Tablet Life & Arts

Everyday Food: Stretch a pot of beans into two meals

Trying to work meatless meals into your routine? A pot of hearty, healthy beans makes a satisfying dish — and leftovers for tomorrow.


• Lightly mash and thin with broth to make a soup.

• Purée with canned chipotle chiles and use as a dip for chips or a spicy spread on a grilled-chicken sandwich.

• Top crisp lettuce or shredded cabbage salads with warmed beans.

• Stir some beans and salsa into scrambled eggs.

• Spoon beans and sour cream on a baked potato.

Prepare a big batch of ...

Cuban black beans

Makes 7 cups

Serve with cilantro, tomato and rice for a meal that’s good for you — and your budget.

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 yellow onion, diced medium

• 2 celery stalks, diced medium

• 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

• 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

• 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin

• Coarse salt and ground pepper

• 1 pound dried black beans, soaked according to package instructions and drained

• 1 dried bay leaf

• 1 small bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated, stems tied together with kitchen twine and leaves reserved

1. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Add carrots and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper.

2. Add black beans, 8 cups water, bay leaf and cilantro stems and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender and liquid is slightly thickened, adding more water to cover if needed, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf and cilantro stems. (To store, refrigerate, up to 5 days, or freeze, up to 6 months; you’ll need 4 cups of beans for each of the following recipes.)

Nutritional analysis, for 1 cup: 254 calories, 2 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 44 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams protein, 7 grams fiber, 7 percent of calories from fat.

... and use leftovers for

Black-bean burgers with pickled onions

Serves 4

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil over medium. Add 1 small red onion, thinly sliced, and cook 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and cook until dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Transfer onion mixture to a small bowl and wipe out skillet. In a large bowl, mash 2 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained. Stir in 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped, 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, 3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, lightly beaten, and 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and form mixture into 4 patties. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Cook 2 patties until crisp outside and heated through, about 5 minutes, flipping once. Repeat with more oil and remaining patties. Spread 3 tablespoons mayonnaise on 4 toasted kaiser rolls; top with burgers, thinly sliced avocado and onion mixture.

Nutritional information per serving: 760 calories, 30 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat), 97 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 13 grams fiber, 35 percent of calories from fat.

... or use leftovers for

Cheesy tortillas with black-bean puree

Serves 4

In a food processor, blend 4 cups cooked black beans with cooking liquid (see Cuban black beans recipe) until smooth, adding up to 1 cup water to make a loose but not runny purée. Transfer to a small pot and heat over low. Working one at a time, toast 12 corn tortillas in a skillet or over a gas burner, fill with 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack and fold in half. Divide tortillas among four plates and top with bean purée, shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced avocado and diced tomato.

Nutritional information per serving: 676 calories, 25 grams fat (11 grams saturated fat), 85 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams protein, 15 grams fiber, 33 percent of calories from fat.