Thursday, August 20, 2009

the best black beans!

Since it my first week back to school, I am leaving work at least an hour later than I should. There is so much for teachers to do when setting up their classrooms for the year and even though I teach music, I am no exception. So I have come to rely on my new favorite appliance: my crock pot! I simply throw it all in, turn it on and have dinner when I get home. The food isn't necessarily gourmet, but it is nutritious, delicious and best of all easy!!

Tonight's beans came out especially well. I've read through dozens of different cookbooks and considered lots of different spice combinations and thought this was the best combo we have had yet. They had a great flavor, slightly smoky and spicy, with lots of good peppers. We ate them with hoe cakes, which are essentially crispy fried cornmush pancakes. I read somewhere that they were called hoecakes, because they were originally made so large that they had to be flipped with garden hoes.... ours fit on a normal spatula though.

My husband ate a ton of the hoe cakes and I ate a huge bowl of beans, so there was something for everyone this meal. Plus the recipe makes a huge pot of beans, so I can take some with me to my parents when I see them this weekend. Everyone likes a vegan who brings food!

(The hoecake is the golden yellow fried bit sinking into the beans. )

Tasty Black Beans
(Low fat option)


4 cans black beans (buy a good brand that is not already cooked to mush!!)
1 cup white wine
2 TBS olive oil (optional)
3 cloves garlic, put through a press
1 whole onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 chipotle peppers (from a can in adobo sauce) left whole
2 bay leaves
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 TBS oregano
3-4 good cranks of freshly ground black pepper
a pinch salt


Throw everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 8+ hours. Before serving, mash some of the beans with a hand masher to thicken everything.

Hopefully in a week or so, I will be back to making fancier food. It just always takes a while to get back into my routines and finish setting up. It is good to have these sorts of recipes to eat during times like this.

1 comment:

  1. Yum--this sounds great, and I love using the crock pot for the same reason...who doesn't love coming home to a ready made meal?!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I am not sure if you read comments on old posts, but I just discovered your blog and I am enjoying reading through the back posts :-) Thank you for your blog!