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The Honolulu Advertiser


By Carol Devenot

Posted on: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black beans make super Sunday dip

 • Beef, au naturel

On Sunday, many of us will sitting at home glued to the tube or at our favorite sports bar watching the Super Bowl XLIV. Just as when we go to the theater we have our favorite snacks popcorn, soda and candy there are favorite munchies for Super Bowl, such as chips and dip, beer and other "guiltful" foods.

Why not start the New Year with a resolution to start eating healthier foods? One of my favorites is a black bean dip that is light and delicious.

People have been growing black beans for more than 7,000 years; they come from a region in Peru. Since the beans grew readily in warm climates, they became an integral part of the South American diet. The bean traveled to Central America with migrating Indian tribes. By the 15th century, Spanish and Portuguese explorers had introduced the beans to Europe, where they subsequently spread to Africa and Asia.

Just as dark fruits such as grapes and cranberries are rich in antioxidants, the darker the coat of the bean, the higher its antioxidant activity. They are also a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. In addition, these beans prevent the rising of blood sugar levels, especially good for diabetics.

If you are a vegetarian, replace red meat with these smoky flavored beans. It is a good source of protein, especially when combined with whole-wheat pasta or brown rice. Significant consumption of these legumes will help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, too.

FRIJOLES NEGROS (BLACK BEAN) DIP

• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 1/4 medium yellow or red onion, diced

• 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans (low-sodium recommended), drained and rinsed

• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

• 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

• 2 tablespoon cilantro, coarsely chopped

• 3/4 cup mild (or hot) salsa

• Hawaiian salt and ground pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Place the beans in a food processor. Add the onion mixture and the remaining ingredients and process to desired consistency (chunky or smooth, your preference). Serve with raw vegetables and baked tortilla chips.

Makes 4 servings.

• Per 2 T. serving: 25 calories, 5 g carbodhydrate, 2 g protein, 80 mg sodium.

Note: You can use this in place of hummus, spread it in a wrap, stuff it into pita bread with fresh vegetables or in the following Sort-of-Mexican Pizza.

SORT-OF-MEXICAN PIZZA

• 4 ( 6-inch diameter) corn or whole-wheat tortillas

• 1/4 cup frijoles negros (black bean) dip

• 1 medium-ripe tomato, diced

• 1 cup of green or black olives, sliced

• 1/4 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

• Grated soy cheese (optional)

• Salsa or organic catsup and hot sauce of choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the tortillas on a wire rack on a baking sheet (to allow the hot air to crisp the tortilla). Spread 2 tablespoon of the dip on the the surface of the tortillas. Top with the tomato, olives, mushrooms and cheese and bake until the tortillas are crisp. Drizzle with salsa or organic catsup and hot sauce of choice.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: ;86 calories, 6.6 g carbohydrate, 4.4 g fat, 3.5 g protein, 291 mg sodium

Want a local recipe lightened up? Write Light & Local, Taste Section, The Advertiser, 605 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813 or e-mail taste@honoluluadvertiser.com. Carol Devenot is a Kaimukī-raised teacher and recipe consultant, and author of "Global Light Cuisine" (Blue Sea Publishing Publishing, paper, 2008). Cookbooks and e-books available at bookstores and Web site: www.globallightcuisine.net.