Mexican food has always been my favourite- I grew up eating black bean burritos and shoving salsa laden tortillas into my mouth.
When we moved to England, we were shocked to discover that it was nearly impossible to find black beans anywhere. In America they are basically a food staple. We scoured every supermarket, occasionally managing to find them dried, which then involved soaking overnight and hours of cooking.
Luckily, for us and the rest of the UK population, black beans are more a thing in this country now. You can find them in a can or carton in nearly every supermarket, accompanied by salsa, tortillas and all the other ingredients you might need to make your own Mexican feast.
I still live on beans. I’m never happier than when tucking into a whole bowl of BBs, dressed with lime, plenty of fresh coriander and a good dollop of salsa. Unfortunately, the burritos that I used to adore as a child are less easy now that I’m coeliac. Gluten free wraps are pretty hard to come by, so I’ve developed new ways to enjoy my favourite food.
This is a light, summery way to get a taste of Mexico in your kitchen. A huge bowl, brimming with black beans, accompanied by a salty, fresh corn salad, guacamole (of course!) and crispy sweet potato wedges. Perfect!
for the beans:
1 small onion
1 red pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 cans black beans
pinch of chilli powder
Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan. Finely dice the onion, pepper and garlic. Add the onion to the saucepan and cook for about two minutes before adding the pepper.
Cook for a further three minutes until the onion and pepper and soft but not burnt, then add the garlic. Sprinkle the ground cumin over the onion, pepper and garlic and allow to fry off for about one minute.
Open your cans of beans and pour off the liquid into a glass. It’s good to have this handy to add to your beans if they are looking dry. Tip your beans into the saucepan, and leave to cook until they are bubbling, then add a pinch of chilli powder. Let the beans bubble over a medium heat until they have started to thicken up, adding the juice from the can if they start to run out of liquid.
for the corn:
4 ears of corn
100g feta, crumbled
1/2 red onion, finely diced
handful of fresh coriander
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, then add your corn and simmer for 1o minutes.
When they are cool, slice the kernels off the cob and place in a bowl with the feta, onion and coriander. Squeeze the lime juice over the mixture before serving.
for the guacamole:
3 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lime
Begin by mashing your avocados. You want them fairly smooth but with some chunks. Then add in your onion and garlic and season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice.
for the sweet potato wedges:
2 sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chilli power
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel your sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges.
Arrange the wedges on a well-oiled dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and the cumin and chilli powder.
Cook for 40-50 minutes, or until the wedges feel soft but with a crisp outside.
Place big dollop of beans in a bowl, followed by a generous serving of wedges, corn and guacamole. Squeeze a little lime juice over everything and top with a handful of chopped coriander.