I haven’t posted a recipe in a while and that’s partly because everything I’ve been making is so simple I’d feel silly posting about it. And the quality of the food pictures is terrible. But I’ll share anyway, because simplicity, although unimpressive, is a good thing. Fast, cheap, easy – those things are important when you’re busy, right?
Here are some super simple dinners we’ve been having around 3 times a week. Derek’s usual response to “What do you want for dinner?” is “Rice and beans”. So I make one of a few variations on that theme.
Components I always have around:
- Big bags of rice
- Cans of black beans, pinto beans, or black-eyed peas
- Canned diced tomatoes or fresh paste tomatoes
- Seasoning blends
- Vegetable bouillon
Variation #1: Black beans, rice, cilantro, salsa, avocado
Pretty straightforward. I often mince broccoli and put it in with the rice for the final bit of cooking time to steam. Sometimes I don’t even bother heating the black beans, just rinse them and add them in.
Variation #2: Southern-style black-eyed peas, rice, and greens
I saute minced onions and garlic in vegetable broth of bouillon and water. Add canned tomatoes, black-eyed peas or pinto beans, and 2 tsp of Cajun seasoning. Cook for a bit then add a large amount of cooking greens like collards, kale, or chard. Add to rice. Sometimes I top with avocado.
Variation #3: Stew with chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and sweet potatoes over rice
This comes from the recipes of The Starch Solution. There are some badass recipes in there if you love starches as much as we do. There’s something about combining potatoes or sweet potatoes and rice that is really satisfying.
Basically it involves 2 cans chickpeas, 5 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes, 2 cans diced tomatoes, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, diced green beans, and peanut butter. All made into a stew. It’s simple to make – purchase the book if you want details, I highly recommend it.
Variation #4: Add MORE starches to any of the above. Like roasted plantains or yuca.
I cut plantains into rounds and toss with Adobo seasoning and paprika, then roast in the oven at 400 degrees F, flipping halfway through. And sometimes I make a dipping sauce for them of a mixture of salsa and low-sodium vegan barbecue sauce.