Warning: this post is not raw. Read at your own risk.
While there are very few things I miss about living in the US, one of them is black beans being readily available in a can. Of course, fresh food is better than canned, but really, who has time to soak beans for 12 hours, boil them for 2 more, and then cook them up (saute, fry, whatever) to make a meal? And even if you do have the time, that requires an awful lot of advance planning. Sadly, in Joburg black beans are fairly hard to come by. You can buy them in a tin in a few specialty shops, but they usually have MSG in them. Some of the Chinese grocery shops have semi-fermented black beans, which are tasty but only good for black bean sauce. Otherwise, the only option is to to get dried black beans from the health food shops. That brings us back to square one– time and planning.
The other day I decided to make black bean burritos for the SA vegan society picnic. I made a big batch of black beans because there’s no point in making enough for only one meal when it takes so much effort. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to snap a photo of the burritos (which in addition to refried black beans had delicious roasted sweet potato/yam that I was happy to find at the Chinese grocers), but here’s a shot of the burrito I made for myself with the leftover beans. Delicious!
Of course, in my excitement I over-filled the burrito. Though in my defence it was a very small wrap. I filled it with organic greens, baby tomatoes, shredded carrots and beetroot (or beets), avocado, jalapeños, red onions and of course, lots of black beans.
I’ve just read that you can apparently freeze black beans, either after soaking or after cooking, so perhaps next time I’ll try that.
And while we’re on the subject of delicious food from the Americas, I recently made banana fritters for a Haitian dinner. It was only last year that I conquered my fear of deep-frying (which I blame on my healthy upbringing as well as my tendency to splash myself with whatever’s cooking). So after perusing various Haitian recipes and ruling out pigs feet and other such delicacies, I decided to make banana fritters. Everyone enjoyed them– they were gone in a flash. I consider them vegan junk food, but still. They were soooo tasty. Light, fluffy billows of banana. The picture really doesn’t do them justice. It is from my trial run. The ones at the dinner were prettier because they were dusted in powdered sugar.