I'm trying to add more beans to my diet, especially black beans, because they're supposed to be good for me, but frankly, I don't really like them. Soups are okay, but soups feel lonely to me and not something I like cooking for the family (reminds me of my single days full of freezer-burned ziploc single packs, I guess), and I don't mind dips or spreads like hummus, but dips don't say "dinner" to me. No matter how I cook them, I just find beans mealy and a bit blah. The other issue is that I don't like the usual accompaniments - corn, red pepper, cilantro...combined with my complete intolerance for anything with heat, Latin American food is basically out.
So what to do? I made a big pot of black beans with ham stock and lots of garlic and it's delicious, but it just feels...meh. Is it a side dish? Dinner? Eating a plate of beans seems like prison rations, even though it took me all afternoon to simmer them. Help me get past this clear psychological block I have by giving me delicious recipes and ideas that don't involve corn or jalapenos.