Category Archives: black beans

Brick Red


Confined to Barracks at least means I can take a few minutes to do some minor chores, which includes checking out the freezer compartment of the fridge and seeing if there’s anything that needs dumping/using up.  I found a couple of packets of pre-soaked and boiled black beans and decided to have a go at this potato, black bean and paprika stew….

Original here:



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Sweet potato, carrot and blackbean koftas


Tripped over a roasted butternut & black-bean kofta recipe on As I soaked and boiled a barrelful of black beans to make the chilli in the last recipe, I thought I’d set aside a couple of handfuls for this. With pitta bread, salad and low-fat mayo they’ll make an excellent packed lunch for the next couple of days. Assuming I don’t snaffle them all once they’re out of the oven….


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Chocolate chilli


There may be a flurry of posts today (all hands brace for impact!), as I’m having a bit of a cook-a-thon. After that it might be radio silence for a bit, as the information from doctors is that my mother’s cancer has reoccurred and now spread to her liver, and as such my focus may be elsewhere.

In the meantime I would like to introduce you to some new members of the family; joining Spike the Lucky Bamboo plant and Steve the basil plant, are these charming young Cayenne pepper seedlings. I found a box of seeds for 99p in the 99p Shop (naturally) and although the packet was a year out of date, and the peppers normally need to be planted between February and June, I like a challenge. So does the cayenne pepper plant it seems, and I now have four healthy seedlings that I transferred to their own pots yesterday.


I’d also like to introduce you to another Jack Monroe recipe, this time for bean chilli with dark chocolate, a smooth, tasty and somewhat luxurious take on yer bog-standard chilli con carne…


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Fun Fun Fun, in the Sun Sun Sun


Been watching the rebooted series of Red Dwarf*, Red Dwarf X.  After the last ill-fated Blade-Runneresque reboot ofwhichwewillnotspeakandwhichwewillpretendnever-happened, this one is proving to be nearly up to the standard of the original classic series. Plus still the best theme tune since Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy unleashed its banjo on the world –

Been doing my usual Sunday afternoon cook-up; mustard and honey-marinated tofu for snacks at work, refried black beans for a wholemeal tortilla mexican wrap for lunch at work, and aduki-bean casserole so when I crawl back in from work wanting to throttle someone, anyone, at least I don’t have to do anything more taxing than sticking a dollop of it onto a plate and into the microwave.

Aduki Bean Casserole

In the interests of displacement activity


Refried black bean wraps.

Soak and then thoroughly cook dried black beans (or, more simply, get them out of a can if anyone sells them near you).  Then mash thoroughly with a potato masher (good exercise) or food processor (cheat!).

You want these ones:  although experiments with a mixture of kidney beans and black-eye beans show some promise as well.

Heat oil in wok or saucepan, add couple cloves garlic, then add cumin and paprika (be generous with the paprika).  Then add the bean mash and fry.  The mash can be dry so you may wish to add a little butter/margarine to help the process.

Grate handful cheddar cheese, add to the mix and mix well.  Take off the heat and leave to cool.

Take flour tortilla, add a dash of butter or mayo, a layer of the bean spread, and sprinkle with salad (my chosen is tomato, cucumber, red onion and carrot diced fine). Roll the tortilla and its contents into the usual wrap shape.




So yesterday was lovely, the kind of lazy summer’s day that we have seen almost sod-all of this year, what with Mother Nature trying to drown us all *shakes fist at sky*.  I can only assume that the Atlantic is several hundred metres shallower due to all the water being tipped over the UK; if this keeps up we’ll be able to wade from Cornwall to New York fairly soon.

But I digress. Yesterday, I and Little Sister walked/bicycled into Tangleton town centre, through a cycle lane I didn’t realise we had (Tangleton’s attitude towards such Green activities as cycling is generally one of “fuck-off back to Glastonbury you smelly hippies”). Longer walk than I’ve done for a while, but very chilled, lots of little lanes sun-dappled through the leaves, wild flowers, blackberries and even a wild strawberry plant, growing in a church graveyard we passed through, with one perfect, scarlet berry hanging gracefully off a looped stalk.  We bought some bling for mum, who wants some new necklaces for her birthday, and lots of food for a, wait for it, a BARBECUE! Repeat, it’s stopped raining long enough for us to dust off the patio set and get marinating meats and chopping vegetables, without having to worry about our drinks being diluted by the rain (see: the Queen’s Jubilee Street Party, 2012).

For the meatavarians there were chicken drumsticks in barbecue sauce, and marinated beef chunks to be skewered on wooden sticks along with button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, white-and-violet striped shallots and courgettes.  I skipped the meat and had a couple of Quorn burgers, and some marinated tofu chunks (garlic and soy sauce) to go on the kebab sticks.  T’was all very nice, and a good way to mark Mum having survived her first dose of chemotherapy with relatively few side-effects.  She has got her normal appetite mostly back now and is enjoying hot food again, after most of a week living off mini pork pies, mild cheddar cheese, grapes, ginger biscuits and my lentil pate.  (Note: to self, the lentil pate is fab heated up and mixed with Quorn bacon, on a baked potato.  Recipe to follow shortly).  Meal topped off nicely by watching Mo Farrar at the Olympics wipe the floor with the opposition, again.

Of course this now means the fridge is crammed with odds and ends of meat and tofu and salad bits.  And I have lunch for the next couple of days to prepare.  I work quite long hours, plus travel, and it’s not always the easiest environment in which to work.  Therefore a decent packed lunch does a lot to raise morale half-way during the day, and helps prevent the 2pm sugar-crash where I start craving such noted health-foods as Aero bars and ready-salted crisps.  I’ve got a couple of cans of Aduki beans (commonly used in Japanese food), and there’s recipe on the back of one of them for a salad including rocket, feta cheese, red onion and roasted peppers.  And who am I to ignore such useful advice?  Roasted some yellow and green pepper pieces, cherry toms, a couple of spare shallots, red onion and some left-over Fake Bacon in a tray at 180F, with a generous dash of olive oil, salt and black pepper.  Heated the beans for a few minutes as per instructions, and then mixed with the roasted veg and left to cool.  When cool will be pitched into a couple of tupperware containers with rocket salad and chopped feta, plus some crackers for a bit of carbohydrate.  Hopefully it will do What It Says on the Tin, and be a delicious lunch.  If not, I hope the chocolate machine is still working…..

Also put a generous amount of black beans in to soak overnight.  I generally avoid dry legumes unless they’re like red and green lentils, which can be cooked straight away without soaking, because I have Better Things to Bloody Do, but I’ve struggled to find canned black beans, and a recent discovery in the lunch department has been tortilla wraps containing re-fried black beans combined with cheddar cheese, garlic, cumin and paprika, topped with salad.  Will experiment with freezing some of the soaked and cooked beans as well, which might make it worth going to the bother of soaking and cooking an entire bag in one go.

Happy eating everyone!