Sunday, September 20, 2015

Black Beans with Purple Potatoes (No Added Fat)

On the fiftieth anniversary of its film release, we enjoyed seeing The Sound of Music outdoors last night. We stopped at a favorite South Indian restaurant and picked up food, including steamed rice-lentil idlis, spicy sambar soup, two kinds of rice, and more. There was a little rice left, which I served with tonight's dinner. They do use some oil in the restaurant, but the amount of rice was small and just a side, so I'm still describing this meal as one with no added fat. I wanted to make a black bean dish, and used purple potatoes from the local farmers' market along with the beans. This is what I did:

  • 1 cup of black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight or, as I did, rinsed and soaked in boiling water for a few hours (I put boiling water in and about 5 hours rinsed the beans again)
  • Enough water to cover beans plus another 1/2"
  • 2 cups potato (I used purple, but blue, red, or Yukon Gold varieties would be fine) cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 medium carrots cut into 1/2" length slices (about a cup)
  • 1 cup broccoli stalk cut into 3/8" cubes
  • Vegan (salt-free) bouillon cube
  • Half medium onion cut into small 1/4" cubes (about a cup)
  • 3 cups spinach - frozen chopped (which is what I used - about 8 ounces) or fresh baby or fresh regular
  • 1 t ginger, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1T fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • Salt to taste (try 1/4 t)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste (try 1/8t)
  • (Optional) 2T nutritional yeast
  1. I put the beans, water, potato, carrot, broccoli stalk, and bouillon cube in the Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure for 20 minutes. (I had forgotten the ginger, which I added at the end, but it would have been good to cook with the beans.) I wanted to be sure that I had enough water, so I added a little more to make it 1/2" above the new level with everything and not just the beans.
  2. I waited a few minutes then slowly let out remaining pressure.
  3. I added the remaining ingredients - onion, spinach, ginger, lime juice, salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast.
  4. The dish was more liquidy than I wanted it to be, so I decanted about 1 1/4 cups of the broth, which my wife enjoyed drinking, then served the bean dish along with reheated leftover rice and avocado slices.


The beans were good. I didn't think it was memorable, but certainly was a good, healthful, and solid main course.

Ideas for the future

I should stick with cooking with enough water to just cover the beans plus 1/2" or maybe 1/4" next time I prepare black beans. A little more ginger would be nice and, added at the end, a little cumin would add a nice taste.

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