When we were putting the finishing touches to the Baby Loves Veg website, we all went away to the beach for a few days with our families to cook, eat, play and relax. Popeye’s black bean stew was one of the meals Ruth cooked and we enjoyed one evening after the babies and kids were in bed. Over second helpings we decided we had to try it with the little ones too!
The last few weeks have been rather hectic to say the least; Hannah and Ruth are juggling family life with work after finishing maternity leave and we are back in our flat with building work still going on around us! With the builder in the kitchen, plug sockets hanging off the wall, dust everywhere and a crawling 10 month old it has been ‘Popeye’s stew’ to the rescue!
Black beans provide a better protein-fibre ratio even than nuts, seeds and seafood! Not only are they packed full of goodness, they also taste absolutely delicious and are a perfect match for spinach and some zingy lime!
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 handfuls fresh coriander, chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400ml no-salt veggie stock (see our ‘love stock, hate waste‘ post) or water
400g tin black beans in unsalted water, drained (or 400g dried black beans, soaked according to packet instructions)
8 nuggets frozen spinach
50g feta, crumbled (for grown-ups) or coconut yogurt is lovely for everyone if you prefer dairy free.
Chunky bread (instead of rice)
- Bring a pan of water to the boil – once ready, add the rice, stir and cook for 10-12 minutes (or according to packet instructions)
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the garlic, coriander, lime zest and juice, and fry for a couple of minutes (stirring so it doesn’t stick)
- Add the cumin, paprika and stir until combined, then add the tomatoes and black beans
- Add the no-salt stock, or fill the tomato tin with water and add to the saucepan
- Use a potato masher to squish the beans against the bottom of the pan (don’t worry about being too thorough, it just helps to thicken it a little)
- Add the spinach nuggets and stir – they will defrost in the stew
- Bring to the boil – once heated through, it is ready!
- When cooked, drain the rice and serve
For little ones: Use a stick blender to blitz the stew a bit so it is more manageable for gummy chewing.