Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 6 - Cooking Black Beans in the Crock Pot

Corn Tortilla with black beans, shredded chicken, tomato, and avocado.  Sides are pico de gallo and kiwi.

Lunch today was a delicious black bean and chicken taco, with some pico de gallo and sliced kiwi on the side.  Not pictured is a snack sized bag of whole grain corn chips. 

I cook dried beans at least once a week - black beans, blacked eyed peas, pinto beans, red beans, split peas, all kinds.  Beans are a great source of protein and vitamins, and they are dirt cheap.  That last part is the most important. :)  They also work very well with both southern and Mexican foods, which are two of my favorite cuisines.

When I cook dried beans, I do so in the crock pot.  I'm a little bit of a crock pot...enthusiast.  I have three - the classic 4 quart that I got from Target in college, a 5 quart with a timer, and a 2 quart.  Since I usually cook for myself or maybe one other person at a time, I use my 2 quart crock pot all the time.  I cook single serve pot roast, risotto, soup, chicken, pasta, and, of course, dried beans!  Dried beans will take anywhere from 6-8 hours cooked on low.  It requires a little pre-planning, but it's well worth your time and is much more fool proof than cooking on the stove.

There are lots of ways to cook beans, but here's the way I cooked up these black beans for tacos:

Slow Cooker Black Beans

1 cup dried black beans
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded
1/2 onion
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon onion salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart water, cold or room temperature

Layer ingredients in order in a 2 quart crock pot.  No, you do not have to soak the beans before you cook them - these are bone dry beans straight from the bag.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until desired tenderness.  Drain liquid.  Remove onion and bell pepper; these can be discarded or chopped and stirred back into bean mixture.  This will produce around 3 cups of cooked beans.  Serve hot or cold, as desired.  Leftovers may be frozen.

This made enough for far more than one meal for me. I'll have some tonight in a quesadilla and later on this week for lunches. Pin It Now!

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