I’ve been on a bean kick lately, can you tell? They really are the most fantastic food. Beans are super nutritious, delicious and one of the most inexpensive food items out there. For some reason there are still people out there who do not like them. Well, I’m convinced that those people just haven’t had good beans yet. So, it is my New Years resolution to turn at least one person from a bean hater into a bean lover. No, no, make that a legume lover (because I gotta include lentils in all of this).
Making beans delicious is all about the seasoning. I first started experimenting with some canned black beans last year. This is still a great side dish solution if you’re short on time but lately, I’ve been cooking dried beans in my slow cooker to save even more money. Up until now, I’ve cooked them plain so that I could season them later according to whatever dish I was using them in.
The black beans I cooked this week, although seasoned, will still work with a variety of dishes. They are an excellent side dish (I ate them along side my fajitas), you can stuff them into burritos or you can turn them into a quick soup. This makes a pretty big batch but the beans can be frozen for later use. I usually freeze at least half of the batch right away.
NOTE: You can’t see the tomatoes in the end product but they do give a fantastic depth of flavor.
Spicy Black Beans & Tomatoes
- 1 lb. (2 cups) dry black beans $1.20
- 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes $0.88
- 4 cloves garlic $0.18
- ½ Tbsp cumin $0.05
- 1 med jalapeno $0.13
- to taste salt $0.05
- 5 cups water $0.00
- Sort through your beans to remove any stones or damaged beans. Rinse the beans well to remove any dust. Place the beans in the slow cooker.
- Also add to the slow cooker: a can of diced tomatoes (including juices), 4 cloves of garlic (smashed or roughly chopped), one jalapeno (diced and seeds removed), and ½ Tbsp of cumin. Do not add salt at this point. Add 5 cups of water, secure the lid and set the heat to high.
- After four hours open the slow cooker and check the beans to make sure they are tender. They should be fully cooked at this point but if they aren’t, simply cook them longer and check again after a couple hours. Season the beans with salt (I used about ½ tsp).
- Either serve the beans immediately or divide up and freeze in single or double serving sized portions.
Step By Step Photos
My beans came in a 3 lb. bag so I had to weigh out one pound. I find that bulk beans tend to be dirtier and contain more stones so sort through and rinse well.
I found quite a few stones and damaged beans.
The flavor of beans is all about what you season it with. I kept it pretty simple.
Place the beans in the slow cooker with 5 cups of water, the tomatoes (w/juices) and the rest of your seasonings. Do not add salt, this could make your beans tough. Put the lid on tight and set the cooker to HIGH.
NOTE: The spiciness of the jalapeno depends highly on how many of the seeds you remove. I removed almost all of mine prior to adding to the slow cooker. If you like it really really spicy, don’t remove any at all. Just remove the stem, chop everything up and add it to the cooker.
Make sure you wash your hands well after handling the jalapeno. I washed mine with soap but still found my eye burning an hour later after I accidentally touched my eye!