Last week I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired about cooking new dishes. It was a week of easy meals like pasta and dahl. Bog standard comfort food. But on Tuesday I decided to try some new Asian dishes to celebrate the warmer weather the forecasters had promised. It was not to be. Nipping out at lunchtime, I found the weather was cool and I just wanted stodgy heaviness rather than spicy lightness.
Fellow bloggers often help pull me out of a hole with great inspiration. In this instance, I was rescued by Sophie’s list of links which included a link to an article on Rice and Beans. I have heard people talk about Rice and Beans like it is a traditional dish. When I searched for it on the internet, I found that Wikipedia had an entry on it. But there is a disclaimer about the entry being about the Americas and that there are versions of this dish all over the world (such as dahl and rice). What I had in mind was beans and vegies tossed through the rice.
One of my recent favourite search engines is FoodBlogSearch and it was here that I found Vegan Yum Yum’s three versions of Rice and Beans: Rainbow Rice and Beans, Tahini Lemon Rice and Beans, and Italian Rice on Beans. All packed full of vegies, flavours and great ideas! Using these recipes I looked in my fridge and devised my own version that meant I didn’t even have to stop off at the supermarket on the way home. What I love about these recipes is that they give scope for lots of interesting versions. The tahini lemon dressing is high on my list of must-trys!
I added less flavouring than Vegan Yum Yum and found that the cheese or nutritional yeast flakes were necessary at the end. E loved it but had to add Tabasco Sauce as per usual. The second night when we had a little less leftover, I served it with some vegetarian sausages and chutney. As main meal or side dish, it was a healthy hearty dish that could be put together easily and quickly.
Italian Rice and Beans
(Inspired by Vegan Yum Yum)
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 dessertspoon of oil from semi-dried tomatoes (or olive oil)
½ red onion, chopped
½ red capsicum, chopped
1 green capsicum, chopped
1½ cups cooked black beans (or 400g tin of beans, drained)
400g tin of corn kernels
Pinch of salt
4 semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
8 kalamata olives, chopped
Juice and zest of ½ medium lemon
Handful of parsley
Black pepper, freshly ground
Parmesan cheese to serve (or cheddar cheese or nutritional yeast flakes)
Cook brown rice as you normally do – I boil it in plenty of water for about 30 minutes. Gently toast pinenuts in a dry frypan and stir frequently.
Meanwhile chop vegies and then fry onions in oil for about 3 minutes or till starting to soften. Add capsicums, beans, corn and salt and fry til just warming up. Turn off heat and keep aside til rice is cooked.
When rice is cooked and drained, return it to a large saucepan (or use frypan with onion mixture if large) and add onion mixture, toasted pinenuts, semi-dried tomatoes, olives, juice and zest of lemon, parsley and black pepper. Serve hot with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
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Against the Modern World: Sol Invictus
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