Frijoles Negros

Black Beans.

I cant say why I love them so much.  They seem so boring, plain, inelegant.  But they are full of protein, fiber, and nutrients.  Healthy, low fat, low calories, but yet can be made into many diverse, tasty dishes.  Black beans are easy to get in bags or cans from the Food Bank, and are cheap in the supermarket.  Also, for some reason, they give me little to no gas at all, while pinto beans definitely do.  If you’ve been scared of beans because of the gas, try black beans and see.  Pintos tend to be more common, and seem to cause more gas.  Also, there are some tricks you can do while cooking beans – such as adding a bit of seaweed – which will reduce gas.

Your basic black beans recipe, to be paired with rice (white is super cheap, easy to find free at the food bank.. but terrible for you (I use it a lot anyways).  The above linked recipe is kinda fancy, if you have the spices on hand definitely do it, much more glamorous and tasty.  Quinoa or brown rice would be better) or just as a side dish, or spooned onto tortillas.

A blog detailing some black bean recipes from someone trying to save money and living mostly only on black beans. Black bean pita pockets, black bean soup, and vegetarian mexican casserole are just some of the cheap and delicious recipes featured.

One of my personal favorite quick easy meals is a taco salad.  I make 1/2 cup of white rice.  Meanwhile in a large bowl, I microwave half a can of black beans (about 3/4 cup) with a little bit of the liquid retained in there too, with shredded mexican low fat 4-cheese for 2 minutes, 22 seconds.  Then I dump the rice on top.  If I can afford it, I like to throw in a handful of chopped fresh cilantro, but more often than not I end up skipping this.  Then I top it with 2 loose cups of chopped romaine lettuce, and the juice of 1/2 lime.  Occasionally I add a tablespoon of reduced fat sour cream, it adds a nice richness, but not really necessary.  The rice takes 15-20 minutes to cook, and I prepare everything else in the meantime (takes less than 5 minutes) and just throw it all on top.  I only stand around in the kitchen for a total of about 5 minutes, then go read emails while the rice finishes up, then spend 1 minute throwing it all together.  Its very filling, very cheap, and quite healthy.

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