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Orange Black Beans with Cinnamon and Spices

written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.

Adapted from a Washington Post recipe  - from 2005

Thanks to the orange and cinnamon, this is a very simple but interesting variation on black bean salad. Although it only cooks for 90 minutes in the slow cooker, the low heat allows you to ignore it once you mix all the ingredients together. There's nothing to sauce ahead of time. Just a few ingredients to chop, an orange or two to squeeze and you're done. I changed the spices a bit because I don't love cumin, but the combination below came out great. And I doubled the celery and shallot - those changes are reflected below.  The celery takes up the flavors very well.  I also tossed in a teaspoon of grated ginger which brightened it up.

Overall, this is a very light dish. I forgot to top with cilantro and tomatoes, but I think those would be great additions. I enjoyed it cold as well as gently heated.

"These beans have enough flavor of their own to serve as a main-dish match with rice or as a side dish with similarly inspired chicken or beef. Mushy they are not."

SERVINGS: 4

Ingredients:

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained (pictured with black lentils, which work well)
2 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
2 medium shallots, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon coriander --- I think this is the combination I used

1 tsp grated fresh ginger - if you love ginger like I do - optional
Light sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving:
2 cups rice or couscous, cooked
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

Or just straight up!

Directions:
1) Combine the beans, brown sugar, shallot, celery, orange juice, broth, and spices in the slow cooker.
2) Cover and cook on high for about 1 1/2 hours.

Season with salt and pepper and serve hot, ladled over rice and garnished with the cilantro and tomatoes. Or serve cold with a salad.

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