This weeks recipe is Slow Cooker Black Beans (served with rice.) So Hubby and I like black beans, we're not so much pinto bean fans... Recently I wanted to get away from canned beans and try using dry beans. Why? Who knows? Maybe I wanted this new challenge, because I've never really cooked with dry beans before. I made some black beans a few weeks ago, and they were okay, but nothing special. This past week when I made them, they were TONS better, and so I'm going to share this recipe with you. I will be making beans again, as during the next 2-3 weeks I'm on a purging my pantry menu plan. I want to use what I have in my cupboards with buying a minimum amount of other stuff (fresh produce is a must, although I also need to use some stuff in the freezer). I am going to try one or two things different next time I make it and I'll let you know if it changes that much.
Place in 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker (You can use a larger one as well, but not a smaller one, unless you cut the recipe in half): 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, 3 cloves garlic - minced, 1 jalapeno finely chopped and 1 cup dry black beans, rinsed.
Add 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp chili powder, and 2 tsp ground cumin.
Add 2 cups tomato juice (you can use water if you don't have tomato juice), 1 can(14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, and 1 cup cooked ham (left over from a ham that was on sale for $0.99/lb - it was a large ham, we had it for dinner a few nights and then I chopped up 8 cups to freeze for meals such as this. Tip on buying ham - don't buy shank! Butt Portion usually has less bone and more meat). Stir well.
Cook on high heat for 6-8 hours or until most of the liquid is absorbed and beans are tender.Serve over a bed of rice. You'll want about 3-4 cups of cooked rice. I use brown rice as it is whole grain and I like the taste better. If you prefer white rice, but want the health benefits, I just learned that basmati rice is whole grain and still white. I have not tried it so I don't know how it compares to white or brown rice.
You can top with cheese as well.
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