Thursday, October 20, 2011

Black Beans and Rice

Several weeks ago I shared with a new friend how we try to have a couple of meatless dishes through the week to help on grocery costs. My husband is fine with this, as long as he feels full when finishing eating. I knew to be able to do that we would need some good protein in the meal. There is nothing cheaper and better (to my knowledge) than dried beans! My new friend gave me a favorite meatless meal that she prepares for her family and so I gave it a try. It is tasty! And, it makes you full. I make enough for two meals and I also add a side of Mexican Corn Muffins (I will share that later) that makes the meal complete.

Black Beans and Rice

2 cups of dried brown rice
1 small bag of dried black beans
32 oz. of chicken broth or 1 tbsp. of chicken base or 1 chicken bouillon cube
2 jalapenos
2 medium tomatoes
1 small onion
chopped cilantro

I like to soak my beans and my rice the night before in good, clean water with a little lemon juice. It makes the rice seem fluffier and almost like white rice. It also helps the beans to cook faster and become easier to digest. The next day (after pouring off the water and lemon juice and giving a quick rinse) I put the beans in the crockpot and let them cook 5-6 hours on low heat. You could do these on the stove and cut the time in less than half if you are in a hurry. To the crockpot I will add the broth or the base or a bouillon cube along with a little salt and pepper. An hour before eating I begin cooking the rice in plenty of water to cover the rice (more than the directions recommend) along with salt for seasoning. I do this because I like for the rice to be fluffy and not sticky. It will take about 45 minutes on a medium to high heat.

About 20 minutes before meal time begin to chop the onion, jalapenos, and tomatoes. Saute the onion and jalapeno for about 5 minutes with a little olive oil or butter and another bouillon cube or little chicken base. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Dip the beans into the veggie mixture and stir. Serve over the rice with a little of the juice that was left in the crockpot and top it with chopped cilantro.

A couple of cooking and preparing tips:

For a less spicy dish, take out the seeds in the jalapenos. If you like it hot, then leave some in. Caution: Wear gloves or something on your fingers or you will be very sorry about 15 minutes later when your hands burn for several hours!

I believe a good cook tastes as she goes. This dish needs good seasoning to make it a success. Add what you need to season it little by little and taste until it is just like you want it. Caution: You may be full by the time your family sits down to eat!

Thankful to feed this family of mine,


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