Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Basic Frugal Black Beans and Rice

So far so good, as this is week number two and our second 'beans and rice' dinner. Tonight I decided to experiment with black beans. As per recommendations, the beans were placed in my stock pot with about 4" of water to cover them. Lid was put on top and they were left to sit all night. Once I got around to it in the morning, I rinsed them thoroughly and then put them back into the pot with another 3 to 4 inches of water and set them to boil. Once they were boiling, I reduced the heat, covered the pot, and let them simmer for the next couple of hours until they seemed almost tender. At this point I drained the excess liquid from the beans and let them set until the rest of the ingredients were ready.

This is the point where your customization can take place. I morphed several recipes I had lying around into one based on the ingredients I had on hand. Remember, beans and rice are supposed to be easy on your budget and flexible. Once the beans have nearly cooked, you simmer together a few ingredients, stir them back into the beans to simmer together until beans are thoroughly cooked and you're ready to eat.

Basic Frugal Black Beans and Rice

3 cups dry-packaged black beans, cooked

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced bell peppers - I had green peppers on hand
1 diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth

Precooked rice - preferably brown rice

After preparing the black beans by soaking overnight, rinsing, and simmering for several hours, let excess liquid drain off by placing beans in colander.

In same stockpot, heat olive oil and add sliced peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute for several minutes until peppers begin to soften being careful not to burn garlic. Stir in canned tomatoes and chicken broth and let everything return to a simmer. Return beans to pot and simmer until beans are thoroughly cooked through. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

At this point you can top your beans with chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, or red pepper flakes depending on your taste. Serve up your rice in bowls, and top with the savory beans. Beans and rice at their best.

If you wished to amp up the flavor and you had any of the following on hand, any of these would be nice additions to the bell pepper slices:

corn kernels
finely chopped carrots
diced polish sausage (as you will note, I added sausage in the batch photographed above)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin or 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 comments - click here to leave your comments:

Anonymous said...

This looks yummy! Can't wait to try it!

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