My husband has often talked about a side dish of rice and beans that he had growing up in Bolivia. Of course he had no idea what was in it so I”ve never had much to go on. I”ve tried many recipes in an effort to recreate the dish but none of them were quite right.
Last week we were out of groceries, it was killer hot and I didn”t feel like running to the grocery store with both kids in tow. So, while the kids played outside I soaked up the sun and thought about what kind of meal I could make out of our pantry staples. It”s a tough job but somebody”s gotta do it. ;P
This was the recipe I came up with based on what we had on hand and what sounded good to me at the time. And you know what? I nailed it. I”m sure It”s not exactly the same as the original but my husband loved it and said it tasted just like he imagined. And now I know why he talked about it so much; it”s delicious in its simplicity. Forget all those involved recipes I tried before, simple is almost always best.
This is one of those recipes that tastes great served warm or at room temperature so it”s perfect for those lazy BBQ dinners. But, I also plan on serving it often alongside our favourite Mexican meals.
Mexican Rice with Beans
3.5 cups hot cooked rice
1 can black beans (1 cup)
1 cup shredded cheese
1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies
1 cup tomato sauce, warmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Stir all ingredients together until evenly mixed and cheese is melted.
Every year I get more and more excited about cooking with the seasons and enjoying fruits and vegetables at their peak. We’ve been buying strawberries almost every week since they started showing up in the grocery stores. I’m sooo ready to stop buying apples and pears for a while.
My husband usually doesn’t like strawberry salads but we’ve had this one quite a few times already and he loves it. As do I. The flavours meld so wonderfully together and just sing of spring.
I created this recipe for my friend Aimée from Simple Bites who’s having a Salute Spring! series on her blog this week. Make sure to check it out for more yummy ways to celebrate spring.
“I have an early childhood memory of stumbling upon some wild strawberries on the top of a hill. They were so teeny tiny but I remember them being the best strawberries I had ever tasted. I’m sure in the mind of a four year old discovering wild strawberries and picking them on your own automatically qualifies them as tasting The Best!”
You can read more and get the recipe on Simple Bites. I’d love to see you there!
Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner and although I don”t make a huge feast for just the three of us, I do have fun making a few things here and there to remind me of home.
A turkey dinner is just not complete without some Cranberry Jelly (or sauce, depending on your preference). I never realized just how easy it was to make until I stumbled across this recipe on Martha Stewart.
There seems to be an error in the original recipe as it didn”t set up when done as written (and from reading the comments I wasn”t the only one with this problem) so I reheated the “jelly” and added another tablespoon of gelatin and that gave the perfect consistency for me (this is how it is written below).
I really love the addition of the ginger. It rounds out the flavour of the cranberries and adds something a little special. If you don”t like ginger you could substitute orange zest, or leave it out completely to enjoy a clean cranberry taste.
Any leftovers would be great on freshly baked scones with a pad of butter and would add some life to leftover turkey sandwiches.
I don”t think I”ll ever go back to buying the canned stuff. It”s just too easy and delicious to make it yourself.
This is a twist off of my mom”s Broccoli Salad recipe. Hers is packed full of yummy goodness like grapes, sesame seeds, grated carrots and crumbled bacon. Although it is one of my favorite salads to eat, I”m much to lazy to make it for a weeknight dinner. This is my simplified version with a bit different ingredients which I think is just as yummy.
The dressing on this salad is sweet and tangy lending itself to all sorts of fruit and nut combinations. You could really mix this up with any type of fruit and nuts you like. Strawberries and almonds would be a nice change. Or, how about apples and walnuts. Mmm.. apple season. I”m actually getting quite excited about fall and all it”s produce.
I chose to fill mine with broccoli, mandarin oranges, cashews, dried cranberries and red onion. It”s a stunning combination. And, this is a great do ahead too, although you”ll want to add the nuts just before serving as they tend to get soggy.
What yummy combinations would your salad consist of?
Mandarin Orange Broccoli Salad
1 head of broccoli florets (4 cups)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
pinch dry mustard
Place broccoli, oranges, cashews, onion and cranberries in a large bowl. Set aside.
Mix together mayo, sugar, vinegar, oil and mustard. Pour over salad ingredients and mix lightly to coat.
* If making ahead leave out cashews until just before serving or they will get soggy.
Our family is in the midst of kitchen renovations. We started tearing out the kitchen cupboards last weekend and are currently in the process of laying the flooring so we can get all the cupboards and appliances in over this coming weekend.
Right now, I”m doing food prep on the dining room table, dishes in the bathroom sink and haven”t done any laundry in almost a week (laundry hookups are in the kitchen). I”m more then ecstatic to get my new kitchen but I really don”t mind living in limbo. It makes it feel much more like home because we LOVE renovating!
This Barbecue Bean Salad is so easy to make and perfect to go along with whatever you have on the grill for supper. It can be made ahead but I highly advise tossing the tortilla chips in at the last minute or they”ll get soggy.
Thankfully my fridge and stove are so small that we can drag them in and out of the kitchen as needed, so I cooked up the dressing and then started the oven to slow-cook some beef dip to serve up beside. Such a perfect dinner at the (near) end of a hard working day.
P.S. To satisfy your curiosity (because I know I would be) I”ll be posting before and after pictures once the kitchen is complete.
I made this salad for my company over the weekend. I had plans to make a couple different salads but we all liked this one so much that we couldn’t seem to stay away from it. Sorry Mr. Caesar, you have been trumped.
This is my favourite homemade vinaigrette so far. Most are too oily for my taste, but this one melds together so perfectly it’s hard to tell the ingredients apart. I was quite surprised at how fruity the vinaigrette tasted. In fact, I was asked what type of fruit was in the dressing. I suspect that could be in part, because of it’s lovely pink hue.
It pairs wonderfully with a simple salad of greens, fruit and nuts. It also makes a wonderful dip for fresh fruit. I seriously can’t get enough of it. If a dressing is so good that I can’t stop eating my fruits and veggies, then I know its a keeper.