Thursday, April 3, 2008

How've Ya Bean?

I've always liked beans but I just never realized its benefits until I came across a Cooking Light magazine article about it. Turns out, beans are the most overlooked source of antioxidant-rich foods.

According to the research of Clifford Beninger from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, beans are rich in anthocyanins, an antioxidant with possible anticancer properties.

The darker the bean, the more healthful it is. Black beans therefore, are the most potent, containing 10x the concentration of antioxidants found in oranges and an amount equivalent to that of apples, grapes and cranberries. A half-cup black beans has the same amount of anthocyanins as two glasses of red wine. Beans also has fiber, calcium and B vitamins and are low in fat and slim in calories.

So, black beans, bring it on!

This is my take on a classic Cuban dish of black beans (frijoles negros) and rice. The traditional way of preparing this dish takes long because it requires using the real beans which you need to soak overnight, before boiling it in water the next day for about 1 hour to tenderize them.

But I am not doing it the traditional way. Truth be told, I prefer doing the short-cut version, which makes this dish one of the simplest ones that I can whip up in less than 30 minutes.

Black Beans And Rice
2 cloves garlic, minced (use 1 of you don't like garlic)
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1/2 c size onion, chopped
1/4 c green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Dash of Badia Complete Seasoning (Sason Completa)
Pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce (optional)
Chopped tomatoes or onions, for garnish
Chopped italian flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, for garnish

1. In a skillet, saute onion until translucent, then add garlic and pepper. Saute for one more minute. Add a dash of red pepper flakes, if preferred.
2. In a separate bowl, pour half of the beans from the can and mash with fork. This will help thicken the sauce.
3. Then add to the skillet half of the beans from the can with the liquid, as well as those that you mashed in a separate bowl. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

4. Season with complete seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve over steamed white rice. Garnish with chopped tomato and parsely.

If you notice, I didn't use green pepper as what I have on hand was the yellow one. If you can't find the Complete Seasoning, use the following combination: dash of garlic powder, dash of cumin, 1 bay leaf, dash of dried oregano and 1-2 tsp vinegar - you just have to adjust amount of seasoning according to your taste.

You can eat this as is for a vegetarian meal, or serve it as a side dish for chicken or pork (in Adobo-style would be good).

1 comment:

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Great recipe! I just made black beans and rice the other night too.