Monday, April 14, 2008

Rice and Beans

This is another quick to assemble, nourishing dish: Caribbean Beans & Rice.
I typically use the following ingredients: 1 onion, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1 stalk celery (diced), 1 carrot (diced), 1 red pepper (diced), 1 large can stewed, diced tomatoes + an equal amount water, 1 large can beans (black or your choice) drained, 1 can corn drained, 1 cup rice, dried hot red peppers (a few pieces), Tabasco sauce, Turmeric 1 tsp, vegetarian chicken soup base powder 1 tbsp.
Fry the onion & garlic & celery & red pepper in a small amount of oil (until onion translucent). Add spices and veg'n chicken soup base powder. Add rice and keep frying a few minutes. Gradually add the remaining ingredients. Bring the pot up to almost a boil, then turn down to simmer for 30 minutes or so. The liquid should absorb nicely during this time, leaving a fluffy mixture of rice, beans and vegetables. (This is one dish I completely eye-ball as I have made it so many times, but just a reminder, when using rice....the equation is 2 (liquid) to 1 (rice)...hence 1 cup rice needs 2 cups fluid, in this case the fluid from the tomatoes + extra water.)

Of course, now I need to go downstairs and check my pot to see if my "eye" was accurate enough tonight?

(Rice & Beans was recommended, in times past, as a 'complete protein' for those choosing a vegetarian diet. However, current research now says it is not necessary to combine foods at a single meal to get all the amino acids . As long as you are eating a balanced, varied food diet, you should obtain ample amounts of protein.
You will also notice I have used Turmeric; this is one of those spices that has great health benefits (anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory), hence I look for opportunities to add it to my daily intake. More about Turmeric on future posts.)

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