Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Melia, are you kidding me? Can you even call it a noodle if it isn’t really a noodle? Why are you doing this to me? Do you shop anywhere other than Trader Joe’s?
These are all semi-valid questions. When I first saw the black bean noodles at Trader Joe’s, they were screaming at me from an end cap. $2.99 for a bag. I mean, come on. I’m an impulse shopper when it comes to grocery stores, and I’m not sure I fully grasped what I was doing until I was halfway through the checkout line.
These noodles are made from one ingredient: black beans (that have been turned into black bean flour). They’re loaded with fiber (as in, 1 serving = 60% of your daily value. WHAT A STEAL, ladies and gentlemen), and it’s a great way to get the feel of noodles without the guilt. They have the texture of pasta and a slight black-beany taste, and I’ve been experimenting with them for the last month so that you don’t have to. They were a little weird to get used to at first, but I’ve found a couple flavor combos that work really well – and this week’s dish was my favorite by far.
In an effort to pack a punch, I’ve opted to load this dish up with veggies (spinach, red pepper, sundried tomato) and chicken sausage. I also did a bit of a treat-yo-self and sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top, for an added perk.
This post is the first of a new segment where I’ll come up with recipes to use random ingredients you may accidentally buy on impulse. If you have an idea for an ingredient that would be useful to you, share it in the comments!
Black Bean Noodles with Sausage, Red Pepper, Spinach, & Sundried Tomatoes
Cost per Serving: $3-4
- 1 1/2 cups black bean noodles, dried
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped roughly
- 4 cups spinach
- 4 fully-cooked chicken sausages, sliced
- parmesan cheese (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Heat a medium pot of water to boiling. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Place chicken sausage slices in a single layer. Let cook for 3 minutes and flip, then cook for 3 minutes more, or until sausage is browned.
- Add red bell pepper to the skillet, stirring to coat in the olive oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes – you’ll want the red peppers to be slightly softened, but with a bit of a bite.
- Add spinach 1-2 cups at a time, stirring until it wilts. Toss in sundried tomatoes, adding more olive oil if needed. Last, add the noodles, stirring to mix thoroughly, and cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove pasta to bowls and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a pinch of parmesan cheese.