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Curly Nikki

Wanted: Sous Chef

By January 27th, 202170 Comments

Wanted: Sous Chef
Hola Chicas,

Okay, so I really, REALLY like black beans and with the amounts I’ve been consuming lately, I’m fearful that I will either turn into one or explode from the vapors.

This bean love is about as strange as my obsession for that History Channel show, Ancient Aliens. Put a pin in that… cause I’ve got opinions. Up until a year ago, I refused to consume any bean… or anything that remotely resembled one. Not the veggie girl, I opt for fried stuff with cheese… cakes, cookies and pies and things of that nature. But after one too many visits to Qdoba, I began craving black beans and their uncanny ability to beef up whatever you’re eating. Kinda like tofu, only not gross.

About a month ago I went to a university potluck with hubby and one of the many delicious dishes was this black bean salad. I must admit, at the time, my brand new ass thought it was a stand alone dish… a bean dish, not the dip to be eaten with chips, that it was. So there I sat, eating it straight up with a fork… even went back for seconds. It was so good that I unashamedly made a to-go plate and took home every. last. bean. Later that night, I emailed the hostess, thanked her for a good time and asked for the recipe. That’s when I learned that it was in fact a salsa.

My modified version of Rachel Ray’s recipe

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (I like Goya cause they’re firm)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced (I often cheat and use that little lime squeegee thing)
  • Chopped cilantro leaves, optional

I eat it straight or with tortilla chips. I also like it with salmon!


Mix that ish and garnish with cilantro. Consume large amounts at once and don’t share.

I’ve kept a fresh batch of this bean magic on deck ever since that fateful picnic. But it’s hard work. Even though Rachel Ray describes it as ‘easy’ requiring only ’10 minutes of prep’, I find myself, every two days, for no less than 30 minutes, slaving over the cutting board, knife in hand, finger tips a blaze with tears streaming down my face.

It’s really that serious. I’ve solved the ‘fire fingers’ thing… apparently the capsaicin in peppers can cause serious burns. Twice. Twice I whipped up a batch of this salsa and for 3 days suffered terrible fingertip pain… didn’t put two and two together until my mom came to visit. She was like… ‘um… baby, it’s probably the peppers’. So now I wear gloves. Try twisting your hair with fingertips a blaze… I was dancing in circles. Searing pain.

I still need advice on chopping stuff up faster, reducing the pain and tears of onion dicing… and I’d love more black bean recipes! I’m digging this vegetarian-light thing I’ve got going on. I only eat meat at one meal, dinner, unless it’s the weekend and I’m craving bacon and sausage. But usually, it’s oatmeal and Greek yogurt for breakfast, the black bean salsa + chips for lunch, and whatever for dinner. I’ve been doing great with cooking (which usually entails me warming stuff up in the oven) and staying away from the fast food. When I told Kimberly Elise of my love for black beans she told me that if they truly become a staple of my diet, it’ll be impossible to get fat. The fiber and healthy protein just wouldn’t allow for it. Neato.

I suppose I’ve rambled enough. Bottom line- I love black beans. I love black bean salsa. I need a sous chef to cut up this ish to make my life easier.

Hubby polished ’em off yesterday and since I’m hungrier than a mug, I suppose it’s time to head to the kitchen.

Later Gators,


  • Anonymous says:

    Here's a tip for the burning fingers problem: VASELINE. Works like a charm. Pain gone in seconds.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh Em Geeeee Nikki. I was hesitant to make this bcuz I'm a picky eater but I tried it anyway. Had to nix the tomato but used all the other ingredients. Drizzled a little mozzarella cheese in it since it was kinda empty without the tomato and it was soooooo good. My fiancee is an even more pickier eater than I am and he killed it!!!!!!!! LOL!!!! Needless to say, I have to make more tonight. Thanks for the recipe!!!!!! BTW, I'm gonna try the other recipies mentioned above…thanks to yall for sharing too!!!!!

    *song bird*

  • Anonymous says:

    This is going to be a dumb question. Do you cook the black beans?

  • Anonymous says:

    Here's a tip from the single mom with limited time. I love black bean salsa also, but when short on time I open a can of black beans and mix it with a container of Shop N Save pico de gallo. The pico already has all those ingredients mixed in. Quick and simple!

  • Anonymous says:

    Okay Nikki – Your story was so hilarious I begged my co-worker (a Guatemalan curly ;-))to take a look so she would see why I was cracking up. She is still getting used to cooking lol and thought the recipe looked great. Well…she ended up making it for our potluck yesterday. I had seconds and had a bit of an attitude that she didn't bring a bigger container! I love black beans, any beans for that matter, but the tomatoes…eh. I ate em yesterday though!!! Gotta go…on my way to pick up the ingredients for my own stash!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ THANKS FOR SHARING!

  • CazRae says:

    add quinoa and you've got a go-to protein punch that i like to put on salad greens.
    easy peasy!

  • Erika says:

    So glad, i don't feel so alone now lol. I eat beans several times a week because not only are they delish, they are packed with protein and i am a vegetarian. But even if i wasn't i'd still probably be obsessed : )

  • Anonymous says:

    Well I was gonna say get a chopper, but that's been covered. Chipotle and Willys have me hooked on black beans! I am a pescutarian so black and refried beans are staples in my house. I like the others, but not as much! I will do the corn, black bean, pepper, cilantro and onion deal forever. I am off to check out some of those recipes on here! You have got my mouth watering for some RIGHT now! lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki, I made this for lunch today. Yum! I added just a dab of sour cream on the side with my tortilla chips. I was going to save some for the hubby tonight, but I think I might have to whip up another batch. Thx for posting the recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • AmiK says:

    LOL…"Mix that ish…" Funniest instructions ever! Luv you Nikki

  • Anonymous says:

    Don't know if anyone mentioned it but if you light a candle and place it next to your chopping area it helps. Something to do with the sulfur from the fire. I love beans and black beans are one of my fav. Another good source is lentils, I make a delicious soup during the winter, very simple. In a soup pot Saute garlic and onion in a little olive oil, add organic chicken broth, bring to a boil add a bag of fresh lentil beans(soak in water overnight wih a little baking soda)add one package of frozen chopped spinach, season to taste, bring to a boil then lower fire and let cook until beans are soft. What you don't eat you can freeze for another time.

  • Befka says:

    Hi Nikki!Use fresh salsa instead. You can get it in the produce section.It already consists of tomatoes,onions, cilantro, lime juice,and someother stuff. Maybe even jalapenos.I add this salsa to many things for extra veggies, no chopping needed!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @ Auset and everyone else! I'm definitely reading these and taking notes. I didn't cut up my veggies yesterday cause I refuse to until I go get some tools. I'm heading out shortly to get a chopper and that garlic smoosher thing!

  • Chardae says:


    I've got another black bean recipe for you to become addicted to– veggie tacos. I cook up zucchini, corn, bell peppers, jalapenos and BLACK BEANS (with garlic, onion, etc), put that baby in a taco with some cilantro, cheese, and salsa and I'm good to go. Or, you can eat that mixture over rice. So tasty!

    Let me know if you try it. It's one of my favorite dishes…and I'm making some tomorrow!

  • Auset Abena says:

    Don't know if you're still reading these comments, Nik, but at my college one of the few meals I enjoyed was black bean salsa over a baked sweet potato with Mexican rice on the side. Try that for a complete meal that satisfies.

  • Tabitha says:

    Yes, black beans are a stable in my household. Me and my other half are both vegetarians. They are just full of flavor. Black bean burgers are great too. There's a lot you can do with beans in general. I also like to mix black beans with black eye peas, sauteed with onions and seasoned with Ethiopian red pepper.

  • Candace4life says:

    They have some good receipes with pics posted on that I saw while viewing the news online this morning. Since its probably cold where you're at as well, hopefully you like chili. These receipes look yummy and they have the pics and calorie information listed as well. I will definitely try some of the receipes that you ladies have mentioned.

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili and here's the link with the full receipe for it..


    Zesty Wheat Berry Black Bean Chili


    Chipotle Black Bean Salsa saw this at Mccormick Gourment site

  • Anonymous says:

    How about using Salsa for your recipe?

  • Anonymous2012 says:

    Girl! Ancient Aliens is my OBSESSION too! My family and friends think I'm hopeless.

    I never ate beans until a few months ago either, I even told my grandmother when I was 6 that I was ALLERGIC to beans because I hated them so much, she laughed me out of the kitchen :))) I recently got into black beans due to the recession and really liked them with a variety of food…but the bean line is drawn there!

  • Anonymous says:

    I was a bean-no-eater until about 12 or so years ago when I first tried black beans. Love them! I have made them a meal, usually dinner, many times. It is the only bean I'll eat (well, garbanzo beans in chili get eaten too!) I've a question though: how is your husband dealing with the side effects of your bean-indulgence? LOL-smh…

  • WineGrrl says:

    I love black beans too, any style! Your hostess was probably highly flattered and also relieved that there was one less dish of leftovers to deal with!

  • Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a food craving seen in early pregnancy. Peace be still.

  • Anonymous says:

    Onions have me crying & burning like a "pro" in church being called to the altar until I purchased the food chopper from Pampered Chef & I LOVE it!! My mom got the generic Slap Chop & it broke so she took my pampered chef chopper & I had to order another. Be carful cleaning it because it's SUPER sharp but It's worth every $$!!!

  • Skyler says:

    Lol i meant onion

  • Skyler says:

    Put the only in the freezer for a little while or rinse them with cold water. That should help with the tears ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Franki says:

    I love black beans!!! Try this recipe! One of my favorites from Flying Biscuit!

    Love Cakes

    2 (15 ounce) cans cooked black beans
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 cup masa de harina

    1/2 cup Green Salsa (see below) or buy it!
    2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese (or white cheddar if you hate feta)
    1/4 cup slivered red onions

    Rinse and drain black beans in a sieve.
    In a small sautรฉ pan heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, cumin, and salt until onions are translucent. Place drained beans and onion mixture in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until well combined. Gradually add masa, allowing mixture to absorb it before adding more. Test dough by rolling it in the palm of your hand. Keep adding masa until dough doesn't stick to your hand and holds the shape of a ball.

    Divide dough into 16 small balls and flatten into cakes. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Saute cakes until lightly browned on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Top with Green Salsa, feta cheese, and slivered red onions.

    Green Salsa

    1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
    1/4 cup minced yellow onion
    2 garlic cloves, peeled
    2 serrano peppers, stemmed and seeded
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

    Preheat oven to 350ยฐ F.

    Peel the husks off the tomatillos. Place them in a
    roasting pan with the onion, garlic, and Serrano
    peppers. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes. The tomatillos
    will break down and become juicy. Remove form oven and cool.
    Place the roasted ingredients in a food processor and puree. Season with salt, white pepper, and cilantro. Chill until ready to serve.

  • Anonymous says:

    Girl, you didn't know black beans are the bomb!?!?! Welcome to my world (I eat no meat except seafood). Anyway try the black bean soup at Panera Bread; it's to die for!

  • Tonya - What's On My Plate says:

    If you can sign up for a knife skills class. Sometimes Williams Sonoma has them or a local culinary school. It will change the way you chop. No lie.

    I also run a food blog if you're looking for recipes:

  • Anonymous says:

    I LOVE to use roasted corn (shaved off the cob) with black beans, onion, tomatoes, avocado in a homemade lime vinaigrette (or howver the he– you spell that word). Lol!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Thank you guys!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Your recipe sounds delish. I'm going to try it minus the white rice and feta cheese. I will try it with the beans and toppings as a filler for wraps. I think I'm going to use a dark green leafy veggie (like kale) for the outside of the wrap.

    Also, have you ever tried black pearl rice? It's higher in nutrients and is considered a whole grain. I may try your recipe with that as well.

    Thanks for taking the time to post your recipe!
    Love it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love black bean salsa. The recipe I normally make includes a can of (drained) sweet yellow corn in addition to the ingredients you listed. Adds some color & it's delish!

  • Anonymous says:

    Do people who state that they can't eat many carbs because they are too fattening realize that there are good carbs and not so good carbs?? Veggies and legumes (beans) are carbs which are very low in calories and have minimal to not fat (especially bad fats). Unless they are being loaded with cheese and dairy, paired with fattening meats, or eaten in an excessive sized portion, they do not cause weight gain and are actually excellent natural sources of vitamins and nutrients.

  • keisha says:

    Love the post! i too fell in love with black beans at chipotle and also a salsa that audibon (sorry can't think of the name of it) but soooo good! i read the recipe went to the store and came close to the recipe! thanks for the recipe!

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    I've been loving me some black beans for at least the last 9 years…ever since I was introduced to Chipotle. Now the fact that you can NEVER be fat eating them gives me more motivation to eat them every day like you!! I put them in chili as someone else mentioned, you can also dice some avocado in your bean salsa. You can eat black beans over rice too. Enjoy!!!

  • MrsWardy88 says:

    Nikki you are awesome for this post. I have feel in love with black beans during a Daniel Fast a few months ago. Now I keep my pantry stocked with them. My favorite brand is Goya black bean soup. I have a few recipes I use myself. I have a casserole, and black bean patty recipe. I'm not sure if you want to go that deep though. You seem to want to keep it simple. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I will be snacthing the other recipe ideas people I have posted. Thanks lady!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki

    Go to and put in item number K-29525 Genius Salad Chopper 6 piece Food Preperation System. Watch the video as well before you decide to order! I am waiting for mine to come in the mail! I can't wait to use this. Great Demo and was selling like hot cakes on QVC! T.Smith, Milwakee, WI

  • Anonymous says:

    Have you tried Chilli's southwestern egg rolls? They have black beans in them also. I found the recipe on-line. Instead of frying them I brush them with so EVOO and bake them in the oven for 30 mins. Very good to have when you want a snack because you can make a batch and freeze them. The Avacodo cool ranch recipe is good too!

  • Nicole says:

    For the onion deliema; LEMONS spread a little lemon juice on the cutting board….no more tears!

  • Anonymous says:

    I LOVE black beans. Wish I could eat them every day. But the carbs!!!! Carbs + my body type = significant weight gain. But I'm glad others can enjoy them!

  • ACNimmons says:

    Freeze your onion for about ten minutes before chopping. That will help cease up the gases that make you cry!

  • Unknown says:

    Like an anonymous poster said, invest in a garlic press – it's amazing. And for quickly chopping onions get a good chef's knife, but the same instructions can apply for chopping garlic really small if you're like me and too lazy to get out extra utensils to do the same task, sometimes. Watch Food Network for chopping tips, but it's really quite easy once you get the grip down.

    If you're right handed, grip the knife at the handle and the blade with it between your forefinger and thumb. Hold the knife straight in your hand, while holding the onion half under other hand with your finger tips on top of the onion – kind of cupping your hand. Move the knife in a rocking motion by moving your wrist up and down. You may move the knife down the onion or move the onion into the knife. Once you have the onion sliced, you can hold the tip of the knife down with your left and and rock the knife back and forth over the onion slices until you get it chopped as fine as you like it. (That's how I do it, anyway. I can chop an onion – from peeling it to chopped in less than 3 minutes.)

    Youtube has videos for this – search "how to chop an onion".

  • Elaine D. says:

    This is gonna sound nuts, but try it first.
    I'm from Africa (as if that helps my case, but whatever) and my grandmother after seeing how I cried over onions, recommended I put water in my mouth and hold it through the entire cutting process. At first I dismissed it but then tried it after a while convinced this foolishness would work.
    Alas, it did. No more tears. I have a cup of water nearby in case I swallow. It helps not to have extremely cold water so you can actually hold it. Just do that through cutting. Put the onion in a dish or whatever, swallow your water and you've successfully cut an onion WITH NO TEARS!
    This works! For real!

  • Annabel says:

    warm black beans*

  • Annabel says:

    Hi! Moving to a country where meat is super expensive, I've changed my diet a lot and incorporated more legumes and beans. One of my favorite dishes for dinner, which is very similar to your recipe, just incorporates a view more veggies and dark leafy greens:

    Cook these ingredients:
    brown rice (white ok too)
    black beans

    Serve these ingredients fresh:
    diced tomatos
    crumbled feta
    finely chopped green onion/scallion
    peppers (normal or spicy)

    Mix all fresh ingredients in a salad bowl. Serve fresh ingredients on top of warm black and rice.

    Takes about 30-40 minutes to make (including prep). This is a nice high protein and fiber dinner that's really yummy. Enjoy (optional: with sangria)!

  • Naturalnista76 says:

    I thought it was only me. I have gotten of the beaten path with regard to my healthy eating regiment but this blog reminds me that I need to spark of my old romance with black beans. I love making wraps with them , romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, colby cheese sprinkled with balsmaic vineger dressing. Yummmmmmmm!

  • Carolina says:

    omg nik this one of my favorite recipes. here is my version, you will need to put it through a translator as I wrote it for my spanish blog! i do something similar to your just add corn, green peppers, and some balsamic vinegar and other beans (garbanzos, red beans and black). enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

    <3 Miss Rizos

  • Anonymous says:

    Rinse onions under cold water while peeling and if you can, halve them under the cold water also..reduces tears dramatically and if you forget chew gum ( i swear it works) , and always cut hot peppers using latex gloves, that way it doesn't get into your skin

  • Anonymous says:

    So this black bean and chorizo stew isn't vegetarian, but it is delish!

  • Anonymous says:

    I also have a food chopper from Pampered Chef…had it for 10 years. It's great for onions but the chopping action won't work for dicing tomatoes or chopping cilantro. Sometimes a quality, sharp knife is really the best tool. The more you do it, the easier it gets to chop and slice.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    the slap chop! that's what we got for a Christmas gift one year… never worked once.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @Kisha, lol at #1 and #2. I have elevated cholesterol so my bad habits aren't without consequence sadly… and I've considered making large batches but I hate leftovers. Weird I know. Like, even if I make a second batch of beans while there's still one in the fridge, I'd choose to eat the fresher batch. I'm crazy girl.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @anon 2:56 (recipe)– this sounds delicious and most important, EASY ! Thanks for sharing!!!!

    @Anon 2:56 (candle)– OMG. Brilliant. I'll let you know how it works. Someone told me to chop it under water but that sounds like a ton of work.

  • Kisha says:

    #1: I'm mad that you eat "fried stuff with cheese… cakes, cookies and pies and things of that nature" & are still a ity bity thing. #extremelyjealous

    #2: Invest in a durable Salad chopper or food processer.

    #3: Maybe you can make a HUGE batch and then freeze the rest so you'll always have some on hand.

  • Anonymous says:

    For the crying try lighting a candle and put it near you while you chop…it works wonders! I'm from Cali grew up on this dip and many more black bean recipes ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stacy D.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love all things beans and black beans and lentils are one of my favs.

    Most of my recipes are Spanish recipes but the following is very simple and you can eat is as a stand alone soup (with some strips of tortilla and guacamole toppin) or with some rice (normally white but you can do brown if you prefer:

    1 med red onion – finely chopped
    3 large cloves of garlic – finely chopped
    A generous handful of fresh cilantro – finely chopped (I love cilantro so you may want to use less if you prefer)
    1/2 small green sweet pepper (not the Italian one, I'm not sure of the name – they're longer/narrower than the Italian peppers) – finely chopped
    1 whole lemon or lime juiced (1/2 if you prefer)
    1 chicken boullion ("secret ingredient", weird but you'll find it in every Spanish kitchen. LOL) and of course, it's optional.
    Salt and fresh pepper to taste.
    1-2 TBSP EVOO
    2 cans of organic black beans (I usually get it from wholefoods).

    In a medium/large sauce pan, add 1 TBSP EVOO (plus a little more), onion, garlic, cilantro, green pepper, a good pinch of salt and black pepper (I don't measure so can't give you exact amount) and lemon/lime juice and saute for about a minute. Add the chicken buillion and saute until it's melted into the sofrito. Once the herbs etc are caramelized, add the beans (including broth) and stir together. Add 2 cans of water – I usually fill the same bean cans with water to get all good stuff from the bottom – give it a final stir and cover it leaving the lid a bit off so that it doesn't boil over. Bring to a boil then lower the heat occassionally stirring. 20-1/2hr of cooking, check consistency to see if it's too your liking. It should be a thick consistency but soupy enough that you can eat it as a soup or over rice.


  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    such good recommendations!

    Raquel, okay, so tell me more of these bean burgers. I've seen them on menus at restaurants but like the 'portabello' burgers, I choose to opt for beef, lol. I'm curious though. Dish!

    @Jess, how do you cook your salmon? I eat salmon almost every day, lol.

    LOL @ Candice!

    @Anon 2:52. Are you friggin' kidding me? A garlic press. I'm so on this.

  • Anonymous says:

    For mincing garlic, invest in a garlic press. You place an unpeeled clove in inside and squeeze the garlic out. Then discard the skin. You can find one anywhere –Target, Crate&Barrel, BBB.

  • ordered.steps says:

    Gosh, I'd do it (will def work for food) BUT….you'd fire me for eating it all up from you!!!! can't.resist.the.draw.of.the.bean!!!!! LOL


  • Ms. Lisa says:

    Oh and for recipe ideas go to: There is a place above the search engine where you can put in ingredients that you want and ingredients that you don't want and it will populate a list of recipes. I have the app too. Love that thing. When you read the comments to the recipe, you get suggestions on how to make the dish better. LOVE IT!

  • Jess says:

    I use the same recipe above but add a large ripe mango to the dip. I serve it over salmon or just use it as a side.
    Most people think its a dip also.

  • Ms. Lisa says:

    Yes, it will chop of every thing. I mince cloves of garlic in it. You can finely chop or coarsely chop all those items. I love mine.

  • Raquel says:

    Black bean burgers are awesome!!! I love eating black beans with a little butter and salt and rice with Tilapia….awesome meal and quick and the kids love it.

  • MsPooh says:

    Hey, Nikki. I'm new to black beans and I have to admit, I kinda dig 'em. I might get brave enough to try it in a salsa…right now, I put them in my chili, but I mash them up. (I have this "thing" against eating beans or peas that I can see…yeah, that's a whole other story!) As far as your chopping goes…get a small electric food processor (usually called a mini prep chopper). They're not very expensive and they get the job done.

    Now, if you tell me that eating black beans (or any other kind of bean) will do wonders for my natural hair, you will have a convert for life!

  • H says:

    Chipotle has me loving the black beans too and I use them w/kidney beans in chili…

    Thanks for the salsa recipe! I''ll be trying it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    LOLOLOL!!! Told you I was brand new. I changed it! Thanks!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    what about the garlic? would it finely dice that?? I hate chopping up garlic… fingers get all sticky.

  • Anonymous says:

    Girl! It's a sous-chef! LOL!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    I had one similar and it broke. You think it was the brand? If you vouch for it, I'll totally go buy one today.

  • Ms. Lisa says:

    I have one of these but it's the Pampered Chef brand. Thank me later:

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