Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Another Meatless Monday...

So I don't exactly do it every Monday but I am trying to reduce the amount of meat my family eats.  For one thing, my daughter does not really like most meats anyway and I've never been a huge meat person myself.  I mean, I love a good filet or some bacon as much as the next person, but there are plenty of just lovely veggie meals that I enjoy (pasta primavera, veggie pizza, caprese salad, etc.).  Just don't take away my cheese, that's just wrong!

Anyway, I heard about Meatless Monday a while back and thought it sounded like a  great concept.  Basically you can reduce your environmental impact by eating less meat, not to mention the money and fat/calories you will likely save.  So, here's my Meatless Monday recipe:

Slow-cooker black beans

1 lb dried black beans, picked through (I found 2 rocks in mine this time), rinsed, and soaked overnight

This is all I start with.  My grandma (who was an amazing cook and knew a thing or two about cooking beans, growing up in the Depression and all) told me that if you salt the beans right from the beginning, it makes them mealy and they don't get as tender.  So, set your slow cooker on high and cook the bare beans, covered about an inch deep in water, for about two hours.  After beans have cooked by themselves for a while, turn slow cooker to low and add the seasonings:

2-3 small red or 4-6 green onions with some green tops (I reserve some of the green tops for avocado/tomato topping), sliced or chopped
2-3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 chili pepper, chopped.  I used a banana pepper, just because the jalapenos looked like the had seen better days. 

1t cumin
1t chili powder
1t coriander
1t sea salt
1t black pepper
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

Saute veggies in a bit of olive oil until they have some color, then toss them in the pot with the other seasonings.   Stir, check seasoning if you like (I don't really measure so these are approximate), and cook on low for another 3-5 hours.  Because this is meatless, you can let it sit on your counter after it is finished cooking through and then just turn on low again when it's almost time to serve.  I top it with shredded cheese and a salad/guacamole mix of diced tomato, avocado, green onion tops, shredded romaine, parsley, and salt and pepper.  A squeeze of lime would be spectacular but not worth going to the store for!

Here's the final product served bowl-style: 
Hubby has his on a tortilla as a burrito.  My daughter prefers "tiny taco salads" with a spoonful in a few Tostitos Multi-grain Scoops.  You know, 'cuz she's high maintenance like that.  My son really just wants the chips, but I manage to sneak a bean onto his spoon every so often.  Any way you want to eat it is alright by me!  Enjoy. 

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