Posts tagged with Black Beans

Warding off the chill with Crock-pot chili

Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili.

Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili. by Sarah Henning

Dang, it’s cold out there. It’s just so classic “Kansas” that we went from 60 degrees one day (Friday) to hovering around freezing the next. Boo.

By the time we’d been through that horrible temperature swing, we were all for breaking out the slow cooker on Sunday morning. We adapted a recipe that was supposed to be made on the stovetop by just dumping everything in the slow cooker and crossing our fingers that it turned out right.

It did and it was delicious. I totally recommend making this soup when you feel like you want some chili to ward off the chill. Enjoy!

Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 onion, diced small

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced small (We used an orange bell pepper)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrot, diced small

1 pound zucchini, cut into medium dice

1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (thaw first if frozen)

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped (We didn’t use it)

2 teaspoons agave nectar (We used honey)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Put everything except the agave nectar and lime juice into a slow cooker. Cook, stirring occasionally, on high for five to six hours. When ready to serve, stir in agave/honey and lime. Serves six.

(Recipe adapted from “Appetite for Reduction,” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)


Would a brownie by another name be as sweet?

So, I finally made the black bean brownies I blogged about the other week. The story is that I found a recipe for black bean-based fudge and when Tweeting about that, found out that there's this underground community of people who enjoy and make brownies with black beans. From there, a friend Tweeted this recipe.

Of course, as I am a food writer, the call of black bean brownies was too great. I figured I had to make them — and then use the folks here at and the Lawrence Journal-World as guinea pigs. Because journalists will eat ANYTHING, right? We're like the vacuum cleaners of the professional world (me included, to be sure). Every paper I'm ever worked at has had its "trough" — a table where sweets and salty snacks live. I'm aware that many companies have their own troughs, but because of the long hours, deadlines and crazy schedules of journalists, I must say ours are very highly regarded.

So, I thought, I'll make the brownies, put them on the trough table and let the News Center masses at them. Then blog about it, because, you know, I report things.

There were a few kinks in my plan, however.

First was the timing. I decided to bring the brownies in on the day of our company-wide holiday feast. Everyone lines up to get turkey with all the trimmings and we sit and enjoy a big lunch together. It's a great tradition, and one I'm very thankful for, but also one for which I totally didn't plan. Whoops.

Secondly was that I TOLD everyone there were black beans in the brownies. I told them for two reasons:

  1. I'm not about to lie because I value honesty as a journalist.
  2. These people are very smart and read my blog and probably would've been pretty suspicious if I brought in "normal" brownies less than a week after blogging about brownies based upon black beans.

So, instead of playing coy, I just brought them in, kept them in the fridge (as per the directions) and pulled them out after everyone was stuffed on turkey and sides. Before they even exited the fridge, my cubicle neighbor, Shaun Hittle, had already put the brownies up on his jokey "LJW NewsCenter Trending Topics" white board.

I think they should've been higher, for all the anxiety about them. They sat unbidden in the trough for about an hour until editor Trevan McGee, online editor Alex Parker and KUSports producer extraordinaire Nick Nelson decided they'd be brave enough to try them.

And you know what? They didn't die after the first swallow. In fact, they all said the flavor was good, if the texture was a bit too soft.

To sweeten the deal, I had brought in copious amounts of spritz cookies, and Trevan's brownie was so soft that he decided to use it as the cream center of a spritz sandwich, shown below.

Look, I even have proof that he ate it. (Though, the guy once ate a "ghost Chili" in front of a camera, so he's pretty brave.)

Throughout the afternoon, the comments came in from other News Center members.

Cops reporter George Diepenbrock was pretty complementary: “I thought they tasted like a normal brownie, although not as sweet. They also felt more moist than a normal brownie, but I'm not sure if that had anything to do with the beans or not. The one I had fell apart easily. Overall, I did like them and would eat them again.”

And assistant community editor Kim Callahan also thought they were pretty tasty, “Great flavor in the brownies. Couldn't detect the beans. Texture is a bit gooey, but they're really good.”

But KU reporter Andy Hyland wasn't so sure. He ate one after lots of (annoying) nudging from me and basically said, "If you had called them something else, I would've eaten another one."

I guess I could have accurately called them "Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Brownies," and they probably would've been flying out of the trough as fast as the spritz cookies...

That said, judging by the near empty* plate I found this morning, I think they did OK.

*There are four brownies left under the plastic wrap.


Brownies made with WHAT?

I've had quite the Twitter and Facebook conversation this morning about what constitutes a brownie.

It started when I found this recipe last night for fudge made with BLACK BEANS. That got a discussion going and I found out there's a whole underground world that includes many a recipe for brownies made with black beans. This recipe came highly recommended via Twitter on that front.

And, honestly, I might try both these recipes. Though, as it stands today, my fave brownie recipe is the one with zucchini in it.

So, are these recipes abominations? I know my friend Megan Stuke wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole. But I might...

What do you think constitutes a "brownie" or "fudge"?