This has been one of Those Weeks. The kind in which just making it to the dinner table at the end of the day feels like an accomplishment. So any meals hav to be (1) fast and (2) made of ingredients already in our pantry or freezer.
Our trusty black beans and rice recipe fit the bill on both counts. You'd probably never serve it guests--it's too ugly for that. But it's warm, comforting, filling and beyond easy to make. The most complicated step is chopping up an onion.
It's really not that spicy, despite its name. I use a minimum of cayenne pepper to keep it kid-friendly. Upping the rice-to-bean mixture ratio also helps if children complain about it being too spicy. But everyone ate it and was happy this time around. It pairs well with a green salad or even just a bowl of baby carrots. We also sometimes substitute cornbread for the rice, just for a change.
But not this week. I am way too tired to make cornbread right now.
Recipe below, plus more meatless meals at EnviroMom...
SPICY BLACK BEANS AND RICE
(from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook)
1/2 c chopped onion (1 medium)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil or cooking oil
1 15 oz can (or 1 3/4 c cooked) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1/8 to 1/4 t ground red pepper
2 c hot cooked brown or long grain rice
In a medium saucepan cook the onion and garlic in hot oil till tender but not brown. Carefully stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, and ground red pepper. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
To serve, mound rice on serving plates; make a well in each mound. Spoon the black bean mixture into wells. If desired, sprinkle with chopped onion, cilantro, and/or sour cream.
Makes 4 main-dish servings.