Posts Tagged black beans

Stretch your dollar with flavorful rice and beans

Every Sunday I cook up a few dishes for lunch throughout the week. It takes a few hours and a little planning, but saves my sanity and figure by providing nutritious dishes during my busy workday. This week I was inspired by dry beans in my pantry. A quick peek in the vegetable drawer of the fridge and there you go, this dish was born.

Simple, yet delicious.

To me, simplicity is the best part of comfort food. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy to be flavorful. This recipe serves four and can be made for less than $10. If this were mid-summer, it would be much cheaper given that I have raised garden beds in my back yard. Tomatoes, peppers and veggies are plentiful during the summer and always taste better than anything in the grocery store. If you don’t grow a garden, you can always pick up fresh veggies from roadside stands or farmers’ markets. Odds are the produce will have just come from the fields just hours before you paid for it.

In addition to veggies, beans are inexpensive, go a long way and can be added to lots of dishes–soups, quesadillas, salads, etc. With the leftover beans from this Sunday, I added them to a Southwest salad of greens, onions, grilled chicken and corn with crispy tortilla strips. I urge you to try this recipe and be creative with the extra beans in some new dishes of your own! I’d love to hear what you whip up.

Melissa’s Rice and Beans

  • 2 cups dry black beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 package salt pork (near the pork in the meat aisle)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock

Add the beans, water, salt pork and seasonings to a stock pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until beans are soft. In the meantime, add the rice and chicken stock to another pot and simmer for 45 minutes or so until all the stock is absorbed. In a serving dish, layer the rice, beans and vegetables.

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Confetti Chicken, that’s what’s for dinner

Earlier this week it hit 70+ degrees here in Missouri, which needless to say was welcome and wonderful. It made me long for summer vegetables and grilled meat. I thought of making burgers for dinner, but decided against them. Ribs? Nah, too much work. Fish? I wasn’t in the mood for it. Another perk of being the cook is if you aren’t in the mood, then you don’t have to make it. So chicken it was. Confetti chicken to be exact.

Confetti chicken is easy to make and not very expensive, a great combination in my house. Two chicken breasts can feed the three of us, add in a few baked potatoes and voila, we have a meal. I find that my son will eat chicken most any way I fix it, so long as it’s not too spicy. This recipe has a nice amount of heat which is tempered by the cheese and veggies on top. I hope you’ll give this one a try, I’ll bet you’ll add it to your rotation as well.

Confetti Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 salsa
  • 1 cup colby-jack cheese, shredded
  • Tortilla strips

Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts. Add the jerk seasoning on both sides of the breasts. Add them to a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, add the corn, beans, red onion and salsa to a bowl.

Once cooked through, divide the cheese in half and put it over each piece of chicken. Place the chicken back in the oven for 3-5 minutes until it melts. Bring it out of the oven and place each piece on a dinner plate. Divide the corn and bean mixture, adding it to the chicken.  Garnish with tortilla strips.

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Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

I really like Mexican food. It’s pretty easy to make and is usually a hit in my house, which includes a 5-year-old who thinks the world could survive on macaroni and cheese. Since I’m not willing to serve mac and cheese every night, my boy is forced to eat other meals. While making up this week’s menu, it was little surprise that chicken and black bean enchiladas made the short list.

It seems every time I go to a Mexican restaurant I order enchiladas–chicken, shrimp, cheese, beans, you name it. It’s the old standby and for good reason, they’re delicious. Here in Columbia, I think Rio Grande has some of the best ones yet. I attribute it to their sauce.  And since I probably can’t get the proprietary recipe, I had to come up with my own sauce recipe and I’m happy to share it.

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 8 whole jalapenos
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups enchilada sauce* (see recipe below)
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Boil the chicken in a pot of water with 6 halved jalapenos. Once the chicken is cooked, take off the heat and shred. Rinse the beans and add to a bowl with the chicken. Pour 1 cup of sauce over the chicken and beans. In a skillet, add the olive oil, onions and two diced jalapenos. Once tender, remove from heat. On each tortilla, spread the chicken and bean mixture along the center, top with onions and jalapenos, then finish off with a quarter cup of cheese. Roll up tortillas tightly.

In an 8×8 baking dish, pour one cup enchilada sauce in bottom of dish. Place four rolled up tortillas in the dish. Pour two cups of enchilada sauce over top. Add two cups of shredded cheese on the top.

 I usually put aluminum foil over top so the cheese doesn’t brown too fast. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

Enchilada Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 4 chipotles en adobo
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cups chicken stock

In a large high-sided pan, add olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Once tender, add tomatoes, paste, chipotles en adobo and chicken stock. Now add the spices.

Simmer 15-20 minutes. Now add the entire mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until thick and smooth. This recipe makes 4 cups.

Melissa’s Notes:

Sometimes I double this recipe and freeze the extra in Zip-loc gallon bags. They lay flat and take up less space than containers. It’s a nice treat to have onhand when I’m feeling lazy but want something tasty to eat.

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