Here’s where I say to the carnivores: Look away! Or keep looking if you feel like making a change. Come on, it won’t hurt!
Let’s face it, beans would not be at the top of the list of delicious food. They are usually used as fillers in a meal, rarely glorified. Which is a shame because when cooked right, they can be so delicious. Not to mention the amazingly long list of health benefits they bring. Beans are the nature’s power food: they contain high amount of fibre, proteins, and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Needless to say, they promote weight loss, but at the same time lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and even regulate your blood sugar with the low glycaemic index. They are also super cheap, which is another bonus.
Don’t worry, I’m with you. I never liked beans except for the occasional baked beans for a less than imaginative brunch. I used to pick out the kidney beans from chili, and the red azuki beans from Malaysian dessert “Ice kacang”. Prior to this, I don’t even know what black beans taste like. I’m making it a point though, to find interesting ways to cook beans and incorporate beans in our diet. And with this recipe, you wouldn’t even think that it’s there.
Croquettes are fun to eat. Visually stimulating too. But instead of frying them, there are baked in the oven (Not only healthier, but also mess-free). I’ve made a lot of changes to the original recipe from EatingWell. It was indeed the most interesting vegetarian dish I’ve tried so far. So I think you should too.
Black Beans Croquettes (Adapted from EatingWell)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Moroccan seasoning
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
half a medium onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (you can also use store bought dry breadcrumbs)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil.
To make fresh breadcrumbs, remove crust from bread and blitz it (I used my wholemeal brioche* made 2-3 days ago) in a food processor until fine. As the bread itself already contains butter I didn’t add additional oil to the crumbs. You might have to adjust this accordingly.
Mash black beans with the spices using a fork in a large bowl until no whole beans remain. Stir in onions, corns, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix well
Divide and shape the bean mixture into 4 balls. Pour the rest of the breadcrumbs onto a plate. Lightly press each bean ball into the breadcrumb, turning to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the croquettes until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
*The wholemeal brioche was made using the Light Brioche Burger Bun recipe but replacing the half of the bread flour with wholemeal flour
One carrot, peeled and julienned (I used the Zigzag peeler)
Half a cabbage, shredded
Half medium onion, finely sliced (I soaked them in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove the pungency)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup Kewpie Mayonnaise (Japanese Mayo)
Salt and black peppercorns to taste
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
Mix everything but the spring onions together and check seasoning. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle spring onions on top when serving.
Once the croquettes are cooked, carefully move them to the plates, and serve with the chilled coleslaw. The croquettes are packed with flavours, and the cooling coleslaw helps counter the heat. Or if you were Frank, a glass or two of milk would be handy.
I’m sure I’ll be making this more often!