Frijoles Negros

  • 2 cans reduced-sodium black beans, one entire can and one can rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  • 2 large frozen salmon filets
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground roasted cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Fresh limes and chopped cilantro for serving
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of one lemon
  • directions


  1. In the morning, mix the marinade for the salmon, including lime juice, lemon juice, cumin, cilantro, olive oil, and fresh ground black pepper. Pour it over two large frozen salmon filets in a plastic container with a lid. Cover, shake it up a bit, and allow to thaw and marinate in the refrigerator during the day.
  2. At dinner time, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a sofrito: Chop the garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Mix with the seasonings in a bowl: cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and fresh ground black pepper.
  3. Bring ½ cup water to a rapid boil in a skillet that has a lid. Put the sofrito ingredients into the water and maintain high heat with the lid on for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until all the liquid has been removed. Remove it from the heat when the vegetables have just started to brown and stick to the pan, so that they do not burn.
  4. Add 1 whole can black beans and 1 drained and rinsed can of black beans to the skillet with the sofrito. Add the remaining ½ cup of water and the red wine vinegar. Bring this mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer, leaving it uncovered. This will let the flavors develop, without the help of fat.
  5. Cut each salmon filet in half and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Salmon is done when it reaches 145 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer.
  6. By the time the salmon is done, the beans will have reduced to a nice, thick consistency

recipe_sauerhageAbout the Chef

Name of Chef: Amy Sauerhage, M.S., R.D.
Family: Spouse – Brian Sauerhage; children – Braden and Ethan
Community: Scripps Ranch
Hobbies & Interests: Photography, cooking, hiking, boogie boarding, and bike riding
Favorite Local Activity: Taking her dog on the trails
About the Recipe: Amy developed this recipe to help control sodium and calories. The farmed Atlantic salmon that comes frozen at our near-by warehouse store has an added salt solution that is already contributing sodium to the dish – it’s about two pinches of salt more than what would be in fresh salmon for the two large filets. Beans contribute to protein, and keeping the fish portion small helps to control overall calories, as does leaving oil out of the cooking process for the beans. You can serve this with a small amount of brown rice or, for some additional calories, a few fried plantains. Keeping calories low overall made room for a small amount of the traditional side dish. One can of beans was drained and rinsed to further reduce sodium, because even reduced-sodium varieties still contain an abundance. The fresh limes for squeezing and freshly chopped cilantro sprinkled over the whole dish also contribute to flavor. Fresh flavors reduce the need for salt!
About the Chef: Amy studied food and nutrition at Southern Illinois University and worked with diabetics in her early career. She likes to apply dietary recommendations to making delicious food, and has put her degree to practical use in the kitchen for many years. After moving around for her husband’s career, she is happy to have settled into the eighth house in 15 years in the lovely community of Scripps Ranch.