Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spicy Black Beans in Slow Cooker for use in recipes


I accidentally discovered how fantastic a dried chipotle pepper is in a pot of black beans.  I wanted to try cooking black beans in my slow cooker in order to use them in simple, quick & easy recipes, rather than opening a can of beans.  This is easier than opening a can of beans, except that you have to do it ahead of time.  I was afraid to salt the beans too early because I was afraid the salt would make them tough.  But I wanted the beans to absorb some kind of flavor as they were cooking, so that they would not be too bland.  These actually turned out to have quite a bite to them, probably because the dried pepper I used was quite large.  Use a larger pepper if you like spicy hot food, or a smaller pepper if you prefer a milder flavor.  In any case, these beans have great flavor for use in mexican-style recipes.  Tomorrow I will post a simple quesadilla recipe using them.  You could also try them in tacos, bean dips, or whatever mexican-style foods you like.  If you have a mexican-style recipe you like that uses meat, try substituting these beans for the meat for greenplanet eating!

1 cup dried black beans
12 cups water
1 large dried chipotle pepper
1 onion, cut in half

Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours.  Add 1 tsp salt after 3 hours.  Remove onion and pepper.  Drain to use in recipes.

Tip:  If you don't use them all the first day, spread the remaining cooked beans on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and freeze them.  Once they are frozen, transfer them to a container in the freezer.  You can easily take out small portions of beans for quick and easy snacks or meals.

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