Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Meatless Monday Menu
I am taking up the Meatless Monday gauntlet thrown down by Michael Pollan. We eat vegetarian pretty frequently here so that is not the challenging part, but planning a specific day to eat a specific way, eh I'm not so good at that.
Monday's Menu was Black beans and yellow rice and a simple salad, but tricked out with some yummy additions.
The black beans were made in my handy dandy new pressure cooker, a terrific appliance for the forgetful mama. I sorted and rinsed the beans and added them to the pot with a small onion, a single shallot and 2 smashed cloves of garlic. I also added a handful of dried oregano. Follow your pressure cooker's instructions on how much water to add and how long to cook. In my cooker it took 30 minutes after the cooker came to pressure.
Meanwhile I melted some butter in a large skillet. When melted and foamy I added the package of yellow rice and let it brown and toast as I quickly chopped a half of an onion and one large carrot in my handy dandy chopper. I drained a can of chopped tomatoes into a measuring cup and added enough water to accommodate the rice recipe. I threw in the drained tomatoes and stirred and then added the tomato juice and water (after heating it to boiling in the microwave). Then I threw on the lid and turned off the heat entirely. I have a copper core sauce pans that retain heat very well, so not sure if that would work for everyone. Another nice addition to the rice is a cup or so of frozen green peas in the last 5 minutes or so of cooking.
When the beans were done cooking I added salt to taste. I never add salt to the beans during cooking because it can inhibit them from softening. The rice was also ready at the same time. I served the beans and rice with a sprinkling of cheese on top, sometimes I also serve it with a dollop of plain greek style yogurt as well. The kids also got half a banana with their green salads.
All in all, even my meat loving hubby thought the food was great. By adding sufficient spices and vegetables to these plain foods you can create great flavor and texture as well as nutrition.
What are your favorite beans and rice combinations? Red beans and rice? Cuban con gris? West african style beans and rice? Please leave a good recipe in the comments!