Eat something good tonight (black beans and rice edition)
If not for Whole Foods, N. and I would eat no vegetarian meals, let alone the one per week that we shoot for.
This week’s veggie meal (actually last week’s but we felt like crap, so we didn’t make it) was Cuban Style Black Beans and Rice. The recipe is really easy, though the rice (purchased in bulk at Whole Foods) does take a full hour to steam, so give yourself some time. The rest of the prep, saute, and stewing can be done in that hour.
Here’s how the deal went down:
For the Brown Rice
2 cups brown rice
4 cups spring water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the Black Beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes with their liquid
3 cups (cooked) black beans, drained
sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
Place rice in a strainer and rinse under cool running water. Heat a stainless steel or cast iron skillet over low heat and add rice. Dry roast the rice for 3 minutes, stirring occasitonally, until rice is dry and aromatic.
Place the roasted rice in a pot. Add the water and salt and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until the water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat. For fluffier rice, after the rice comes to a boil, place it in a covered casserole dish and place in a preheated 225°F oven for one hour.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When pan is hot, add olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper, garlic and chili powder. Continue to sauté for 2 more minutes. Reduce heat to low, add diced tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Add beans and simmer 5 minutes longer to heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve beans over brown rice.
Variations on a theme:
I (J.) took some liberties with the amount of chile powder by about doubling dose. It wasn’t at all overpowering, and I’d like to give it a judo chop of chili powder when we make this again.
You could do all kinds of stuff with this recipe. I’d like to take a big spoon-full of the bean mixture and rice and stuff a grilled poblano chile, and serve with chicken.
However, this is a stand alone plate of goodness that could easily fit into your repertoire, vegetarian or otherwise.
Give it a shot, and let us know what you think!