Black turtle beans are one of my favourite of the legumes – something about these little black jewels makes me feel good. They are simple, filling and full of goodness. Cooking a batch from scratch is a good idea as they are so versatile: this particular recipe is a great way to feed a (vegan) crowd, but you will have plenty left over for a quick Mexican breakfast, a base for a packed lunch salad box, working from home Buddha bowl or to add to a mixed veg Chili Sin Carne or Asian stir fry. They are high in protein, high in fibre and also contain useful amounts of folate, copper and Vitamin B1 – all good nerve and bone building stuff. Cooking the beans with garlic and bay is a nice way to start giving them some depth of flavor, but don’t add any salt until near the end as it can make the skins tough.
This recipe is fab. The quantities make enough for 2 hungry people, but nothing will go waste as you can use beans and tofu in myriad other dishes. My advice if you are going the trouble of soaking beans over night is to do a fairly large quantity and use your imagination to use ‘em up.
125g of black turtle beans, soaked overnight, makes for about 300g beans
1 medium onion – chopped
1-2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced in half
2-3 green chilies, chopped
half a large block of firm tofu, crumbled
1 red or green pepper, chopped
half a red onion finely chopped
2 handfuls of grated cheese or 1 of feta pieces
Large tortilla wraps, warmed in the oven or briefly in the microwave
1 large or 2 small avocados
chili sauce and/or sour cream to serve
Having soaked the beans overnight, cover them with cold water, add the garlic and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Simmer for 90mins, at which point, add a teaspoon of salt and cook for another 20 minutes. It’s important to add the salt at the end as salted water can make them tough.
Meanwhile, chop your chillies, onion and veggies and crumble the tofu so that it resembles scrambled egg. Gently warm up some olive or rapeseed oil and start to fry off the first the red onion and chili, and then the peppers, followed by the mushrooms. Season it all before gently crumbling in the tofu. Stir gently to mix – but don’t over do it, you still want all those bright colours to show through and the mushrooms, well not to mush…
Drain and cool the beans slightly before removing the bay leaves and then blitz half of them with a little cooking liquid in a blender. Add a pinch of cumin powder and a few grinds of black pepper, adding everything back to the pan while its still warm. Gently fry the mixture off until all the liquid has gone.
Prepare all the ingredients and let everyone roll their own enchiladas.
Cher by hand.