If you follow my Instagram, you will know that I LOVE to prep my breakfasts and lunches for each week. On the weekends, I pick a new recipe or an old favorite to make. Some things are just good to have on hand all week long. It’s something that I’ve done for years and years as a working mom. Sometimes I prep a bunch of veg, or some meat to use in various iterations through the week.
This week, the weather is supposed to cool down, and I’m so excited! It’s got me in the mood for something warming and cozy, and a great big mess of black beans sounds perfect. Plus, it’s so versatile. This week, these beans will be starring in my lunches, and also making appearances in tacos on Monday and quesadillas on Friday.
This recipe starts with dried beans, and I’d recommend you do the same. I suppose you could use a few cans of beans, but the flavor and texture is so much better using dried. They aren’t hard, give it a whirl!
You should put the dried beans in a bowl and soak them overnight. In the morning, dump the water, rinse the beans, and then you are set to begin. But if you are like me, and you forgot to soak your beans, you can put them in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, turn off the heat, pop a lid on, and let them sit for about an hour. Then, you are set to rinse your beans and begin.
At this point, add your seasonings and bulk them up with some good veg. Experiment with variations that make you happy. Here, I’ve added onion and carrot, but you could switch out the carrots for diced tomatoes or even diced eggplant. Be creative!
I added a bay leaf, because I think they make everything better. Then salt, because the same. Some cumin adds a smokey flavor, but you could use smoked paprika instead. I added two cloves of roasted garlic. If yours isn’t roasted, you might want to rough chop it. I’ve also got a small bit of canned chipotle pepper roughly chopped up for heat. If you don’t have any of those, feel free to add some jalapeno if you’ve got some. Or, add both if you want more kick. Then give it all a good stir.
Cover with water. If you like some good beany liquid, add slightly more water. If you like drier beans, add less, but make sure they are covered.
Turn your crockpot on high for 3 hours. After 3 hours, check the texture of the beans. If they are not soft enough for your liking, let them set for another hour.
Here’s my beans all prepped and ready for lunch this week! I’ve got a take of beans and rice going on here, but instead of rice, I’m using a different whole grain- freekah. Isn’t that a cool name? Freekah is a type of ancient wheat that is high in fiber and protein, so it’s popular with those of us who are vegetarian, or vegetarian-ish, as the case may be. I’ve got a side of yellow bell peppers, and topped the whole dish with crumbled queso fresco and fresh cilantro for flavor. Not pictured is the hummus for dipping with the peppers.
Crockpot Black Beans
A versatile budget stretching meal option that can be used in dinners all week long.
- 1 bag dried black beans
- Vegetables as desired, choose two from these below and be creative:
- 1 chopped onion
- 1-2 chopped carrots
- 1 chopped bell pepper
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup chopped eggplant
- Seasonings as desired, pick as many as sound good from below:
- 1 teaspoon cumin or smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2-3 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Spicy to add kick, pick one of what you’ve got on hand from below:
- 1 de-seeded and diced jalepeno, or
- Use spicy salsa as a vegetable above, or
- 1 canned and diced chipotle pepper in sauce
- water to cover
- Soak the beans overnight as directed, or follow the quick soak directions on the package. Drain and add to crockpot.
- Add vegetables, seasonings and spicy bits, as listed above. Stir to combine. Cover in water.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.