Hey Everybody! Before I begin my third entry, I just wanted to thank everyone again for reading. Like I said before, I love getting your feed back. It lets me know exactly what it is you all want to hear about. So keep those comments coming! Also, to the right of the screen you will see an option to become a “follower”. When you become a follower, you can create a setting so that you will receive emails informing you when I have created a new entry. You can follow anonymously, meaning your name will not appear on my page under “my followers”, or you can follow publicly. Even if you do follow publicly, you can make up a user name so no one will even know it is you.
So getting on with my blog, I have just returned from a short stay at my family’s vacation cabin in the Poconos. It is a beautiful place to be. You are constantly surrounded by nature. (Here is a picture of a wild turkey!) At home, I usually like to go for a run in the morning before it gets too hot outside. But in the Poconos, I am able to run anytime of the day because the trees create shade and keep me cool. The best part is that after you run, you can jump right into the lake!
After a long drive home, my mom K and I were not in the mood to make dinner. So, we turned to one of our easy and quick favorites, rice and beans! Our rice and beans recipe is perfect for those who are trying to turn away from ordering take out, and want start to creating their own delicious meals! To make it even easier, you can make this dish in the beginning of the week, and then you have leftovers for lunch for the next couple of days! Making your own lunch is not only more nutritious then ordering lunch, it can also save you a ton of money, and help you waste less food!
To make Rice and Beans you will need……
1-2 Tbs of canola oil
1 large yellow onion
1 can of black beans (If you do not have black beans, red will work as well)
1 jar of salsa
¾ cup of instant brown rice
1 cup of frozen corn (optional)
¼ to ½ of a cup of canned of drained black olives (optional)
To begin, start cooking the brown rice, following the recipe on the box. Usually, I like to make brown rice that is not instant. However, keeping quick cooking brown rice in the house is definitely an easy option for these kinds of situations.
Next, we move on to the beans. Similar to the brown rice, I also prefer to cook my own beans, instead of using canned. However, it is great to keep canned beans in the house for a quick and easy option. When using canned beans, open the can, and pour the beans into a colander. Beginto rinse the canned beans with cold water until you no longer see any bubbles. This helps remove everything that was sitting with the beans in the can. Place the beans to the side for later use.
If you are using black olives, rinse them and cut them in half. (You can even use your fingers to easily split them!) Place them to the side.
Heat a large pan on medium to medium high heat.
Now, I am about to share how I learned to dice an onion!
Step one: Cut the tip off of the onion, creating a flat surface.
Step two: Stand the onion on the flat surface that you created, cut the onion in half (through the root), and remove the skin.
Step three: Take each onion half, and cut vertical slits. DO NOT cut through the root. That is what is holding the onion together!
Step four: If the onion is large, hold the top of the onion, curl your fingers, and CAREFULLY make a horizontal cut through the middle of the union. Again, do not cut through the roo
Step five: Hold the back of the onion (with your fingers curled), and begin to slice the onion.
Now you have a beautiful diced onion!
*Note: You can vary the size the pieces of by changing the size of the slices you make in the onion. For “half moons”, begin slicing after step two.
Now that your onion is diced, add the onion and canola oil to the pan. Cook the onion until it appears to be translucent.
Add the cooked rice, beans, corn, olives, and almost all jar of salsa (use your own judgment) to the pan, and turn the heat to “low”. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes to let the flavors marinate.
While you are waiting, you can make our much healthier version of sour cream!
Mix your desired amount of plain greek yogurt with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice! This gives the greek yogurt more of a tart taste, making it the perfect substitute for sour cream! (With way less calories!)
When your rice and beans are ready, spoon it into a bowl and top it off with anything you like. Our greek yogurt sour cream, extra salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, or scoop some up with a couple of organic corn chips!
If you are still trying to get used to whole grains, or you are serving some picky eaters, use ½ brown rice and ½ white rice (Or even ¾ brown rice, and ¼ white). Now I can’t guarantee it, but with all of the great flavors this dish has, I would not be surprised if they didn’t even notice the brown rice!
So there it is. I just officially posted my first recipe. How does it sound? Does anyone think they will give it a try? Do any of you have any ideas for variations? How about you keep me posted, and I will keep you posted. It’s a deal.