The simple combination of beans with a whole grain provides a wealth of plant-based nutrition and protein. It’s a fail-proof combination to have a meal which provides everything you need in one hit – around 20g of protein with a full amino acid profile, high fibre to keep you feeling fuller for longer, slow-release carbohydrates for sustained energy and a small amount of essential fats which contribute to general health of cells throughout the body including brain and hormonal health too.  All that from a small bowl of beans and grain!

BUT! Beans and a wholegrain alone – well, they are pretty tasteless right?!

That’s why it’s all about what you add to them which makes the dish.

You can have a bowl of beans and grain but change up the flavours in so many different ways that you could feel like you’re eating a different meal every night of the week.

To top it off, they are such a frugal food item which helps with your weekly food bill too.

But you knew all that already, didn’t you 😉

So what’s different here?

Well, I have added MOLASSES to this recipe – molasses, more commonly known as blackstrap molasses, are essentially what is left over after cane sugar is boiled to produce sugar and most of the sugar has been extracted.  High in Magnesium, Potassium, Vit-B6, Calcium and Iron.  It adds a lovely, deep, sweet, treacle flavour to this dish as well as a good dose of minerals – so it tastes good and it does good!

Paired with sweet potatoes, sweet red pepper, onion, garlic, mustard, chilli, stock and herbs – suddenly, your boring bowl of beans and grain becomes a flavour bomb!  Add a few slices of avocado to help assimilate those fat-soluble vitamins and you have yourself a really great nutritious meal!

Here’s what you will need;

  • black beans
  • brown onion
  • garlic
  • sweet red pepper
  • red chilli
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomato passata and some whole vine tomatoes
  • boullion powder/vegetable stock
  • dried mixed herbs
  • wholegrain mustard
  • blackstrap molasses
  • spinach
  • quinoa
  • avocado



Mexican Black Bean Chilli with Molasses, Quinoa & Avocado

The Balanced Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 large brown onion peeled, diced small
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 300 g sweet potatoes peeled, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed - optional depending on preferred heat
  • 2 cups cooked black beans use tinned or pre-cooked
  • 1 cup tomato passata
  • 1 cup vine tomatoes halved
  • 1 TBSP boullion powder or veg stock
  • 1 TBSP dried mixed herbs
  • 1 TBSP blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 handfuls spinach washed

To serve

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 avocado sliced to make 4 equal portions


  • Begin by adding the diced onion to a large pan, add 1" of water and cook gently on a low heat with a lid secured, for 6 minutes.
  • After 6 minutes, add the diced sweet red pepper and sweet potatoes and return the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the garlic, chilli, black beans, passata, vine tomatoes, boullion powder or veg stock, dried mixed herbs, blackstrap molasses, wholegrain mustard and a cup of water. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes with the lid secured.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the lid and give everything a good stir to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now, stir through the spinach until incorporated.
  • Serve with the quinoa and avocado and season to taste.
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