A couple weeks ago I boldly lamented about my distaste for the usual summer barbecue suspects: the bland, mayonnaise-laden cold (err, warm depending on how long they’ve been sitting out) salads. If you can even call them salads. Can something so monochrome, devoid of any fresh summer vegetables and herbs, really be called a salad?
I know, I’m being a little unfair. Your aunt’s famous macaroni salad does call for some chopped bell pepper.
But I can’t see it’s bright sun-kissed hue or feel it’s fresh, crisp crunchiness between my teeth. If a veggie is covered in mayonnaise, is it still a veggie?
So you might be surprised that there’s something about barbecues I dislike even more. Beans.
Bakes beans, barbecue beans, whatever you call them. I can’t really pinpoint why, because in theory I feel like I should like them. But every time I try them, they’re just not what I expect them to be. Too sweet? (did I just say that?) Too flat? (the flavor, not the beans.) Too mushy? Too disappointing.
I honestly had no idea what I was looking for in a bean dish. That is, until I found this recipe using all sorts of natural, yummy, vegan things. Now, it was quite obvious to me how beans should taste and I never wanted a bowl of them so badly in my life. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long because it’s summer and there’s always a bbq coming up. And, this recipe couldn’t be easier to throw together. I promise.
It’s official. Beans have been bumped up, and are no longer my least favorite thing about summer barbecues. As long as they’re these beans, of course. Sweet and spicy and bursting with layers of flavor. Warm and hearty, and delightfully not too heavy. Clean and nutritious to boot. But don’t just take it from me. Remember that chef I mentioned? The one who couldn’t get enough of my Tropical Butternut Squash Salad, shockingly surprised that clean, healthy food could taste so good? Well let’s just say he felt the same way about these beans. I’m pretty darn sure you will too.
1lb dry black beans
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 mangos, peeled and diced
1 15oz can no-salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup (use maple syrup or agave to make this a vegan dish)
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place the beans in a large colander and rinse well. Sort through the beans, removing and discarding any broken beans or beans that already have some of the skin falling off. Transfer the good beans to a large slow cooker, and add enough water to cover by several inches. Cook on high for four hours.
Drain and rinse the beans and return to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook on low for another 6-8 hours, until beans are tender. Serve warm.
Servings Per Recipe: 12 servings, about 2/3 cup each
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 252.6 mg
Potassium 107.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.1 g
Dietary Fiber 14.1 g
Sugars 12.1 g
Protein 8.5 g
PS: I’d like to wish a very Happy Blog Birthday to one of my loyal readers, Junia. She is celebrating her Blog Birthday over at Mis Pensamientos with a Vegan Clean Eating event and giveaway. This recipe fits the bill and I’m excited to share it. Junia, I can’t wait to see plenty more beautiful, clean recipes in the year ahead!
Check out the roundup for plenty of healthy, delicious links!