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It’s time to start working on our big, fun, easy, healthy meal for the next time you entertain!  Like I said yesterday, we’re going to make several things this week that can all be combined to form one fun meal at the end of the week – invite someone over now!

You can read the first part of this installment here.

I always like to have several vegetarian side dishes that include protein to account for vegetarians and healthy people who prefer not to consume too much meat.  This is healthy AND delicious – a winning combo!

Curried Black Beans

You don’t get to see a serving shot of these beans because I don’t want to give away the whole meal!  They’re easy and can be made first and then very slowly simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal or drink heavily with your guests – your call!

First, let’s chop some stuff up:  3 cloves garlic, 1/2 hot pepper (or as many crushed red pepper flakes as you can handle), 2 tablespoons parsley, 1/2 green pepper, and 1 small onion will go into two cans of beans.

Heat up a large pan with some olive oil, and add the peppers and onion first.  Sprinkle with salt and stir it all around!

After the vegetables have started to soften, add the garlic and spices:  cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, and chili powder.  Add 1 teaspoon curry powder….

And then 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Then, add 1/2 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder.  YUM!

Stir this together for 2 minutes until the garlic softens a little and the spices are combined.  Then add the beans and their juices.

Let the beans warm through, adding more water if you need liquid.  Then, to add to the sauce, throw in a tablespoon or two of butter – why not?

Stir all this together and let simmer until you’re ready to serve – the dish is done at this point!  Keep adding water to keep the beans saucy.

Right before you’re ready to serve, add in the parsley.

And that’s it!  A quick, easy side dish to accompany what I promise will be a fabulous dinner.  To recap, we so far have black beans and you’ll definitely want to serve them (and the rest of the meal) with salsa and guacamole that you make yourself – they’re easy and impressive!

More components coming tomorrow!