Friday, May 8, 2009

Food Sense 2- Black bean croquettes and fresh salsa

The first cardiologist I met with turned out to be out of my healthcare network (more on how I started up with him later), but he gave Beth and me some great advice: Make time together for dinner. He told us that dinner was a time for us to wind down, have a glass of wine, and prepare the meal. What great advice!

Neither of us realized how wonderful it would be to break our routine and actively do something together at the end of the day like cooking. For us, it’s hard not to smile and have fun when you’re cooking and talking. This is the first recipe we made under doctor’s orders. This recipe came from Food Network’s site, although I’ve made a few modifications:

Black Bean Croquettes with fresh salsa
4 servings

Make the Salsa
Salsa is one of the easiest, quickest, most flavorful things you can make:
Ingredients: 1 lb. grape tomatoes, 2 green onions, 6-10 sprigs of fresh cilantro, salt and chipotle pepper powder
1. Coarsely chop 2 cups of tomatoes. For more sweetness use grape tomatoes, although regular tomatoes would work as well. You can pulse the tomatoes in a food processor; don’t over-process the tomatoes or you’ll end up with sauce. You want to see recognizable chunks of tomato.
2. Thinly slice 2 green onions, both the green and white parts.
3. Finely chop the cilantro sprigs
4. Combine the ingredients from the first three steps. Add chipotle pepper powder to taste (I used about 1 tsp measured by eye), and a pinch of kosher salt. Refrigerate.

Make the Croquettes
Ingredients: 2 15-oz cans of black beans, 1 tsp chipotle pepper powder (divided), 1 c frozen corn, 1/2 c bread crumbs (divided), 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 ripe avocado
1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Open and drain the black beans. Pour the beans into a bowl, add half of the chipotle pepper powder, and mash until the beans are smooth.
3. Work half of the breadcrumbs into the bean mixture, and add the corn.
4. Mix in half of the fresh salsa you made.
5. Combine the remaining breadcrumbs, chipotle pepper powder, and the olive oil in a small bowl until the breadcrumbs are completely integrated with the oil.
6. Take the bean mixture and press into a half-cup measuring cup. Take the mixture from the measuring cup and form it into a ball. You should get about eight croquettes.
7. Take each ball and roll lightly in the bowl of crumbs until it has a light coating of crumbs. Place the croquette on a baking sheet sprayed with low-fat cooking spray.
8. Bake until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden-brown, about 20 minutes.
9. While baking, stir the chopped avocado into the remaining salsa.
10. One serving equals 2 croquettes and a half-cup of salsa.
Per serving: 400 cals, 12g fat (2g sat), 61g carbs, cholesterol 0g, fiber 16g

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