Number 77

I can’t remember why this is called “Number 77” in my household. As best as I can recall, this is based on a recipe from one of Mark Bittman’s “One Hundred This or That” lists. Anyway, it is fantastic. It is vegan, a complete protein, and totally delicious on its own or as a side dish to meat. It’s good warm, room-temp, and cold, and makes a delightful sack lunch when packed with a bag of corn chips.

Note this recipe can very easily be scaled up (just multiply all ingredients by 2, 3, or 4), and you can change the relative quantities depending on your tastes.


  • 1/4 cup of neutral oil (canola or corn oil)
  • 1 fresh ear corn, or one small pack of frozen corn niblets
  • 1 small red onion (or white, in a pinch), diced up
  • 1 sweet bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), diced up
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 15-20 cherry tomatoes (any color), sliced in half
  • 1 very juicy lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 loose cup or so of whole cilantro leaves, well washed and then chopped (optional)



  1. Rinse the black beans in a colander until the water runs clean. Leave the colander in the sink to drain the beans well.

  2. In a heavy skillet, heat the oil until it swirls easily.

  3. If you’re using fresh corn, shuck it, then slice the niblets off the raw stalk, and throw the raw niblets in the hot pan. If you’re using frozen corn niblets, toss those in (without thawing).

  4. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the corn starts to brown here and there.

  5. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes.

  6. Add the drained beans and sliced tomatoes to the pan.

  7. Cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and then add lime juice, salt, and cilantro according to your taste for each.


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