Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Black Bean Bowls

This is technically the filling for black bean burritos or enchiladas, but since I'm not doing the rice and tortillas, I used these beans as the base for a Tex-Mex bean bowl. The beans alone are pretty lean and low cal and the best part? It takes next to nothing in time and attention. Just put everything into a slow cooker, turn that baby on, and leave it alone for 8 loooong hours!

Slow Cooked Black Beans

1.5 C. Dry Black Beans
3 Carrots, chopped
2 Large Onions, chopped
5 Cloves Garlic, smashed
2-4 Birds Eye Chilies, sliced in half
4-6 C. Low Sodium, Low Fat Chicken Broth (enough just to cover everything in the crock)
1-2 T. Cumin, ground
1-2 T. Chili Powder
2 t. Salt

Rinse and soak the beans overnight in cool water. Discard water and simmer in fresh water for 20 minutes, or until they begin to soften (or, you can always substitute 4-5 cans of black beans and skip this step.) Drain and put into the slow cooker with remaining ingredients, except the salt. Cover tightly, and cook on low for 8 hours, or until beans are very tender. Add a little more broth if it looks like the beans are getting too dry. The long cooking time tends to mellow the spices, so you may find the need to add extra cumin and chili powder (and maybe onion or garlic powder) towards the end of the cooking time. This is also when you should add salt to taste.

Makes 6-8 Servings

I ate mine in a bowl loaded with other yumminess for garnish - salsa, low fat cheese, minced cilantro, and a dollop of low fat sour cream. What I love about this meal is that it's so filling and it really sticks with me through the day, so I'm less likely to want to snack. It's just a bonus that it's also cheap, easy, and the leftovers keep well.

Nutrition Roundup (not including garnishes): Calories 125.8, Total Fat 0.4 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 111.2 mg, Total Carbs: 33.2 g, Dietary Fiber: 17.2 g, Protein: 12.0 g.

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