51.1 g
Dietary Fiber 16.1 g
Protein 16.4 g

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