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Healthy Recipe: Vegetarian Black Bean Stew w/ Blackened Salmon

By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place Medfield, MA

The Vegetarian Black Bean Stew and the Blackened Salmon recipes can be made individually or combined to make an incredible combination.  The black beans really complement the fish.   Both recipes are high in protein and  low in fat.  You can easily cut the recipes in half or doubled it. Both recipes can be prepared and cooked in a hour. What could be nicer?

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 4-6

1/2 medium, chopped, yellow onion
½ red or green, chopped, pepper
½ to 1 tablespoon, chopped garlic
1 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon of chili powder
½ teaspoon of cumin powder
2 tablespoons freshly chopped, cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons freshly chopped, parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) or half of a jalapeno pepper (with or without seeds. With seeds it will be hotter.)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
½ fresh lime (optional)

Heat a frying pan or a pot over high heat. Coat the bottom of pan with olive oil. Sautéed garlic, onion and pepper until tender (about 5 minutes.) Stir frequently. Turn heat to low and add beans, chili and cumin and cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir frequently otherwise the beans will stick to the bottom of the pan. At the end of 20 minutes add fresh cilantro, parsley leaves, and lime juice. Set aside while you make the fish.

Blackened Salmon
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 minutes
Serves: 4-6

2 pounds of salmon filet cut into 4-8 ounce portions
Blackened spices. Either store bought or home made:
Mix together:
¼ cup of dried oregano
¼ cup of dried basil
1/8 cup of dried parsley
2 tablespoon of dried thyme
¼-1/2 teaspoon of red hot pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle generously on both sides of fish. Store leftover spice in airtight bottle.
     Note: You can also use this recipe as a dry rub for BBQ ribs. 
Heat a large frying pan until it is very hot (about 3 minutes.) Pour olive oil to coat the bottom and wait another minute.
     Note: The pan should be smoking, if not, wait another minute.
Be very careful, place fillets (away from you) in the pan. Cook each side about 4-8 minutes on high heat (depending how done you like it) with a lid tilted somewhat (keeps the oil from splattering all over your stove top.) Medium raw takes about 4 minutes each side. Do not move the fish during the cooking process or your fish will NOT blackened. Flip fish over. Cook another 4 minutes; at the end of the 4 minutes you may cut the fish in half to check for doneness while in the pan. If it is too rare, add another minute or two. Again, keep your fish stationary. To plate, scoop some black bean stew on the bottom and add the fish on top. Garnish with parsley, tomatoes and slices of avocado.

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