Monday, July 16, 2012

Southern Style Rice and Beans

This colorful dish is perfect for potlucks and dinner parties, because the carnivores treat it as a nice side dish, while us veggies know that with rice, beans and vegetables, this actually works as a satisfying entree.  It's just as delicious at room temperature as it is warm, and you can make it more or less spicy based on your preferences. The recipe is from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook.

Southern Style Rice and Beans

Ingredients (for 4 entree portions): 

- 1 cup white rice, uncooked
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 1 chili or jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped (if you don't like heat, you can leave this out. If you like more heat, leave some or all of the seeds and ribs in the pepper)
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
-  Salt and pepper
- Seasoning: you can either use about 1 tsp of a prepared cajun-spice mix, or you can mix together any or all of the following spices and season to your taste: garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, dried oregano, dried thyme.
- Fresh basil, chopped, to garnish (optional)


1. Cook the rice according to instructions either in a rice cooker or in a pot with water, until just tender. When it's cooked, place in a large serving bowl or dish.

2. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Cook the bell peppers and onion for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften (but they shouldn't get really soft), stirring occasionally.

3. Add the tomatoes and chili pepper and keep cooking for another 2 minutes. Add the kidney beans and keep cooking just to heat the beans.

4. Add the vegetables to the rice and mix well. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cajun spice/spice mix.  Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

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