Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Low Carb Black Bean Salad

You will see me referring to "net carbs" and "dietary fiber" in this and other blogs. How do you get net carbs? Start with the total carb count, and then look for an entry that reads "Dietary Fiber." If there is no entry for dietary fiber, then you have to count all of the carbs listed.  If there are dietary fiber grams listed, subtract them from the carb count. Voila! You have the net carbs count. That means if you want to eat something that has a lot of carbs, what might have looked like it was out of bounds can be okay once you have backed out the total dietary fiber grams.

Black soybeans are a good example. I discovered that black soybeans can be used just like turtle beans. This means that my chili is no longer without beans. And best of all, I can make my favorite black bean salad, which I thought was gone from my diet forever.

Now some might argue that we shouldn't eat ANY kind of soybeans. Pardon if I digress, but there are some legitimate arguments against soybeans. They contain phyto-estrogens, so some doctors encourage their patients who are dealing with breast, unterine and ovarian cancers to cut out soybean products, including soy milk and tofu, since estrogen can aggravate cancer of reproductive organs. And what about baby formula? If a baby gets virtually 100% of its diet from soy formula, it is getting the equivalent of five birth control pills every day. That just doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

Soybeans are also high in phytic acid. Why should you care? Because phytic acid binds to minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron. What that means is that it acts like a little vacuum cleaner and sweeps them out of your system. We really ought to hang onto them, don't you think? However, if you don't eat black soybeans every day, if you save them for a now-and-then treat, if you add just a few to a pot of chili so that you discover a bean or two in every spoonful, then I think they are okay. And so far as I am concerned, they are certainly better for us than a piece of pie.

Many people think that dry beans must be low carb. Au contraire. They are loaded! One cup of black turtle beans will set you back 116 carbs. (If you read my blog very often, by now you probably know the magic number for low carbers is 50 grams of carbs - or less! - per day.) You do get to deduct the 29 grams of dietary fiber to get to net carbs, but that is still 87 net carbs, or one full day's carbs plus three fourths of the next. And that's without adding some onions and cilantro to the dish. On the other hand, there are 16 grams of carbs in a cup of black soybeans, and 14 grams of dietary fiber, for a net carb count of only 2 grams. That leaves some room for a few veggies in the salad. And a couple of deviled eggs.

Here is my recipe for Black Bean Salad. If you are in the "hate" column for cilantro (there are only lovers and haters of cilantro, in my experience, no in-between), use parsley. You can use another cheese, so long as you choose one that holds its shape pretty well when the dressing is poured over.


2 cans (15 oz. each) Edens Organic Black Soybeans (do not substitute other types of black beans - see intro to this recipe)
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled or cut into 1/4" dice
1/2 C. finely chopped celery
1/4 C. finely diced red onions
1/2 C. roughly chopped cilantro (I'm in the "love" column - see intro)
Juice from one juicy large lime, or two not so great limes (3 to 4 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. good, fruity olive oil
8 to 10 sliced green pimento olives
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Rinse the beans well and drain thoroughly. Throw them and all of the other ingredients in a big bowl, stir to combine, and let sit on the counter for about an hour to blend flavors. Give it another stir every now and then if you are so inclined. Then refrigerate until ready to eat.

Makes 10 half cup servings as a side dish, or 5 one cup servings as a main course. (Double the macronutrient values if using as a main course.)

Carbs Fat Protein Calories
TOTALS 2.27 9.27 9.41 141.09
% of total 10.8% 44.3% 44.9%

Ingredients at the ready

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