“I Hate Beans!”
Seriously. That was my slogan when I was a kid.
I remember those evenings when family dinners ended with me sitting at the table alone with a small serving on beans on my plate. I can still hear my mom saying, “You’re not getting up until you eat your beans.”
And, yes, I tried the hide-the-beans-in-your-napkin trick. It didn’t work for me. My mom was too quick for that.
In the end, consuming them was the only thing that worked. I had to eat them. Luckily I discovered that if I took a small enough bite and immediately washed it down with water, then I wouldn’t have to chew (or even taste!) the beans! Then I could get up from the table and join the rest of the family.
It wasn’t that the beans tasted bad. Most of the time they didn’t. And I actually loved the taste of red beans and rice, especially if it had some hot sausage in it. But the texture of beans in general made me gag. Not fun.
But thanks be to God that our taste buds and our palates develop as we get older! Now I love beans!
Unfortunately, there are kids in the world that do not have the option to eat what they like over what they don’t like. The poor have very few options, if any. And the fact is that beans are cheap. They’re affordable. And, thankfully, they are an excellent source of protein.
Luckily for all of us, there are simple ways to apply different spices and cooking methods to beans to make them not only palatable, but delicious too.
Frijoles Volteados from Guatemala CRS Rice Bowl
A common dish (and a delicious one!) in Guatemala is Frijoles Volteados. Voltear in Spanish means to flip, to toss, or to throw. So this dish could be called Tossed Beans in English. And the beans in this case are Black Beans.
Just a few months ago I published my recipe for Black Beans and Rice Topped with Sour Cream and Fresh Pico. Yum!
This Guatemalan dish is simpler and much quicker to prepare. You can even watch Fr. Leo cook this recipe in the video below.
Here’s what you need and what you need to do….
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 Tbsp Fair Trade olive oil
- 2 cans black beans, with liquid reserved
- Salt to taste
- Flour tortillas
- Fried egg (optional)
- Sauté onions and garlic in oil until tender.
- Puree beans in a blender with about ⅔ cup liquid until they become a smooth paste.
- Add blended black beans to onions.
- Stir over medium heat until thick, about ten minutes.
- Serve over tortillas or with a fried egg or rice.
Keeping Black Beans Black
There’s a trick to keeping black beans black.
For most dried beans, the first thing you need to do to prepare them is soak them overnight in water. And for every other kind of bean you will end up throwing out the soaking water. Not only does soaking the beans overnight soften them up, it also removes some of the gas-producing elements of beans.
But with black beans you do not throw out the soaking water. No. Instead, you will use that same water to cook the beans. The simple reason is that the soaking water helps to keep the black beans black. Can’t promise that will help you in the flatulence department though. Sorry. 😉
Throwing Down Some Black Beans with Fr. Leo
What’s on Your Lenten Menu?
How is YOUR Lent going? What have you done differently this year? Anything different in the way you prepare meals at home on Fridays in Lent?