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Do You Know Beans?

Do You Know Beans? post image

Here are a couple of recipes that use my favorite variety: the gorgeous little black bean. Maybe it’s because my father used to make a great black bean sauce when I was younger (I can still just about taste it now), but whatever the reason, I’m a big fan of black beans. Here are some ideas to get you acquainted with them.

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Caribbean Spicy Black Bean Salad
serves 4

Spicy Dressing
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. sweetener

Salad
4 cups cooked black beans
1 large bunch watercress, chopped
1 cup red & yellow bell pepper, diced
2 cups corn kernels (optional)
6 cups (loosely packed) baby greens
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
2. Drain and rinse beans.
2. In large bowl, toss beans, watercress, peppers and corn with 1/4 cup of dressing.
3. Arrange greens on four serving plates. Top each with bean mixture and drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with scallions.

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Cuban Black Bean Salad/Dip
serves 2

2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
3 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. red pepper

1. Place beans, bell pepper, onion and cilantro in a salad bowl.
2. Stir together cumin powder, vinegar and oil in a cup. Pour over bean mixture and gently stir, coating evenly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

•Variation ~ In a food processor, using the “S” shaped blade, place all above ingredients along with three chopped garlic cloves and one tablespoon lime juice. Process until creamy to make a dip. Chill before serving.

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