SNAP Recipe Project-Black Beans

What delicious dish will these ingredients make? Read on!

Check out the final picture to see the final product.

I tried a GREAT recipe this week, but first a bit of SNAP news:

Today, November 1, 2013, is a day of change for the SNAP program. If you have not heard, and judging by the amount of coverage this story has gotten, it wouldn’t be hard to miss, the SNAP program’s budget is being cut pretty severely. The cuts originally were passed in September, and to catch up you can read both a USA Today story and a NY Times story written when the bill was passed. Again, this is NOT a political website, so I encourage you to go to the news outlets of your choice to see what they report on this. However, for my part, I want to see people in America NOT go hungry, and the cuts to SNAP will take food money away from families. Here are a few things to consider:

  • The past SNAP benefits worked out to an average of $1.50 per meal. Could you do it? There have been a few public servants who have taken on this challenge to see how it affects them and what they could get for the money. For example, Sen. Chris Murphy took the challenge, and you can read about his experiences, and other SNAP information, at
  • The cuts, starting today, would decrease the already small amount by approximately $36 per month per family.
  • 47 million people in this country participate in SNAP, which means they qualify as low income.
  • 72% of families in SNAP have children and more than 25% include seniors or people with disabilities.

DSC01503There is a bill, however, that could extend the SNAP benefits. The progress, if any, of HR 3108 can be found at

Now, back to food! I chose the “Black Bean” recipe from the SNAP Recipe Finder site for this week’s recipe testing and review. This is what it looks like:

A couple things to note about this great recipe:

  • It is dirt cheap! $2.00 for the whole thing and only 50 cents per serving! WOW!
  • While a serving, which worked out to be a mounded 1/2 cup, is 150 calories, it has 8 grams each of fiber and protein…this will definitely stick to your ribs and keep you full for a while!

Here are my notes and thoughts:

  • When preparing this recipe, I followed my usual rule of adding twice the seasonings: whole onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 t of oregano. Also because I LOVE the spice, I used over 1 T of cumin. I also added a bit more salt than what was called for, but not twice the amount.
  • I used a meal mallet to mash the beans…in my experience a potato masher just lets the slide out from under it and it makes for more work.


    Step one is kinda messy, but kinda fun, too!

  • It was delicious! I used a double portion and ate it with some light sour cream,homemade baked tortilla chips, avocado and salsa. It filled me up (a full cup was almost too much for an entree!,) and it was a great Tex Mex meal…without all the grease, lard, cheese and salt that some restaurant provide.
  • This dish was flavorful, but not spicy! You could add heat by sauteing some hot peppers of your choice with the onion.
  • I can tolerate A LOT of salt (I sometimes crave it, actually) but if I made it again, I would go with the called-for amount of salt, or taste it before adding any extra.
    • One thing to note is that if this recipe has a drawback, its the sodium content. Because you use the liquid from one of the cans, you are getting more sodium than if you would rinse the beans.
    • If you are watching your sodium, you could rinse both cans of beans (which removes up to 40% of the sodium and then use water or a low sodium broth to give you the consistency you want.
    • There are more low and no-sodium added options available every day, so look for those, too
    • This is originally designed as a side dish, and what a great one it would be! It’s easy to make, affordable and packed with nutrition!
    • This is a great replacement or substitution for refried beans, which often aren’t that high on flavor, have a pretty boring texture and can be made with lard, REALLY upping the fat content!
    • The way I used it was almost as a dip, which it could easily be. To make it more dip-ish, you could always chop the onions finer, mash the beans more,and perhaps add some water or stock if you wanted it thinner.
    • This could be a component of any taco, enchilada or burrito dish, either with meat or without. Keeping it meat-free would save money and keep the unhealthy fats down, but it would be tasty either way.
    • Use leftovers with scrambled or fried eggs and/or roasted potatoes in the morning for a hearty, healthy breakfast.
    • Add rice to it for a classic black beans and rice dish.
    • I choose the accompaniments I did since I had them on hand, but anything you would put in, on, or alongside tacos would work: Cheese, onion, green onion, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, etc.

    Hmm…now to start checking out the “C’s”

    • Final product. Tasty!

      Final product. Tasty!


One thought on “SNAP Recipe Project-Black Beans

  1. Tried the left-overs of this yesterday. Added a bit of mozzarella and half an avocado to two servings. Probably about 500 calories total. It was delicious and a great substitute for refried beans. Was more than I needed to eat. Should have just had one serving. I’d suggest adding lime juice and maybe cilantro to the beans, and because I am a capsaicin addict, I’d like a little more heat. 🙂

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