Beans are a fabulous source of dietary fibre, protein, folate, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein and fibre duo in beans makes them particularly good for health. The Japanese twist makes them particularly delicious.
Our busy lifestyles often mean we often opt for convenience over nutritional value. It can be hard balancing time, energy, cost, health and taste when we have a hungry family to feed. But what if there was a quick, nutritious, delicious, filling, versatile and fibre-filled food that was also quite cheap? Well, that hero ingredient is the humble bean.
In this recipe I have introduced Japanese flavours and oven-roasted aubergine to my carton of black beans. Sometimes it is hard to get in the blue and purple foods we think blueberries and that is about it so this black bean and aubergine recipe will colour in your daily food rainbow very nicely.
This is lovely as a dip with baked panko-crusted aubergine slices, vegetable batons, tortilla chips or crispbreads. It’s also fab in a roll or wrap with extra vegetables, and spread onto a tortilla as the filling with cheese for a quesadilla. Do play with the seasoning: if you’re making this with children in mind, perhaps leave out the chilli. Also, I’ve used seaweed flakes as they’re super healthy and salty flavoured without the salt, but substitute with a good pinch of salt if this admittedly odd ingredient eludes you. I think this would be a great dip to serve at a Halloween party.
here's what you'll need...
- 1 large aubergine firm and unmarked, cut in half
- 1 tbsp + extra 1 tsp rapeseed oil, divided use
- 3-4 spring onions, chopped
- 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 x 400g carton or tin of black beans, drained and well-rinsed (the rinsing reduces digestive discomfort)
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- A pinch of cayenne pepper OR shichimi togarashi Japanese seasoning – optional
- 1 ½ tsp seaweed flakes, ¼ sheet of dried nori seaweed (what you roll up sushi with) OR ½ tsp salt
- Juice of half a small lemon
- 40g panko crumbs (Japanese-style dried breadcrumbs) OR dried unflavoured breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds (I used black and white ones, but all the same colour is fine)