Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Beans and Rice

The cookies are all out of the house and I had lunch with Lynda at Tuscany on Taylor Street so it's time to get back to healthy eating. I had some pinto beans in the freezer so I defrosted them and made one of my standbys. It's really good over brown rice. I'm writing a post on how to cook brown rice for Fitfare. I'll point you to it when it's up. The cookbook site is supposed to be up, too, but I don't know if it has made its official debut yet.

I usually add tomatoes to my beans (as much for the extra vegetable as for the taste), but the beans weren't totally defrosted when I needed to add them so I couldn't drain them. I thought there might be too much liquid if I added the tomatoes. It tastes good either way. I adapted the recipe based on some pinto beans I had at my brother's house over the holidays a couple of years ago.

I've been cooking beans from "scratch" for the past couple of years now and I've gotten pretty good at it. They're tender but hold their shape well. They freeze well, too, so I get two meals out of one pound. I actually bit the bullet and bought a two-pound bag of pinto beans last time I was at the store. I cooked some chickpeas over the weekend: half are going into a chickpea spinach zucchini soup I'm working on and the other half are in the freezer.

The chickpea zucchini soup is starting to smell really good. I'll let you know how it comes out.

Home Cookin 4.2 Chapter: Soups and Stews


1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced*
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
3 cups cooked pinto beans with or without liquid, or 2 15-oz. cans, rinsed and drained
1 28-oz. can tomatoes (optional if you use liquid from the beans)
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
3 c. cooked brown rice

*Fresh or canned, although lately the fresh have had no heat to them so I pretty much always use canned.

Heat oil in saucepan. When oil is hot, add onions and cook for a minute or so, then add garlic and jalapeno. When onions are translucent, after about 5 mins., add the cumin and oregano.

Stir once and add the pinto beans, tomatoes (if there is no bean liquid), cilantro, salt and pepper. Adjust for cumin and oregano.

Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Get the rice started just before you add the beans to the onions and garlic. The beans simmer while the rice is cooking, and are done at about the same time.

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