Friday, June 7, 2013

Basic Caribbean Black Beans

From the AICR Test Kitchen
Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

Enjoy classic Latin taste in a recipe that features the hearty and rich flavor of black beans. It’s quick and easy to prepare and packs a serious nutritional punch.

Black beans are known by many names – including turtle beans and black kidney beans. Beans were one of the first foods to be gathered and domesticated over 8000 years ago. They were found from South America to the Northern reaches of what is now the United States. Somewhat sweet tasting with an almost mushroom-like flavor, they are filling, low in fat, and loaded with fiber.

The addition of bell peppers provides a splash of color and a lively crunch to this recipe. They are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C. Indeed, bell peppers have about twice the amount of vitamin C by weight as citrus fruits. And, since peppers come in a rainbow of colors, you don’t have to limit yourself to green and red for this recipe. Any color pepper works well.

The tomatoes add to the richness of the mixture and its flavor. It’s the cumin, though, that gives this week’s recipe its distinctive Caribbean flavor. Hotter to the taste buds than caraway seeds, cumin imparts a taste that is somewhat sharp and slightly bittersweet. It pairs well with oregano and sage. The sage is especially intense, being one of the few culinary herbs that actually deliver a more concentrated flavor after drying than it does when fresh.

This recipe makes a great dish for a quick lunch or dinner, perhaps pairing it with a wholesome sandwich on multigrain bread or serving over brown rice. Super fast to prepare, it makes great leftovers. Simply refrigerate and warm it up later.

Greens

Basic Caribbean Black Beans

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped medium
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ripe large tomatoes, diced (8 oz. can diced tomatoes may be substituted)
  • 2 (16 oz.) cans no added salt black beans, undrained
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. sage
  • Cayenne or crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil over medium-high heat in saucepan. Sauté onion, bell peppers and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and continue to sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

Add beans, cumin, oregano and sage and stir in gently. Season to taste with cayenne pepper, if desired. Let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring gently and frequently.

Sprinkle cilantro over beans and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 160 calories, 2.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 27 g carbohydrate,
9 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 20 mg sodium.

Source and Photo:  AICR

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