October 1, 2011

Mexican Squash-sta and How to Make Really Good Black Beans

Most of us know that buying dry beans and cooking them from scratch is better for you, and more cost effective, than always using the canned variety, but I have to admit, it wasn't until recently that I thought they actually tasted better too.  Every time I made beans from scratch, I felt like something was missing.  They were too hard, or fell apart, or tasted just plain bland.

Then I saw Jenna's recipe for Cuban Black Beans and things started to make sense.  My take uses her basic method with some of my own adjustments.  They're definitely the best beans I've ever made.

Although it was difficult not to just stand over the pot enjoying spoonful after spoonful, I held off (for the most part) until I could make a real dinner: Mexican Squash-sta! It's really simple and comes together quickly, but it's also healthy and a nice departure from the norm. 

Really Good Black Beans

1/2 bag dry beans, soaked overnight
~ 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
red pepper flakes (optional)
oregano (optional)

Soak the beans overnight. In the morning, drain the water and set beans aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for about six minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and desired spices and continue cooking for another minute or so.

Add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and pour in enough water to cover everything by about an inch. Bring beans to a boil then cover (leaving a small crack open). Reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

After an hour, check on the beans and give 'em a stir. Return to a simmer and cook another hour or until beans are tender and the cooking liquid is thick. Stir occasionally while cooking to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Mexican Squash-sta

1/2 a spaghetti squash, cooked and scraped*
1 scoop Really Good Black Beans
1/4 of an avocado, sliced
your favorite salsa
Nutritional yeast, Greek yogurt or cheese, if desired

Put it all in a bowl and enjoy!

*I cut my squash in half, scooped out the seeds, pricked the skin with a fork and filled the hollow part of one side with water.  Then I placed the other half on top and put the whole thing on a plate in the microwave for 6-8 minutes.  Worked perfectly!


girlgonewestblog.com said...

I can't believe you have recipes going back to 2008! Wow!

I really like the thought of dry beans...but 2 hour long simmers? I think I'm too impatient for that. Maybe when/if I get a crock pot...

Also, how do you make your avocado so perfect? Mine are always fugly.

Lynna said...

GGW-- If you peel the skin off the portion of the avocado you're going to use and then cut it, you can get it to look cleaner. (As long as they are appropriately ripe this should be easy).