Sitting, reminiscing on the porch with an old friend is something you have to do sometimes. Last weekend, I had a college buddy of mine stop by before she heads off down South. She’s moving, which makes me super sad, but I know she’s going to love it. We spent a good portion of Sunday morning sitting in the rocking chairs on my porch, just enjoying the spring sun and chatting about how much fun we had when we both lived abroad in France together.
We hit on topics like tram rides before French class, walking across Grenoble, lost bags of chocolate left on trains, and how I unintentionally helped her end her vegetarian streak. There was bacon involved in the last one, because, like I’ve said before, no one can truly ever say no to bacon. Let’s just say that I may have suggested she try some bacon at breakfast one tried Sunday college morning, and the rest is history. I feel slightly sorry for that, hence me almost always trying to make a vegetarian meal when she visits.
That’s how this rice and beans dish came about. Don’t tell her I do this, she would probably rather I cook something with meat, to be fair.
Spicy Rice and Beans
1 package of Knorr Spanish Rice, cooked and set aside
1 15-ounce can of low sodium black beans, drained
1 cup diced white onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Cook rice and set aside, covered to keep warm. In a separate pan heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onions and pepper. Saute for about 8 minutes, or until onion is starting to brown and caramelize. Add drained black beans and seasonings. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until beans are heated through. They may start to fall apart, that’s OK. The beans will still taste as good. Serve beans over rice and enjoy.
I need to get back into my workouts. I spent some time just slacking off. I forgot to go to the gym, let myself be distracted by my friends, and started eyeing the cookies at the grocery store with much less restraint than before.
What I’ve determined is that I wasn’t putting more time into making satisfying meals that would hold me over from lunch until dinner time. If a tummy is full, then there is no need to try to satisfy it with sugary snacks. So I aimed to make a rice dish that I could take to work if I pre-made it.
It all starts with a short cut – mushroom rice. Why not take a shortcut?
As the rice cooked, in a separate pan I sauteed a little more than a cup of chopped broccoli (including the stems chopped), a quarter cup of diced mushrooms, one link of pre-cooked spinach chicken sausage, and olive oil. I cooked that for about 8 minutes, or until the sausage was getting a golden color and the broccoli was still hard, but heated through. That entire mixture was folded into the (by now) finished rice.
It stays well for another day, so if made the night before, it’s perfect for a take to work lunch. If you portion it out, it’t fairly low calorie, too!
Okay, I might have gotten lazy on this one. Went to the gym with my roomie and said I wanted rice for dinner. I’ve been on this no meat kick, and somehow started eating mushrooms. Also, I’m finding it’s easier to make food when I don’t have to wait for chicken to cook all the way through or the meat to stop mooing. So I decided to make dinner… easy rice from a bag. But apparently that wasn’t good enough. Seemed like I had to at least pretend I was going to cook…
This is the final product. A delicious mass of ricey goodness.
So I started with dicing up the last of the onion in the fridge, about a quarter of an onion, maybe a little less. Tossed that in a pan with olive oil to caramelize the onions. Right at the end, I added about a quarter cup of chopped mushrooms to the pan to cook them through. In another pan, I made this:
See what I meant about easy rice….
Cooked the rice through, then tossed in the onions and mushrooms. Delicious!
nom nom nom