It seems we have had an early arrival of fall this year. And since living in Colorado this is the first year I’m truly excited for it. Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones changing things within me. Normally I want the heat to keep on coming. This week has been cloudy, wet, cozy, and magical. I feel a season of soups coming on. Earthy flavors and veggies. I’m getting inspired to finally attempt my skills at bread baking too. Josh and I have always created a good space within our household but I have been feeling the urge to make it even more homey. I do know this is part of the pregnancy fun. I love being home these days. It feels so nice to relax on the couch with Josh or to read for awhile in bed. Our kitties have been super affectionate recently as well. Things have been peaceful around here and I’m truly enjoying it. If only we had a fireplace to add to the experience come winter.
Anyway during my months on non-cooking Josh made me a few rounds of rice and beans. I haven’t been eating much meat so I know I need to be conscious of my protein intake, so beans are a staple. Now that I’m back in the kitchen I figured I’d make my version of this dish for Josh. He loves rice and beans and granted I do too, but he could eat them every week if I was down for it. I prefer a little variety in my food life. This recipe is along the lines of one that I was taught by my friend’s mom back in 5th grade. Of course I have modified it to suit my needs but the style of cooking is the same. Both the rice and beans are flavored which adds to the deliciousness of this dish. One of my key ingredients is achiote. It’s a spice we learned about while in panama. The seeds of the plant are coated in a red ‘substance’ which is a seasoning that adds a nice flavor to dishes. In Panama they strictly use it for meat, (they don’t know how to step beyond what they know). To use it, heat up some oil and add the seeds. Once the red coating has infused into the oil the seeds are left uncoated and black. The seeds are then scooped out the oil and discarded. You are left with a beautiful red oil infused with a mild flavor…
BEANS & RICE RECIPE
- large onion, chopped
- garlic, minced
- Better Than Bouillon chicken base
- olive oil
- large can of black beans and their liquid
- avocado, to serve
- In a large saucepan heat up a bit of olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium low heat until softened. Add a teaspoon of chicken base along with a bit of water (maybe 1/8 cup). Let the water cook off while the chicken base cooks into the onions. Scoop out a 1/3-1/2 of the onion mixture and set aside.
- Meanwhile in a pot (to cook rice) add a bit of olive oil and some achiote seeds. I used about a teaspoon. Cook until the red color has infused the oil and left the seeds black. Scoop out the seeds and continue to cook the rice according to the instructions coming with the rice. If you don’t have achiote you can use whatever you’d like. Maybe no seasoning or a bit of dried oregano or a bit of the chicken base or some spike seasoning.
- To the saucepan with the onion mixture add the large can of beans and their liquid. Bring to simmer and reduce heat to low. Allow to cook until rice is finished. Taste test and season more if necessary. I added a bit more of the chicken base instead of using any additional salt.
- Once the rice is finished fluff with a fork and mix in the reserved onion mixture.
- Serve rice on the bottom with beans and some of their liquid on top. Add some fresh avocado if desired.