More Ketchup, Please

A Kid-Approved Creamy Black Bean Dish That’s Chock-Full of Flavor

Elise Peterson knows how to make a kid eat everything.

July 18, 2019

Welcome to “More Ketchup, Please,” our newest series that’s spilling the beans on all the different ways we cook for, and with, our kids. We've got some great guests stopping by, to get schooled by their little ones on how to perfect family favorites. The more (cooks) the merrier? We think so.

Artist Elise Peterson wears many hats: writer, podcast host, illustrator, and cool mom to 18-month-old scene-stealer, Sargent. In this episode of More Ketchup, Please, Peterson shares her recipe for flavorful coconut black beans, and shows us how she’s teaching Sargent to have a fun relationship with food. "I love food deeply; cooking is one of my love languages,” Peterson says. Which means the pair spend a lot of time in the kitchen together—as she cooks, he snacks (watch him chomp-test the raw garlic!).

This recipe is a family go-to that showcases Peterson’s love for beans—coconut milk adds a sweet creaminess to balance the spice delivered by cayenne and green chile. “Sargent’s very OK with spice, because I’ve made sure he is,” she says. (Watch the video for a jazzy adult version of the dish.)

A hearty dish of black beans is as good as its sides—turns out, both mom and son are wild for plantains. Take Peterson’s tip and let them get almost black before you cook them—that’s when they’re less starchy, sweeter, and “custardy in the middle.” She loves caramelizing them in (lots of) coconut oil till they turn a deep gold, bringing out their sweetness in a way that is completely addictive.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I made everything in the video, the spinach, plantains, guacamole and beans and it felt really good knowing my family was devouring a (nearly) vegan meal! (I sautéed the spinach in butter otherwise it would have been). Deceptively filling as well. Two thumbs up!”
— Heather H.

(You know what else is addictive? Bacon popcorn)

In the end, she says, there’s variety on a plate. And Sargent looks like he’s into it.

Sides to go with

What’s your favorite recipe to cook with your kids? Tell us in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • debplusthree
  • Heather Hildebrand
    Heather Hildebrand
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  • Kathryn
  • MarieGlobetrotter
Arati Menon

Written by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.


debplusthree May 21, 2020
Fantastic recipes!! I made the beans and the plantains, and WOW! Excellent flavor, I love the tip on cooking the plantains on a lower setting it really caramelized and made them taste like candy, who knew!! Such a sweet video, thank you so much!!
Arati M. May 22, 2020
Glad you enjoyed it! We are big fans of Sargent, he's adorable.
Heather H. September 4, 2019
Made this tonight... delicious! It’s a good thing I made a double batch of the beans, because they’ll reheat well and there was plenty of guacamole left over, we’ll have it again later in the week! The whole family loved it, even my 5 yr old son, who almost cleared his whole plate and even asked for seconds of the beans. I made everything in the video, the spinach, plantains, guacamole and beans and it felt really good knowing my family was devouring a (nearly) vegan meal! (I sautéed the spinach in butter otherwise it would have been). Deceptively filling as well. Two thumbs up!
Arati M. September 5, 2019
So glad this was a hit!
Naturally1Lisa August 5, 2019
Sargent is adorable and Elise is a natural. I made the beans and they were fantastic! Get them back on for another recipe...maybe something sweet.
Arati M. August 5, 2019
Glad you tried it, Lisa! And yes, we'd welcome any reason to have Sargent back!
Kathryn July 22, 2019
I used to love to cook banana bread with my son when he was little. He had a milk protein allergy when he was born so I found recipes with no milk products and we savored them. He also loved bananas with peanut butter when he was one years old. He’s grown up to be a cook at home and with his roommate and that’s great. His milk allergy went away by the time he was four and he fell in love with all things dairy. Yogurt, cheese, ice cream and yes. Milk. I’m glad he’s grown up in love with foods. He works at a grocery store now and part of why he likes it is he can shop and be on his way home after work.
Arati M. July 22, 2019
This is such a great story. My favorite memories growing up were spent hanging off my mother's coattails in the kitchen—watching, absorbing, helping (at least I thought I was), sampling—and learning to speak that unique language of love that Elise talks's shaped my relationship with food, and cooking, tremendously.
MarieGlobetrotter July 21, 2019
This is adorable. I just the relationship you want your son to have with food. You two are magnificent
nancy A. July 21, 2019
More Elise and Sargent. ! please!
Imogen July 18, 2019
Wait - is there curry in this recipe?
RM July 18, 2019
I don't see beans in the ingredient list. What is the proportion?
Arati M. July 18, 2019
Oops, it fell off the list. It's now back on. Thanks for pointing out.
nancy A. August 5, 2019
Please come more often with your children and let others see the joy
in cooking with the little ones1