Putting on beans in a slow cooker the night before makes for a perfect pairing with an egg the next morning.

I was reminded recently about the many health benefits of beans, so I’ve been trying to incorporate them more into our day-to-day meals. I’m happy to report I have decided on my favorite way to do it.

As many of the best recipes tend to come about, this happened on one of those unassuming, cleaning-out-the-fridge days that resulted in an accidental delight. It’s not that this recipe is all that unique. It’s the fact this specific combination of ingredients collided into a combination I might not have thought of if left to the limitless scope of my imagination. With beans, I tend to go red chile all the way. I’m not sure why exactly, it’s just where my taste buds tend to take me. This is a journey to the green side: green bell peppers, smokey green chile powder (or chopped green chile), green onions, jalapeño and cilantro. I can’t remember the last time we enjoyed a more satisfying and hearty breakfast.

For the eggs, prepare them however you like them best. My favorite way to cook beans is the easiest, in what I like to call “the night shift.” After dinner, I throw everything into the slow cooker and let them cook on low overnight. They can easily be cooked on the stovetop for a number of hours, or even an Instant Pot, although I haven’t ventured to that new world of kitchen gadgetry quite yet. The fact they are fully cooked and piping hot when we wake up is also probably why this is my favorite breakfast to eat in the winter.

Bean & Egg Breakfast Bowl

Makes: 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, diced

4 spring onions or scallions, sliced

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 carrots, diced

3 celery heart stalks and leaves, diced

2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 bunch of cilantro leaves, sliced

green chile powder or chopped green chile, to taste

2 cups dry pinto, bolita, Anasazi or black beans

7 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

6 eggs, poached, scrambled, sunny side up, over easy, etc. (however you like them best)

Salt and pepper, as needed

Preparation: Turn your slow cooker on high, add the oil and let heat for a few minutes. Add the sweet onion, spring onion, garlic, carrots, celery, green bell peppers, cilantro and green chile powder (or chopped green chile). Rinse the dried beans and spread them out so you can carefully pick out any rocks or debris. Now add the beans and broth. Cover, and when you notice the beans come to a simmer, lower the heat to low. Cover and cook overnight.

The next morning when your entire home smells incredible, carefully remove the lid, give the beans a stir and add salt, pepper and chile powder as needed. Spoon into bowls and top with an egg.

Marianne Sundquist is a chef, food business consultant and shares recipes on Instagram @chefmariannesundquist. She co-founded Stokli in 2020, an online general store with a mission to champion local growers and makers of dry goods. Visit stokli.com and email her at marianne@stokli.com.

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