Although Meatless March is winding down, I want to share a recipe that, in many countries, is a weekly staple in their cuisine.

Don’t be daunted by the length of this recipe because at first glance, this appears to be complicated. It is actually a lot of seasonings, most of which you likely have on hand. It is a black bean meal, served over brown rice or quinoa, both of which you should have in your pantry for they both have a lot of fiber.

This recipe will serve 4 people but if you just want it for two, cut it in half. Lime Crema is the first portion of the recipe. I think it’s optional. I’m not sure that everyone would enjoy a crema topping on this dinner.

Black beans are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, particularly folate which is a B vitamin, important for cell growth and metabolism. The beans, coupled with brown rice or quinoa, make for a hearty, nutritious meal. One cup of the bean mixture over a cup of brown rice, paired with a small green salad, and your dinner is complete. Enjoy!

Black Bean Dinner with Lime CremaIngredients

For the Lime Crema (optional):

• Zest of 1 lime

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

• Pinch of kosher salt

For the Pickled Onions:

• Juice of 1 lime

• 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Beans:

• 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

• 1 small yellow onion, diced

• 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup)

• 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup)

• 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 2 teaspoons dried oregano

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 2 cans, 15 ounces, black beans, rinsed and drained

• 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• Sliced avocado and fresh cilantro leaves-for serving


1. The Crema: In a small bowl, combine the lime zest, garlic, and Greek yogurt. Season with a pinch of salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. The Pickled Red Onions: In another small bowl, combine the lime juice, red onion, sugar, and salt. Let the mixtures stand while you prepare the beans.

3. Cook the Beans: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers, and jalapeño. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and browned at the edges, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and chili powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the black beans, tomatoes with juices, 2/3 cup water, and salt. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

4. Serve the beans over a cup of brown rice or quinoa with sliced avocado, cilantro, the lime crema, and pickled onions.

(Candy is a certified physician assistant and a registered dietitian. She has been practicing at Olean Medical Group since 2015.)