I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday. My day started early today but is slowing down now. Sorry I disappeared on you yesterday. I had a nasty headache that had me down for the count. Yesterday I spent most of the day rearranging my library. While this doesn’t sound like a big task it is at our house. I have a ridiculous cookbook collection in addition to my health and nutrition books. Since I was running out of book storage room Dan put in two more bookcases for me. I needed the extra storage but it necessitated a lot of rearranging. Previously my book were stored by category but now I have one bookcase devoted to my most frequently used cookbooks, and one for health and nutrition books. Even I am a little surprised by how many books I turn to regularly for inspiration.
While I was rearranging bookcases I decided to make bean dip. The other evening night I got an email from Laura asking about sandwich fillings. That question must has stuck because the next thing you know I was soaking black beans. I haven’t made a black bean dip in ages and thought it was time.
Black beans are high in antioxidants which means they are good to use whenever you can. This dip/spread is very similar to my other bean dips. The only change I made was to use salsa instead of wet hots. I was surprised by how much salsa I needed in place of the wet hots (aka: hot crushed or pickled peppers). Here is what I made yesterday afternoon:
Black Bean Dip/Spread – No Oil
Makes 12 servings – approximately a fat ¼ cup each depending on how much cooking liquid you add
2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight (or quick soaked)
8 cups water
3 bay leaves (said to help with bean digestibility)
1 cup salsa
1 lime, zested and juiced (more if desired)
2 cups reserved bean cooking liquid (I added about 1 cup slowly until I got texture I wanted)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika (either sweet, hot or smoked)
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
black pepper, to taste
Combine soaked beans, water and bay leaves. Simmer the beans until they are tender. Reserve a couple cooks of cooking liquid and drain the rest of the liquid from the beans. Place the drained beans (bay removed) in your food processor or blender. Add the salsa, lime zest, lime juice and ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid and process. Add more cooking liquid as necessary to get the texture you like. Remember it will thicken a little when it is cold. Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder and garlic and process until well combined. Now add fresh ground black pepper to taste and refrigerate until needed.
This can be used a bean dip for crudités or pita wedges. It is also a good stand in for refried beans. I tend to use bean dips on our salad with salsa as dressing. I also like it on a veggie wrap (using collards of course) with julienned veggies.
Nutritional Information (for 1/12th of the recipe):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 116.58
Calories From Fat (4%)- 5.04
Total Fat- 0.6g
Saturated Fat- 0.1g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 140.53mg
Potassium - 557.09mg
Total Carbohydrates- 21.87g
Sugar - 1.44g
Protein - 7.14g
Comments this is more of a concept than a recipe. Season it any way you choose. I like dips like this because they have flavor but not added fat. When you are trying to keep your fat intake low any place you can add protein without fat is great in my opinion. That is one reason I make beans so often.
Each serving of this bean dip/spread contains approximately 70mg of calcium, 3.5mg of iron, 125mcg of folate, 150mg of phosphorus, and 60mg of magnesium.
Making a Healthy Salad:
As I have mentioned before we eat a lot of salad. In fact we have salad every day at least once. Today for lunch I made myself another salad. It occurred to me that I have a loose set of rules that I tend to incorporate with each salad that I make. I thought you might find this interesting. Here is what keep I mind when making salads:
1. Lots of dark leafy greens (baby spinach, kale, collards, beet greens). If you julienne the greens it changes the texture.
2. Healthy fats to help with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (either seeds, nuts or avocado) . Typically I add a few nuts or seeds, maybe a tablespoon, but today I was in an avocado mood which makes a salad much more decadent in my opinion.
3. Something crunchy for textural variation (cucumber slices, julienned carrots, julienned bell peppers, etc,)
4. Protein (cold baked tofu cubes, cooked beans, bean dip)
5. Low or no fat salad dressing (salsa is my favorite but nut based dressings are also good)
6. Cooked grains or starches (this is optional but does add a nice textural element to a salad and more calories if you need them)
My salad today contained baby spinach, cucumber, ½ avocado, cold cooked green beans, black bean spread, and salsa. I considered adding some cooked wheat berries or cooked sweet potatoes but decided that I had enough calories in this particular salad.
After spending the day yesterday rearranging books today I moved to magazines. What a chore this has turned out to be. I am collecting a pile to take to the doctor’s office. I hate throwing the magazines away but by dropping them at the doctor’s office I feel like I am doing something for others.
I have included pics of the newly filled bookcases. If you are interested in any of the books or DVDs and have questions let me know I am happy to answer. Most of the books I have read more than once. There are one or two that I still need to read which is why I placed them where I would see them more often. These are book cases in my family room.
For now I need to be back to my pile of magazines. Talk to you all later. I hope Tuesday is treating you well. ;-)