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Thursday, August 13, 2009

recipe of the week: cuban black beans and rice with balsamic avocado dressing

my 1/2 brother is 1/2 cuban - and happens to make delicious cuban food. he made a yummy combination like this one for our family about a year ago and i've been craving it ever since. so here's my version - might just be my favorite food right now. too good for words. and it may be one of the prettiest things i've ever put in my mouth - look at those colors!

cuban black beans and yellow rice with balsamic avocado dressing
4-6 servings
black beans:
1/3 medium onion
1 green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
dash of crushed red pepper (optional - my husband said it needed a tiny kick)
3 cans black beans, one drained
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few dashes of black pepper

run onion, bell pepper and garlic through a small food chopper. heat a splash of olive oil in a medium/large pot. add onion, bell pepper, garlic and crushed red pepper (optional) and let cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until it has had time to soften. add black beans, cumin, garlic salt, salt and pepper. stir. let simmer on medium low until beans are heated through - 15-30 minutes.

yellow rice (adapted from emeril lagasse's from here - or make your own or buy some!):
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch cinnamon
3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bullion
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups long grain rice

in a medium saucepan, heat the turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon over low heat until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds. add the water, salt, and butter and bring to a boil. add the rice and stir well. cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer. cook, covered, without stirring until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

remove from the heat and let sit, covered, without stirring, for 10 minutes. fluff with a fork.

balsamic avocado dressing:

approximately equal amounts of chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion and sliced avocado. (not the best the next day, but if you're going to eat it all without leftovers i'd use about 4 medium/large tomatoes, 2/3 of a red onion and 2 avocados - cut that in half if you're going for leftovers the next day and make a fresh batch of dressing to go with.) cover in a drizzle of olive oil and drench in balsamic vinegar. stir well and let marinate for a few minutes before serving.

put beans on rice and top with dressing. add additional balsamic vinegar to taste if you'd like.


Sharon said...

Ooh, I love Cuban food but we dont get too much on this side of the country. This looks amazing.

Sorry to tease you with all the feta, but I hope your remaining weeks go by smoothly & quickly :)

Janssen said...

Wow, this looks amazing. It's going on the menu for next week!

Janssen said...

Just FINALLY made this tonight. VERY good. Definitely a repeater :)

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!