For me, black beans are in a special food group of familiarity, along with garlic, hummus, dark chocolate, tostones, and cafe con leche. Having been raised in a Cuban family, these beans were practically my first solid food. There's nothing quite like a plate of homemade black beans on white rice (with tostones and boliche, of course). They are flavorful, filling, cheap, and very healthy (they contain plenty of fiber, protein, folate, a lot of antioxidants, and help stabilize blood sugar).
I have recently developed and perfected a new meal idea: canned black beans dumped into a tupperware, with a few slices of mozzarella, a spoonful of minced garlic, dried chopped onions, a dash of cayenne pepper, and a handful of chips or torn up corn tortillas. Nuke for a few minutes, enjoy. Or, if there's a bit of time, stick in the slow cooker on high for 2-3 hours.
Total win! SO easy to prepare, SO delicious, and very inexpensive. The beans were under a dollar a can at Wal-Mart, the tortillas come from a gigantic stack that cost a few dollars, and the other ingredients are always around anyway. Of course, I can only make these every few days. It's such a great "cop-out" meal when I'm tired and just want to get enough protein to not start breaking down emotionally (it happens).
When I have a bit more time, I go a bit further and add the following to Gretel:
- 2 cans black beans
- 1 can corn
- 1 spoonful minced garlic (or 1-2 cloves)
- 1/2-1 onion
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- A few dashes of cayenne pepper
- A few dashes of black pepper
- Any other foods that have been hanging out in the fridge for a while and need to be consumed (examples: okra, avocado, and celery).
- Whatever meat is lying around. I've used ground beef I browned in my rice cooker, chopped up steak, and chicken.
- Mozzarella cheese, once the soup/chili-thing is done cooking
- SALT! Oh my gosh, salt salt salt salt salt. Otherwise it tastes funky.
This plus some chips or tortillas = yes.