Everyone knows of black beans. They have been tossed in salads, made into tacos, hamburgers and even camouflaged in chocolate brownies, but what do you make with black bean noodles? A few months ago I saw this new product at Trader Joe’s…a bag of Black Bean Rotini Pasta. Having absolutely no idea what I was going to make with them I threw a bag in my cart. The ingredients: Black Bean Flour. I have no idea how they make one ingredient into pasta, but they do! Each 3/4 th cup serving of pasta alone is 200 calories, 1.5 grams of total fat, 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 35 grams of carbs, 15 grams of fiber ( yes, you read that right!), 2 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein ( yes, you read that right, too!). These little black pastas carry a punch of nutrition and definitely meet my protein and fiber quota for the day! A side note: drink plenty of water when having this dish! I’ll say no more ;). Back to the dilemma…Well, this bag of pasta sat in my pantry for months. I even had a friend joining me in the mystery of what in the world to make with black noodles. The back of the package gives a recipe for Pepper and Mushroom Alfredo with Shrimp and Black Bean Rotini, but this didn’t sound delicious to me (sorry, if you think so.). Maybe it’s the fact that it’s black pasta that I can’t quite get past. Then, I thought the old standbys; spaghetti sauce or mac & cheese…..hmmm, that’s not looking pretty in my mind or sounding delicious either. But, I was determined to figure out something to create with these pasta noodles instead of having them sit in my pantry for months and months and then donating them to my church’s Sunday School for a craft!
So, this is what I came up with….
HIGH PROTEIN BLACK BEAN PASTA SALAD
Makes Approximately: 8 Cups
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
1 Red Bell Pepper
3 Scallions Chopped
15 grape Tomatoes cut in half
3/4- 1 English Cucumber Chopped
2 Small Avocados Chopped
1 Lime Cut in Wedges (or more for garnish and personal taste)
1 Small Handful of Chopped Cilantro ( adjust to personal taste)
2 Cups (Dried) Trader Joe’s Organic Black Bean Rotini Pasta
Olive Oil to Drizzle
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
Fill a medium size stock pot with water, add a dash of salt; bring to a full boil. Throw 2 cups dried black bean pasta in boiling water and cook about 6-7 mins. The package suggests 8-10 mins., but this left them too mushy in my opionion. You want a firm, but cooked noodle. You’ll have to adjust your cooking time according to your elevation, but watch these closely as you don’t want to overcooked them.
Meanwhile chop your: bell pepper, scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, avocados, and cilantro. Place in bowl and squeeze the juice of a lime ( I used 3/4 th of a lime and the other quarter for garnish. It’s personal preference) over top and toss.
When pasta is cooked, drain, and run under cold water until fully cooled. Drain well. Toss the pasta in with the chopped veggies and cilantro, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and grind a bit of sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.
Garnish with a wedge of lime.
Serve and Eat!
This is best eaten immediately as it doesn’t keep well because of to the avocado.
And there you have it! The dilemma of the Black Bean Noodle: Solved!
Let me know if you try this or experiment with your own black bean pasta creations!