Low-Carb Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno Black Beans

18 May

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Black beans & jalapenos
These satisfying beans are teeming with flavors!

This low-carb, diet-friendly dish is one of my favorite concoctions when I’m on the bandwagon because it goes with so many other things: taco meat, lean pulled pork, cottage cheese, etc. Last night, it was just as at home with Asian-inspired baked chicken thighs.

The best part about this version is that you don’t have to wait until right before dinner’s ready to heat up the beans for fear of them turning to mush on the stovetop. I discovered years ago that jalapeno brine right in the pot with them has an awesome effect on preserving the beans’ texture, whether they’re spending a couple of minutes or a couple of hours on the stove!

Canned beans

Double the recipe and use the whole jar of jalapenos--leftovers keep well!

I think the reason has to do with the vinegar keeping the peels from separating off the beans, but I’m not pretending to understand science here–I just know that it works!

Rinse black beans

Drain & rinse beans.

Begin by draining and rinsing a can of black beans (recipe can be doubled).

Put beans in bottom of small/medium saucepan and place over LOW burner heat.

To the saucepan, add half of a (12-oz) jar of sliced jalapenos (or any other sliced pickled pepper) along with 1/2 of the jar’s brine/vinegar.

Jar of jalapeno peppers

Sliced pickled peppers.

Chef’s Note: The easiest way to divide the peppers and brine in half is to first drain the juice into an empty measuring cup (will be about 2/3 c. juice), shake half of the peppers into the pot, pour half of the brine over it, and then empty the rest of the measuring cup’s contents back over the jalapenos still in the jar.

Jalapeno brine.

Use a measuring cup to divide 1/2 jar's brine.

Stir in 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon instant chicken boullion granules (or crushed boullion cube) and 4 artificial sweetener packets (I use Splenda but anything will work).

Keep over LOW heat.

Keep on LOW heat.

Mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons steak sauce. Many popular steak sauces are somewhat low-carb to begin with, and in this particular case that one “serving” of sauce is being spread out over several servings of the beans–and also the leftover bean “juice” that won’t even be consumed in the end– so there’s actually no real carb danger here.

Artificial sweetener.

Artificial sweetener.

(Now, if you were slathering loads of sauce all over a single portion of steak three times a day, that might be horse of a different color. Maybe.)

Diet or no-diet; these are great!

Diet or no diet; these beans rule!

 Pour in 2/3 cup water and stir lightly. Cover saucepan and allow to heat over LOW burner until thoroughly heated. Serve; refrigerate or freeze any leftovers still in the “juice.”

*If you’re not low-carbing it per se (maybe just lowfat?), you can bring those leftover beans out of retirement and give an otherwise “ho-hum” pasta salad an exotic makeover.


6 Responses to “Low-Carb Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno Black Beans”

  1. redforkhippie May 18, 2010 at 6:33 PM #

    Swap the chicken bouillon for vegetable bouillon or vegetable broth, and you’ve got a recipe for Atkins vegan. 🙂

  2. Linda May 18, 2010 at 10:11 PM #

    You’ll need to stick with Splenda or Sweet ‘N Low for the sweetener if the dish is heated. Aspartame (Equal or Nutrasweet) isn’t stable at cooking temperatures and loses its sweetness. Sucralose (Splenda) and Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low) can stand up to heat without breaking down.

  3. Linda May 19, 2010 at 12:45 PM #

    BTW, the site looks good in IE7.

    • Gracie May 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM #

      Thanks! (I didn’t think about Aspartame being an issue, but I bet if you add it at the very end (stir it in after removing from burner) it would work OK. Good call. 🙂

  4. redforkhippie May 19, 2010 at 5:06 PM #

    Amounts will be different depending on the sweetener, too. Sucralose is a cup-for-cup substitute for sugar; aspartame and saccharine are much sweeter.

    It will raise the carbs a little, but 1 tbsp. of honey will stand in for about a quarter-cup of sugar and is an all-natural product with some nutritional benefits of its own. (Says the beekeeper who loves to show off her girls’ handiwork….)


  1. Low-Carb Recipe: Orange-Ginger Chicken Thighs « The Red Kitchen Project - May 20, 2010

    […] is the Asian-inspired dish I mentioned the other day during my Jalepeno Black Beans post, and it’s a […]

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