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Belly Up to Some Black Bean Stew

It’s our meat-free meal for this week and today is some Black Bean Stew. This is a hearty and healthy dish, full of fiber with the black beans and butternut squash.This is a vegetarian dish, so you don’t have to make any alterations if you are trying to keep it as a vegetarian meal. I am planning to make some biscuits to go along with this meal as well. I’ve made the biscuits before, so if you would like to see the recipe for them, you can check here.

Black Bean Stew

1 cup dried black beans

4 cups water

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)

1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup lager beer, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Pick over the beans, discarding any misshapen beans and stones, and rinse well. In a large pot, combine the beans with cold water to cover by 3 inches. Soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. Alternatively, for a quick-soak method, bring the beans and water to a rapid simmer (but do not boil), then simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

Drain the beans, place in a large saucepan and add the 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until almost tender but still quite firm, about 1 hour.

Add the onion and garlic to the beans, re-cover and continue to cook over low heat until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes more.

Cut the squash in half. Remove and discard the seeds, then peel the flesh. Cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes. Add the squash, pepper, oregano and beer to the pan. Raise the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the squash and beans are soft but still hold their shape, about 30 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Ladle the stew into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately.

If you have the time to do the beans overnight, that’s probably the best way to go about it so they are ready to use the next day. This stew takes some time to cook, but I think it’s worth the effort for the taste you will get. It’s filling, tastes great, and makes the whole house smell good. Serving with the biscuits round out the meal nicely, but you could also serve this with a salad if you wanted to add something else to the meal.

There weren’t a lot of ingredients in today’s meal, but tomorrow has quite a few. I’ll be making Jambalaya tomorrow, and the recipe I use has 23 different ingredients in it, so I have my work cut out for me! It doesn’t take long to cook, it just has a lot of items in it so there is quite a bit of prep work involved. Check back tomorrow to see what’s in it. It is definitely worth it! Enjoy the rest of your day!

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Biscuits, Cooking, Dinner, Soups & Stews, Vegetarian

 

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Saturday’s Leftovers and Next Week’s Plan

Today is a day we had marked to use for leftovers and we do have some things left from the week. Tonight for dinner, we are going to have hot open-faced pot roast sandwiches on some bread from Rockland Bakery with some mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s all left over from last night’s meal. We’ve done a good job with any other leftovers this week, with Michelle bringing stuff for lunch all week, so there really isn’t too much left to anything with tonight other than what we had yesterday.

So that leads me up to next week’s meal plan. We’ve decided to go with all one pot meals this week to try to make things easy for clean up, and we’re also going to use the slow cooker twice this week to try to ease things as far as time for cooking. I am going to try to start using the slow cooker on Monday’s meal, since this seems to be the busiest day of the week for me with everything that goes on around here. This week, however, I will be utilizing leftovers from Sunday’s meal to make Monday’s meal. So, here’s the plan for this week:

Sunday: Roast Leg of Lamb, Baked Potatoes, Cauliflower, and Turnips

Monday – Shepherd’s Pie

Tuesday – Chicken Marsala (this one is done in the slow cooker)

Wednesday – Black Bean Stew (our meat-free meal of the week)

Thursday – Jambalaya

Friday – Beef Stew (also done in the slow cooker)

Saturday – We are marking as a leftovers day. Saturdays, for us anyway, often seem ideal as a leftover day since we usually try to just relax all day long, or we’ve done chores all day long and no one feels like thinking about meals or cooking.

The Shepherd’s Pie on Monday will use any leftover lamb from Sunday as well as the leftover turnips. The Chicken Marsala on Tuesday is a slow cooker recipe that I’ll be using, but you can also make it traditionally. I thought it would be fun to try it in the slow cooker and see how it comes out. The other meals are great one pot meals to make, even if the Jambalaya requires quite a bit of prep work as far as cutting and chopping. Thursdays also seem to lend themselves well to our seafood meal of the week since I often have the time to get fresh seafood on Thursday mornings. Some of the ingredients I am using this week are a little out of the norm for what you may have around the house, such as the lamb for the shepherd’s pie (if we weren’t having it on Sunday, I wouldn’t be making it at all), Marsala wine for the Chicken Marsala, andouille sausage for the Jambalaya, and black beans for the Black Bean Stew. Other than those items, I didn’t have to shop for anything that we didn’t already have around the house, really bringing the shopping bill down for this week, which is great. If you want to use the same meal plan layout that I follow, you can get it here:family_meal_planner

That’s about all I have to post for today. It’s been a pretty lazy day for me other than the shopping I did, so I think I’ll get back to lounging for the rest of the day :). If you have any questions, comments or recipes that you might like to see, please let me know. Any and all input is appreciated. I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend so far and have a great Saturday night!

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Meal Plan Menu

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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