If your child loves beans, they can be a great base for more vegetables. Pinto beans with carrot and onion. Aduki Beans with Squash and Kombu. White beans with greens. These are some of our favorites.

This was not my idea to add broccoli to black beans. It was my friend, Betsy’s. She once told me it was the only way her son would eat broccoli. It may seem like a strange combination, but it works.

Betsy always made the broccoli big and chunky, which is the way I like it. However, broccoli would be easy to hide in black beans if necessary. Just add smaller pieces right near the end of cooking time so they don’t overcook. Broccoli can go from perfect to mushy in the blink of an eye.

I added the step of sautéing the broccoli first to increase absorption of minerals, but you can also just add the broccoli directly to the beans near the end of their cooking time.

Broccoli Black Beans

1 cup dry black beans, rinsed and soaked in water for at least 8 hours
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive or sesame oil
2 cups washed and cut broccoli including peeled tender part of stem
1 tsp brown rice vinegar (optional)

1.  Start the beans according to the instructions for home cooked beans. Add the sea salt when the beans are starting to get soft. When the beans are completely soft remove them from the heat. Strain them, retaining the cooking liquid in a separate bowl.

2.  Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the oil. Add the broccoli when the oil is just hot enough that you hear a little sizzle when the broccoli is added. Sauté briefly for about 1 minute. Add the beans on top with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Cook just until broccoli is tender but still firm. Remove from heat. The broccoli will continue to cook a little after removing from heat, so be careful to not overcook it.

3.  Add a little brown rice vinegar if you want to.