Slow-Cooker Black Bean Ragout Review

Recipe 46 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

WW Note: I’m very happy to say this is a very low point indulgence and it’s based on your bread choice (and whether or not you count avocado and olive oil…which I don’t do when consuming in small quantities since they are healthy fats. When I stop loosing weight, I’ll start counting them :) This recipe calculates out to 2 points per serving (again based on what kind of bread you choose. Could be higher if you do a higher point bread). Make sure for the cumin crema you use NFGY as a substitute and then use water or a 0 point stock for cooking the beans.


I am happy to report that this is the easiest recipe in the cookbook so far because it’s a slow cooker recipe! Hurray! Especially after the week of sick mending we’ve had…easy recipe are a gift.

Yet, I actually thought the recipe was a lot more complicated…or rather a lot more time consuming when I first read it. I didn’t notice her formatting so I read the spot about the slow cooker and the stovetop for cooking the beans and I thought it was going to be 3-6 hours in the crock pot then another 3 hours on the stove…which…if I think of it now…that’s a tad silly and my brain probably should have challenged it…but again, I defer to the cold going around our house. My mind has been on a few other things :)

The reality is she gives you instructions for 2 different ways to cook them…with a crockpot OR on the stove. I had plans to do part one of cooking the beans on Friday during the day then part 2 when I got back from the grocery store Saturday morning so we could eat this for lunch. I pulled the beans I had cooked for 6 hours out of the fridge this morning and kept reading through the recipe….I kept stopping on the line that said…cook until beans are cooked through. I was like, “Deb, my beans are cooked through! Do you want them to be mushy??” Somewhere in that haze a light bulb went on and I realized lunch was already done…haha.

I’m telling that slightly embarrassing story because I want to make sure you don’t do the same thing. But surely you’re more clear minded then this sick mama and wouldn’t have come to the same conclusion!

Back to the recipe…it’s a tried and true crock pot recipe because you just dump all your bean ingredients in and turn it on. Can’t get much easier then that. Mine took 5-6 hours on high to cook the beans through. Realizing that I was done this morning I then just had to do the rest of the little things to pull this together.

This cumin crema/yogurt was delicious and I think I may make this a staple for taco night because it’s such a great flavor. I only had a half a cup of my non-fat greek yogurt so I used 1/2 tsp of cumin instead. I’ll use my sour cream to make some for my hubby since I’m sure he would prefer that anyways.

I found a bread in the clearance section that was a yummy garlic bread with little pearls of garlic baked into the bread. I still did the toasting and rubbed garlic on it but that was an added bonus. I couldn’t find 1 inch thick bread but this had the hardiness I was looking for.

The garlic flavor didn’t really come through for me so I think next time I would use my garlic grater and grate a few cloves and dump it into my olive oil before brushing it on to make it a stronger flavor.

The pickled red onion was the best tangy sour addition and the dish felt like it had a rich depth of flavor because of all these different pieces.

That is kind of the gist of it! You can find this simple recipe at the following sites:

The Happy Foodie UK

Epicurious

Crafty Cook Nook

It’s a rainy Southern California day today and it makes me smile to have a hardy meal ready in the crockpot waiting for us to gobble up. I took a taste already so I could sit down and write this while my daughter naps so I can tell you it’s delicious and full of flavor and a lovely way for me to keep up my weight loss. I’m down 16.2 pounds since Mid-August as of my weigh-in this morning so I’m having a great day so far!

Happy slow cooking readers!

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