If you're looking to stretch your dollar at mealtime, using black beans as your source of protein is a healthy, budget-friendly option.
Weight Watcher's leader Lorie Weires is a pro at helping people stick to plan and she knows in this economy that buying foods within a family's budget can be key.
"Black beans are high in fiber, high in protein, very low cost. For less than a dollar you can get a can and you can make all kinds of things."
Here are some recipes courtesy of Weight Watchers:
Spicy Black Bean Soup
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
The key to thickening this soup without flour? Pureeing some of the beans before cooking it. You'll love the stick-to-your-ribs texture that results.
- Coat bottom of a large stockpot with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
- Place one can of beans in blender; add sautéed onion mixture, red pepper flakes and cumin. - - Cover and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour mixture back into stockpot.
- Place second can of beans and broth in blender and puree until smooth; add to stockpot.
- Stir third can of beans (do not puree first), tomatoes and green chilies, and corn into stockpot. - Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Yields about 1 1/2 cups of soup per serving.
Cuban Black Beans And Rice
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
This meatless main meal is ultra-satisfying. If you can't find banana or cubanelle peppers, use red or green bell peppers instead.
- In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil; add rice and cook as package directs.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups of onion and all of the pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and oregano; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in beans and their liquid, remaining 1/2 cup of water and salt; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for flavors to blend, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and 1/3 cup of cilantro.
- To serve, spoon beans over rice; sprinkle with 1/4 cup of remaining onion and 1/3 cup of remaining cilantro; squeeze fresh lime juice over top. Yields about 3/4 cup of beans and 1/2 cup of rice per serving.
Black Bean Brownies
Prep time: 7 min
Cook time: 33 min
Black beans add fiber and moisture to this lightened up treat. They're rich and delicious, full of chocolaty goodness. This is a favorite of Weight Watchers spokesperson Jennifer Hudson.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9- X 13-inch pan with cooking spray; line with aluminum foil and coat foil with cooking spray.
- In a blender or mini food processor, process beans with coffee until smooth; set aside.
- In a double boiler over very low heat, melt butter and chocolate.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low speed, add melted chocolate to eggs; incorporate well. Add black bean mixture, vanilla and salt; mix well. Add flour; combine thoroughly on low speed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted in center of brownies comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. After 10 minutes, remove brownies from pan by pulling up on foil and placing brownies on cooling rack to cool more. Cut into 24 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.
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