I ate a lovely, warming, filling brunch of huevos rancheros (or mexican ranch-style beans) in a Chiquitos restaurant near the O2 in London recently. This was in preparation for my ascent to the top of the O2 – that’s right, you can climb it to a viewing
platform mountaineering style and get fab views of London City and the river on a clear day (we got lucky with the weather)! Awesome fun, and the breakfast set me up a treat!
I digress! This is my own home-cooked version that I have only just got round to making 2 weeks later because I’ve not had time to soak and boil my beans!
This is a well-balanced brekkie plate with plenty of fresh anti-oxidant-rich veggies for fibre and vitamins, black beans for muscle-building protein and a bit of a kick to wake you up for the day. Who said hot breakfasts had to be bland, unhealthy, stodgy and full of saturated fat?! Black beans are high in fibre (aids weight loss because it fills you up, and boosts the health of the gut), low in fat, and contain a decent amount of iron (important for building red blood cells and preventing anaemia), folate (important for red blood cells and transport of oxygen to the muscles and prevents spina bifida in unborn children), magnesium and potassium.
If you have to get the dried black beans that need soaking I would recommend preparing more than you need as you can always freeze them once cooked for easy use at a later date.
400g black beans, cooked (use canned pinto beans, drained, if you cannot find black beans)
200ml vegetable or chicken broth, made with ½ a 10g stock cube
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 large red onion, chopped (185g)
1 large red pepper, chopped (145g)
1 clove garlic, minced (4g)
1 can chopped tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped (400g)
1 can of sweetcorn kernels (160g)
1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh coriander or cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
salt, to taste
4 tortillas (40g each)
- Soak the black beans in cold water overnight (24 hours). Place in a large saucepan, cover with double the amount of water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and leave to cook for at least 2 hours or until the beans are softened but not breaking apart. Add more water if it starts to dry out. Drain and leave to cool.
- To make the salsa, stir the tomatoes, red onions, red pepper, sweetcorn, coriander or cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, minced garlic, and salt to taste, together in a bowl until well blended. Cover, and refrigerate until needed (at least 1 hour).
- Place the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook 1 minute until light brown. Mix in the black beans or drained pinto beans if using these instead, the broth and 1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper. Simmer until beans are heated through (about 5 minutes). Turn off heat, and keep warm.
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F / gas mark 5. Place tortillas on a baking sheet with greaseproof paper underneath. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until warmed through and softened. Alternatively, heat in microwave on full power for 30 – 45 seconds.
- Poach or scramble the eggs and cook to desired firmness.
- To assemble huevos rancheros, place a tortilla on each plate. Top each tortilla with black bean mixture, a layer of salsa, and an egg (or ¼ of the scrambled eggs). Serve immediately.
– Add 1 inch of chorizo, chopped into small squares = additional 68 kcal / 285 kJ
For a main meal, per portion:
– Add 20g of grated cheddar cheese = additional 83kcal / 347 kJ
– 50g of shredded roast chicken (instead of the eggs) = 89 kcal / 372 kJ
– 50g of shredded roast pork (instead of the eggs) = 91 kcal / 381 kJ
– 50g of shredded roast beef (instead of the eggs) = additional 110 kcal / 460 kJ
per whole recipe
Energy 1495 kcal / 6255 kJ
Total sugar 53.3g
Salt 8.4g (check canned beans for added salt)
per serving (if serving 4)
Energy 374kcal / 1565 kJ
Total sugar 13.3g
Salt 2.1g (check canned beans for added salt)
**WARNING TO OTHERS – DON’T DROP YOUR PLASTIC MEASURING SPOONS INTO THE FLAME ON YOUR GAS HOB, THEREBY RENDERING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO EVER MEASURE QUANTITIES OF HALF A TABLESPOON AGAIN – DURRR! **
½ – 1 x green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (4g)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (7g)
1 x white onion, peeled and roughly diced (140g)
1 x red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped (150g)
120g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 x sticks celery, sliced (70g)
1 tbsp. vegetable/olive oil (10g)
2 tbsp. tomato puree (30g)
1 x can kidney beans, drained (240g)
400g can chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock
1 tsp. cumin, powdered
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Black pepper to taste
- In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for 30-60 seconds to infuse the oil with their flavour. Add the onion, pepper, carrots and celery and fry for approximately 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add the tomato puree and fry this, stirring it in with the vegetables, for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, stock, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Mix all ingredients together.
- Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes until the sauce has reduced down.
Energy 580 kcal (2430 kJ)
Total sugars 51g
Per Serving (Serves 4)
Energy 145kcal (608 kJ)
Total sugars 12.8g
1 x white crusty bread roll (50g) = 130kcal / 545 kJ
150g of boiled white/brown rice = 210kcal / 880 kJ
2 x taco shells = 140kcal / 587 kJ
1 x tbsp. of soured cream = 62kcal/ 260 kJ
**If you want a more meaty feast in your belly try the following**
Fry 250g lean beef/steak mince, cooking the meat through until browned (you can skim off excess fat if you want to keep it healthy) before adding the vegetables. This will add 450kcal/ 1885kJ per batch so if you are dividing your batch by 4 then this would be an additional 115kcal / 472 kJ per portion.
Fry 2 x chicken breasts, chopped into chunks (300g), and cook until browned before adding the vegetables. This will add 330kcal/ 1382 kJ per batch so if you are dividing your batch by 4 then this would be an additional 85kcal / 346 kJ per portion.
Suggested Ear Candy
I gave my ears a bit of a fiesta with In the Reins by Calexico (with Iron & Wine) and Sonido Amazonico by Chicha Libre
El Vez, the mexican Elvis is brilliant….he’s been around for years but I have only just got round to listening and he’s ace!