When is a bean more than a mere legume? Arguably, all pulses, big and small, have their own stories to tell, but some would spin epic tales encompassing history, heritage, and a whole lot of heart, if only they could talk. The oldest-known domesticated beans in the Americas were found in Guitarrero Cave in Peru, and dated to around the second millennium BCE. Can you imagine what those tiny seeds might say? Though we still lack bean-to-human communication, the best translation you might find today would be through Fillo’s. Born of two brothers determined to share some of the beloved Latin American foods from their childhood with a broader audience, each savory selection speaks clearly and boldly through the convenience of modern packaging. Celebrating the unique character of each bean and their diverse origins across the continent, you might be surprised by what tiny pulses are capable of with just a bit of time, gentle seasoning, and love.
Placing equal value on authenticity and convenience without sacrificing either, each flavorful blend is fully shelf-stable and ready-to-serve, filled with fresh vegetables, olive oil, beans, water, and spices. Otherwise known as sofrito, this cooking method extracts bold flavor and nutrients. Clocking 10-16 grams of plant protein per pack means that they’re ideal, complete meals on the go. What sets this pouch apart from others is the fact that it’s actually built for ease and accessibility. Fully microwavable, there’s a top notch to tear and pour, and a second, lower notch that can turn the entire thing into its own bowl; nothing more than a spoon needed.
Celebrating the cultures responsible for so many of our favorite foods today, there are six different options to shake up the bean routine in an instant.
Cuban Black Beans dazzle with savory notes of cumin and bay leaf simmered into every tender, toothsome morsel. The taste immediately struck me as a perfect pairing with chips, like a chunky dip, straight out of the bag. Adding freshly diced bell pepper to harmonize with those stewed within, the harmonizing flavors yet contrast of textures was simply sensational. This brilliantly simple combination is clearly a party-starter waiting to happen.
Mexican Mayocoba Beans shine the spotlight on a lesser known legume, bathing the creamy, if not downright buttery beans in a waterfall of onions and garlic, accented by piquant ancho chile and epazote. Swaddled in soft corn tortillas, they turn any day of the week into a flavorful fiesta, not just Taco Tuesday.
Puerto Rican Pink Beans, spiked with achiote and a hint of cilantro, are unbelievably rich, satisfying comfort food cravings without using excessive oil or salt as a crutch. Adding a scoop of steaming hot yellow rice alongside was merely a ploy to soak up every last drop of that thick, velvety gravy.
Peruvian Lentils manage to maintain an ideal half-dome shape, not mushy nor unpleasantly crunchy, which is quite a feat for this fickle little legume. As a meal in frequent rotation now, a touch of zesty aji verde enlivens the umami medley stuffed into a ripe avocado. If I had one shred of patience come mealtime, this has the makings of the ultimate avocado toast, but I’d rather just skip straight to the good stuff. An extra slice of bread would just be unnecessary filler here.
Tex-Mex Pinto Beans invites a punchy smattering of jalapenos to the party alongside the warmth of chili powder. Though mild, they’ve got a zesty kick that plays beautifully with the earthy flesh of baked sweet potatoes. Loaded with an extra punch of fresh, fiery pepper confetti on top, it’s a cozy yet invigorating union that will keep you on your toes.
Panamanian Garbanzo Beans ranked as one of my personal top picks, though it’s hard to really rank favorites when all the options are winners. Adding just a touch of vegetable broth created a rich stew that tasted as if it had been on the stove, cooking for hours. These particular beans have a subtle tomato undertone carrying notes of verdant oregano, perfectly al dente, in a way I can only dream of when cooking from dried stock. I was so thoroughly inspired by these chickpeas that I couldn’t leave well enough alone. After downing two or three packages straight, I had to take them into the kitchen to play.
Traditionally tinted a blushing pink hue with steamed and sliced beets, Ensalada de Papas is the Panamanian answer to potato salad. Incredibly popular for special occasions and everyday meals alike, there’s no bad time to break out a bowlful of this creamy dish. Simply adding a pouch of Fillo’s garbanzo beans transforms it into potential entree material, while still remaining flexible enough to serve as a side. My version adds the crisp bite of water chestnuts for variety, but at it’s core, all you need are potatoes, beets, and beans. The key is to keep it simple to allow the ingredients to speak, like Fillo’s Americas Made does in the first place.
Fillo’s is available online and in many retail stores such as Whole Foods, Jewel Osco, and more, but I want to share the legume love with you directly. Generously provided by the folks at Fillo’s Americas Made, you have an opportunity to win a full set of beans! Get a taste of each unique bend with a variety pack including one pouch of each flavor. To enter, all you need to do is fill out the form below and tell me your own little legume story in the comment section: What is your favorite bean, and how do you like to prepare it?
Panamanian Pink Potato Salad (Ensalada de Papas)
This creamy pink salad can be served as a side or an entree, but rest assured that it will steal the spotlight in any meal. Garbanzo beans, while not a traditional addition, introduce uncommonly good flavor, texture, and nutrition.
- 1 Pound Yukon Gold Potatoes, Diced
- 1 15-Ounce Can Sliced Pickled Beets, Drained
- 1 10-Ounce Pouch Fillo's Panamanian Garbanzo Beans
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Water Chestnuts
- 1/4 Medium Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
- 1/4 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Minced*
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, simmer until fork-tender, and drain thoroughly.
- Transfer to a large bowl and toss with all the remaining ingredients.
- Serve warm or chilled. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
*Feel free to substitute parsley if you're averse to cilantro.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.
10 thoughts on “Americas Made”
Favorite beans are black eyed peas, slow cooked with brown rice, red onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes, spices… Traditional southern USA New Years “Hoppin Jean” for good luck, throughout the year.
pinto beans prepared as baked beans :)
My favorite is lentils. I add the precooked Trader Joe’s lentils to my salads, so yummy!
All the beans! Love kidney beans in chili, curry chickpeas and refried black or pintos.
My favorite bean is cannellini. I use it in a vegetable soup.
We love lentils and garbanzo beans. Sometimes life is just too crazy and having them cooked and seasoned and ready to go sounds like a fabulous idea. I have not seen this brand but need to check it out.
Yum! I am a fan of lentils in salads and soups. Hearty bean dishes in just about any form are perfect for fall and winter.
Beans are the best! A vegan restaurant near my office makes an excellent adzuki bean stew that keeps me coming back for more. Mayacoba beans are great too but I haven’t found them in a few years. Can’t go wrong with black beans or chickpeas though :)
I love them all, but my favorite is cranberry beans. I cook them using a recipe from a Turkish cookbook. So simple and so delicious!
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