Budget friendly protein that's great for filling bellies - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Budget friendly protein that's great for filling bellies

Entree's made using black beans. Entree's made using black beans.
Brownies made by using black beans in the batter. Brownies made by using black beans in the batter.
Lorie Weires Lorie Weires

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you're looking to stretch your dollar at mealtime, using black beans as your source of protein is a healthy, budget-friendly option.

Weight Watcher's leader Lorie Weires is a pro at helping people stick to plan and she knows in this economy that buying foods within a family's budget can be key.

"Black beans are high in fiber, high in protein, very low cost.  For less than a dollar you can get a can and you can make all kinds of things."

This year, Weight Watchers will hold a special one-day food drive on September 15  to benefit local food banks and to help fight hunger right here in our own community. There will be a very special one day joining offer, prizes, refreshments, recipes and more.

Here are some recipe's courtesy of Weight Watchers:

Spicy Black Bean Soup
4PointsPlus Value

Prep time:  20 min
Cook time:  30 min
Serves: 8

The key to thickening this soup without flour? Pureeing some of the beans before cooking it. You'll love the stick-to-your-ribs texture that results.

  • 1 spray(s) cooking spray    
  • 1 medium uncooked onion(s), finely chopped    
  • 4 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced    
  • 45 oz canned black beans, undrained, divided (three 15 oz cans)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste   
  • 1 tsp ground cumin    
  • 14 1/2 oz fat-free chicken broth, or vegetable broth    
  • 10 oz canned tomatoes with green chilis    
  • 11 oz canned yellow corn, drained    


- Coat bottom of a large stockpot with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
- Place one can of beans in blender; add sautéed onion mixture, red pepper flakes and cumin. - - Cover and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour mixture back into stockpot.
- Place second can of beans and broth in blender and puree until smooth; add to stockpot.
- Stir third can of beans (do not puree first), tomatoes and green chilies, and corn into stockpot. - Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Yields about 1 1/2 cups of soup per serving.

Cuban Black Beans And Rice
6PointsPlus Value

Prep time:  10 min
Cook time:  25 min
Serves: 6

This meatless main meal is ultra-satisfying. If you can't find banana or cubanelle peppers, use red or green bell peppers instead.


  • 2 1/2 cup(s) water, divided    
  • 1 cup(s) uncooked white rice, long grain-variety    
  • 2 tsp olive oil    
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) (sliced) uncooked red onion(s), chopped, divided    
  • 1 medium banana pepper(s), cubanelle or other sweet pepper, diced (about 1 cup)    
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic    
  • 1 tsp ground cumin    
  • 1 tsp dried oregano    
  • 31 oz canned black beans, two 15.5 oz cans (undrained)    
  • 1 tsp table salt, or to taste    
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar    
  • 2/3 cup(s) cilantro, fresh, chopped, divided    
  • 1 medium fresh lime(s), cut into 6 wedges    


- In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil; add rice and cook as package directs.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups of onion and all of the pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and oregano; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in beans and their liquid, remaining 1/2 cup of water and salt; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for flavors to blend, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and 1/3 cup of cilantro.
- To serve, spoon beans over rice; sprinkle with 1/4 cup of remaining onion and 1/3 cup of remaining cilantro; squeeze fresh lime juice over top. Yields about 3/4 cup of beans and 1/2 cup of rice per serving.

Black Bean Brownies
4PointsPlus Value

Prep time:  7 min
Cook time:  33 min
Serves: 24

Black beans add fiber and moisture to this lightened up treat. They're rich and delicious, full of chocolaty goodness. This is a favorite of Weight Watchers spokesperson Jennifer Hudson.


  • 2 spray(s) cooking spray, flour-variety recommended    
  • 1/2 cup(s) canned black beans, rinsed and drained    
  • 1/4 cup(s) black coffee, strong    
  • 1/2 cup(s) unsalted butter    
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate    
  • 4 large egg(s)    
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar    
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract    
  • 1/8 tsp table salt    
  • 1 cup(s) all-purpose flour    


- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9- X 13-inch pan with cooking spray; line with aluminum foil and coat foil with cooking spray.
- In a blender or mini food processor, process beans with coffee until smooth; set aside.
- In a double boiler over very low heat, melt butter and chocolate.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low speed, add melted chocolate to eggs; incorporate well. Add black bean mixture, vanilla and salt; mix well. Add flour; combine thoroughly on low speed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted in center of brownies comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. After 10 minutes, remove brownies from pan by pulling up on foil and placing brownies on cooling rack to cool more. Cut into 24 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

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