Monday, July 20, 2009

Black Bean Nachos (or Salad)

With a bowl of this in my lap I am instantly taken back to childhood where I am sitting on the blue chair with a cup full of hot salsa, melted cheese swirled throughout. One delicious chip after another pass my lips as I ponder all the blessings in my life.

I am older, sadly, my food has gotten healthier, and the blessings seem to be multiplying every day. I am such a lucky girl.

Black beans are by far my favorite bean. oh, sure....all beans taste pretty much the same. Why are black beans the best? They just are. The hint of lime juice in this recipe makes all the difference in the world. For a brief time I thought I lost the recipe, but after months of searching through library books I found it and now I still have no clue where it came from. I will say it is manna from heaven.

This nacho recipe originally calls for a layer of chips, then beans/corn/salsa, then spinach, then cheese, and all of it is baked together. But I don't like the chips baked with topping because they get soggy. Life is just too dang short to eat soggy chips. So I heat the topping mixture together and dip the chips into the hot bean dip. And leave out the spinach. Nobody wants a bite of hay when they are expecting something yummy. Sometimes I leave out the cheese, too. It is good either way, but it may not classify as nachos if there is no cheese. Does anybody have a good recipe title for the cheese free version??

Black Bean Salsa
1/2 onion, chopped and sauteed until soft
1 T oil
1 C canned crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 C frozen corn
1 can black beans (or 1 1/2 C cooked black beans)
2 T lime juice
1 T chili powder
1 t oregano
8 oz. shredded cheese
1 box (10 oz) spinach, thawed and patted dry (optional)
2 C salsa

Saute the onion in the oil for around 8 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes, salsa, corn, beans lime juice, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for 5 minutes until heated. Put black beans on bottom of a casserole dish, then the spinach, then the cheese. Back at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve with chips, or as the dressing for a salad.

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