SLOW COOKER MEXICAN RICE AND BEANS

With this recipe, we used a 3 quart slow cooker.  Each slow cooker seems to have it's own unique heat.  In determining the cook time, I would recommend using a 3 quart slow cooker.  This lovely side dish was cooked in 2 hrs. and 15 minutes.  It makes a nice lunch with a salad, or a lovely side dish to any Mexican flavoured main dishes.  Adding sliced avocados, salsa, plain yogurt are nice accompaniments.

2 tblsp. Avocado oil

3/4 cup long grain basmati rice, well rinsed

1 small shallot, diced

1/4 of a green pepper, diced

2/3 cup diced tomato

14 oz can of black beans rinsed well

1-2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tblsp. warm water

Plug in the slow cooker, and preheat on low.  Heat up a saute pan on low medium heat with the Avocado oil.  Add the vegetables and saute 5 minutes.  Add in the seasonings and rice, and saute for another 3 minutes.  Transfer the rice vegetables to a slow cooker, add in the black beans and pour in the water.  Stir gently lid on and cook on low for 2 hrs. 15 minutes.

 

 

When you are looking for a hearty breakfast you can not beat Huevos Rancheros.  It is a filling, tasty delight with so much going on.  You can do fried eggs, braised eggs, poached or scrambled any way you choose it will be mighty delicious.

Finally, after many years of searching, we found the best corn tortillas.  They are made by a Canadian company by the name of Casa Bonita.  When heated in a dry cast iron pan, they stay soft, pliable and are delicious.  No more hard, dry, crumbly corn tortillas!

2 free range eggs, I braised mine but cook any way you prefer

1 corn tortilla

1 small green onion, sliced

2 Tblsp. minced cilantro include the stems

1/2 cup re fried beans, canned or homemade

1/2 an avocado, sliced lengthwise

grated cheddar cheese

salsa

Heat up a cast iron pan on medium high heat.  Meanwhile, cook your eggs and keep warm, and heat up the re fried beans on low heat and keep warm.

Place the corn tortilla in the hot cast iron pan and cook about 20 seconds each side, then place on a plate.  Slather on the re fried beans with a sprinkling of green onion, cilantro and cheddar cheese.  Top with the eggs adding remainder cheese, green onion and cilantro.  Top with salsa, and add sliced avocados. Such a hearty, yummy, satisfying, breakfast.

 

 

This was a healthy, mighty flavorful vegan/vegetarian stew.  There are a lot of options you could use with this recipe in terms of vegetables: carrots, broccoli, peas, red pepper, cauliflower, spinach to name a few.  I used what I had on hand so by all means adjust this recipe to suit your own needs/tastes.

While we made this Vegan/Vegetarian it could easily be made with chicken stock and cut up chicken breasts - again lots of flavor.  Plus the added tumeric with the ginger gives a good immune boost especially when in the depths of freezing winter.  There is nothing better than a good curry during winter.  Any way you make it, a hearty, healthy lunch or dinner.

2 Tblsp. Avocado oil

1 small onion, diced

2 minced garlic cloves

1 tsp. finely minced ginger

1/4 cup diced green pepper

1 stalk of celery, sliced on diagonal, and add minced leaves

3 small swiss chard leaves and stalk, finely sliced in ribbons

2-3 roma tomatoes, diced

3/4 lb. diced potatoes, we used red fingerling - any potato that holds up well steamed/simmered

1 cup vegetable stock, divided

1/2 tsp. tumeric, 3 tsp. Madras curry powder, salt to taste

big handfull of finely chopped fresh cilantro, and fresh basil

400 ml can full fat organic coconut milk - guar gum, sugar free (we use this brand)

398 ml. can organic chick peas, drained and rinsed well

1 Tblsp. potato starch

Heat up a large pan/braiser with the Avocado oil on low medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger, green pepper and celery to the pan.  Saute until fragrant and the onions are translucent - about 4 minutes.  Then add the swiss chard, tomatoes, tumeric, and Madras curry powder, salt and continue to saute until the swiss chard starts to welt.  Pour in 3/4 cup vegetable stock, potatoes and stir to combine.  Turn down to low and lid on keep on a low simmer stirring occasionally for the next 15-18 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.

Next add in the fresh cilantro and basil, and drained chick peas mixing well.  To the remainder 1/4 cup of stock add 1 Tblsp. potato starch stirring to incorporate.  Add to the curry dish stirring well, then pour in the coconut milk, again stirring well until it begins to thicken.

Keep on a low simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring throughout, and serve hot over cooked rice.

 

 

 

This simple dish is a great way to use up some pantry ingredients as well as providing a hearty lunch or dinner.  We usually do 2-3 vegetarian dinners each week to maintain overall health, and it helps with the costs too!

1-1/2 Tblsp. Avocado oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1/2 a stalk of celery with leaves, finely diced

1/2 cup diced red and or green pepper

14 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice

1 Tblsp. tomato paste

14 oz. can drained and rinsed pinto beans

1 Tblsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

grated aged cheddar cheese

chopped green onion

cooked rice

Heat up a 3 quart frying pan, dutch oven or braiser on low medium heat with the Avocado oil.  Add in the onions, green/red peppers, celery and leaves sauteing for 5 minutes.  Pour in the tomatoes, apple cider vinegar and add all the seasonings, bay leaf,  stirring well.

Bring to a good simmer, and after 5 minutes add in the tomato paste, stir well and cover with a lid.  Turn down to minimum and simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add in the drained pinto beans, lid on and heat through another 5-10 min.

Serve over rice with a topping of grated cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of green onion.

 

 

Before I get into this recipe I must show you my newest kitchen addition:

A Cast Iron Enameled 3.5 quart Brasier.  I am in serious luv with this baby.  It is great for Danish Frikadiller, seafood dishes, Chinese Food, Curry bowls etc. etc.

Recently we discovered combining rice and quinoa is a winning combination - textures, flavors, as well as a great protein.  I like to make a fairly big batch of this combination to have for a couple of days, whether in a stir fry dish, or mixed in with Greek or Garden chopped salad for lunch it all comes together packed with flavor.

To make the Rice Quinoa is a simple ratio:  1 part Quinoa, 1 part Basmati Rice, to 2 parts liquid.  Bring to a good simmer, stir, turn down to minimum lid on and cook for 18 minutes.  Here I used 1/2 cup Quinoa, 1/2 cup Basmati rice, well rinsed.  Add 2 cups water and serve in a salad or make into a stir fry.

RICE QUINOA LENTIL CURRY BOWL RECIPE:

3 cups cooked rice quinoa blend

14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 cup baby spinach

3 mushrooms, roughly chopped

1/2 cup canned, rinsed green lentils

3 Tblsp. all natural Avocado oil

1 small shallot, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 rounded tsp. Madras Curry Powder

1 Tblsp. minced ginger

salt to taste

Yogurt - optional

Minced cilantro - optional

Heat up a good sized pan/braiser with Avocado oil on low heat.  Add in the diced shallot and garlic sauteing until fragrant.  Then add in the mushrooms and saute until lightly golden about 3 minutes or so.  To this add the spinach, ginger and tomatoes with juice.  Season with salt, then add in the curry powder.  Mix well and let simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Next add in the Quinoa Rice blend and lentils, stirring to combine.  Heat through stirring for 5 more minutes.  Adjust seasonings, and serve with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt.

 

This lovely salad dressing is easy to prepare for any fresh garden salad, macaroni salad, and of course Greek salad as well.  The amounts here will give you enough salad dressing for a couple of days, but if feeding a crowd definitely double the recipe.

5 Tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tblsp. white vinegar

3-4 Tblsp. grated Feta cheese

1 tsp. dried basil, dried Greek oregano

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

fresh cracked pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt

Put all of the ingredients into a jar/or other container and shake well.  I like to make this dressing in the morning to allow the flavors to really incorporate.  A good Extra Virgin Olive Oil works best.

This recipe came about once again as a result of using up whatever was available in the pantry and fridge.  These days we do what we can to stretch meals and use up whatever we buy.  This dinner should serve 4 or in our case two, with leftovers the next day....yayyy!

Sometimes these dinners are the best and usually they are pretty quick to whip up.

This said:  you can use whatever gf pasta you have on hand, kale or spinach is a good alternative to Swiss chard, and store bought or homemade pasta sauce always works.  If you have fresh herbs all the better!  Also, any kind of mushroom will work in this dish, and you can add more or less depending on your own tastes.  You can also forgo the cream and use yogurt....whatever you have on hand, just remember if using yogurt, add the yogurt when the pan is off the heat at the very end and mix in well.

1 1/2 cups Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce homemade or store bought

1/2 cup water

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup roughly chopped onion

4 medium chard leaves - cut in half and then into small strips

1/4 cup roughly chopped crimini mushrooms

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. ground fennel

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup lactose free cream or light cream

1 package Tinkyada Fettuccine noodles - cook as per directions

grated Parmesan cheese and Asiago cheese

Heat up a dutch oven on low medium heat with 2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Add the onions, mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms have a light color - about 5 minutes.  Then add in the Swiss Chard and continue to saute about 3-4 more minutes.  Pour in the Tomato Basil Pasta sauce with the 1/2 cup water.  Add seasonings and stir well.  Reduce heat to a low simmer, then cook the Fettuccine noodles.  Once cooked, drain well and add to the sauce mixing well.  Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan and Asiago cheese.

 

 

This was an easy tasty salad - a perfect side dish to any summer meal.  This recipe was great for 2 for a couple of days, but can easily be doubled.  Might be the simplest salad there is!  Fresh green beans are a must for this recipe, and any good quality store bought pickled beets will work nicely.

2 cups green beans ends trimmed cut in half

1 cup pickled beets, chopped

1 round wedge of red onion - rinse well in cold water, then slice into 1 inch lengths

juice of a small lemon wedge

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Crumbled feta cheese

Bring a pot of water to a high boil.  Have an ice water bath ready.  Add the beans to the boiling water, and once back to a high boil, blanch the beans for 1.5 minutes, lid on medium high, drain and put into the ice bath to stop the cooking, and once cool, drain and place onto a paper towel.

Add to a bowl with the pickled beets, red onion, juice of the lemon, EVOO,  salt and pepper.  Mix well and add crumbled feta cheese.  Serve along side any main dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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