This post is sponsored by Bush’s Best Beans (in conjunction with The Women Bloggers), who, like the name says, has the best beans folks! Well, duh-doy! #MyBestWithBushBeans
K guys, we’re talking beans today. Beans are a popular item around my house, black beans, in particular. Like at least on the twice a week schedule, if not more. Why? (Go to the 5 Variations and Recipe)
WHY WE LIKE BLACK BEANS ‘ROUND MA PLACE:
I love Mexican food, therefore, I prepare and eat lots of Mexican food. And Mexican food has lots of beans.
My kids started eating beans when they were littles so they like them. (I was against “gross” baby food, so instead when they could start eating solids, I gave them naturally soft food, beans being one of them.) Which leads me to my next point…..
Protein. My kids are little stinkers when it comes to eating meat. The carnivore in me weeps over this, but they are young so there is still hope. At the moment, we don’t get much past chicken nuggets to make all three happy. The oldest – she’ll try different meat that I offer her, tell me that she likes it, but won’t really dig in. The middle – stubborn as they get, won’t even open her mouth for a taste (how dare you turn down my famous smoked rosemary chicken child!). The littlest – ok, she actually really likes eating meat when she’s not throwing a temper tantrum and throwing her whole plate of food across the room. (Terrible two’s folks – they are real.) But, hey, they all LOVE beans so I’m digging the whole protein aspect so I don’t have to worry about them getting that nourishment.
So three kids that will eat beans. PARENTING WIN. Or maybe I’m setting the bar low? Whatevs, I’m taking it.
SIMPLEST WAY TO SERVE YOUR BLACK BEANS: PLAIN BABY. NEVER DISAPPOINTS.
Gonna be honest, my kids LOVE eating these black beans plain. I dump them into a colander, do a quick rinse, and then we go stove top with just a little water for 3-5 minutes until heated through.
But, wait, seriously, I know some of you are like, PLAIN? C’mon! Why did I just read a recipe post about dumping a can of beans into a pan without any revelatory news? B.O.R.I.N.G.
Well, I am not one to disappoint. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve for you hard-to-please folk. Or maybe at least since this is what the post title was and I’m no click-baiter, k? I deliver! So, although I’m literally perfectly content with eating them plain, I also have a few quick additions and tips to take them up a notch! So without further ado, I present to you……..
***NOTE: In all the variations below, I used a standard-size 16 ounce can of Bush’s Beans. The beans are always dumped into a colander and rinsed thoroughly before prepping and heating. The helps remove the not-so-desirable side-effect of beans on the gastro system. Trust me, it’s a must EVERY TIME.***
Also, a little bit of water may be added depending on your desired consistency and to keep the beans from burning while heating.
1) BUSH’S BEST BLACK BEANS + SALSA
The first time I combined black beans and salsa was with a roommate that I had while living in California. She was from Mexico and grew up in southern Texas and had all sorts of Mexican/Southwest cuisine and tricks. The first time she opened a can of black beans and added salsa, I must’ve given her a weird look, because she quickly assured me it was life changing.
She was right.
Add your favorite salsa. No wrong answers. Usually 1/2 to 1 cup per can of beans gives you a great consistency. I love this as a simple side, or with tortilla chips.
Simple Black Bean and Salsa Recipe
Take your canned beans up a step by adding salsa. Find this and 4 other additions to make your beans shine with minimal effort!
- 1 16-ounce can Black Beans regular or low sodium
- 1/2 to 1 cup Salsa your favorite type and heat
In a colander, drain and thoroughly rinse your black beans.
Dump beans into a small pot.
Add 1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite salsa. Stir together.
Warm over low to medium heat. Add water if necessary for desired consistency and to keep the beans from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pan.
Serve as a side or as a dip with tortilla chips! For additional flavor, add spices, garlic, lime, cotija (any or all).
2) BUSH’S BLACK BEANS + SPICES
Wanna quick little tweak to those stove top beans to make them all sorts of yummy? Seriously, simply throwing a couple spices into the mix is easy-peasy and can make the flavor profile so versatile.
Here are a few that I like to use:
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Chipotle powder
For the garlic and onion powder, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon should do the trick, depending on if you are using both, and/or how potent you would like the finished product. For the cayenne or chipotle, unless you are a heat fiend or like pulling mean tricks on your friends, I’d start with just a dash per one standard-sized can of beans, and go from there. A little bit goes a long way with those two spices.
3) BUSH’S BLACK BEANS + GARLIC (+ MASH ACTION – OPTIONAL)
There’s just something about fresh garlic. It’s, what do you say…..AMAZING. Yes. That. It can turn something boring into a totally revitalized dish. And then there’s more………
Find that old potato masher that you have shoved in the back of your drawer (or use a fork because, somehow, like me, you have never ever bothered to buy a potato masher even though the price of one is negligible). Refried black beans folks? Ahhh yeah. I seriously love these refried black beans as a side dish, but I also love using them in these simple bean taquitos that I make from time to time (you can use pinto as well). Yes, the taquitos are greasy, and are not something that I eat every day, but the flavor is oh so simple, yet, oh so amazing.
To get the best results with using fresh minced garlic, put a little bit of canola oil in the bottom of your pan first, warm to medium, then add the garlic and let it cook for just about 20-30 seconds or until fragrant. Don’t go longer or you will burn it. Add the beans, until heated. Then remove from heat, and mash using a masher or a fork.
4) BUSH’S BLACK BEANS + LIME
I think it is already an unspoken rule of thumb that you must generously sprinkle lime juice over everything Mexican that you ever eat.
But just in case you didn’t know that, well, now you do.
5) BUSH’S BLACK BEANS + COTIJA
Have you ever had cotija? What is this weird foreign word, you say? Well, it is a type of aged Mexican cheese (also known as queso anejo) that will win over your heart and soul the second you taste it. It’s dry, and it crumbles up easily. It takes anything up to the next level, and a little sprinkling on your beans right before serving is the perfect way to use it here! Queso fresco (more well known) is also good, but is considered a wet cheese does not really have a strong flavor profile like cotija.
I pretty much put cotija on any Mexican dish that comes out of my kitchen. Simple flavors, killer results. In fact, my brother-in-law once asked me why these chicken tostadas were so amazing. I would’ve loved to say that it’s because I had some magical crock pot touch, but in the end I gave all the credit to the cotija and the crema agria (Mexican sour cream). Also, just so you know, I am a bit of a cheese lover….. maybe a little obsessed.
THERE YOU GO. Five simple ways to take already amazing beans up a notch! Use one, use all. Mix and match. So many possibilities.
Also on a side note, Bush’s has a couple different varieties of their black beans that are worth mentioning.
Reduced Sodium – love and usually go with this option. I try to generally avoid pre-salted foods; I prefer salting my own food to my own desired level.
Seasoned Recipe – this can has done a lot of the above legwork for you. It already has some amazing spices added. Super convenient if you are not wanting to pull out the whole spice shelf to rummage through your stash (please tell me I am not the only one with an unearthly amount of spices in the cupboard), or if you just haven’t worked with spices that much and want to get a feel for some flavors that work well.
I easily found all of these Bush’s Best black beans in my local WalMart, as well as tons of other varieties.
If you haven’t noticed. I’m kind of crazy about beans. I am also kind of crazy. Crazy cool, that is. 😉 Thanks for loving me anyway. You are all dears. Come visit me again for easy tips and tricks to step your food up to the next level with minimal effort!
IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE THAT YOU ADD TO YOUR BEANS TO MADE THEM TOTAL AWESOMENESS? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
Here are a couple other recipes on Food Apparel featuring black beans:
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