Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday's What's in that...expands

Yes, I know it's Thursday, but I'm still finishing the lechon post and with internet on and off and two days of silence, Thursday will be Friday and Friday will be last it? Culebra time)

Too much is going on right now in line with other things I've been writing and thinking about to just have one recipe going along with a good, inexpensive healthy recipe, I'm tossing in a couple of other long term 'recipes' that will pay back long after the meal is over. Here is the first one. I like this because there is no reason anyone can't do this unless they live in their car or under a bridge (and there are solutions for that too, but not now, not here).

This family only started their urban homestead in 2001, not 30 years ago. Sometimes when I see things like this it is a little overwhelming, but having gardened, raised critters, etc. I know that anyone with a tiny bit of knowledge can start with something, one little thing, and grow and learn from there. When I raised goats, there was ONE book in the library about it (no internet back then, can you imagine?) and it wasn't helpful, so I went out into the country and drove around until I saw some goats and hooked up with the guy raising them. He taught us a lot and no doubt our goats were very grateful. If you want to do something, DO it!

In the 'get creative with gift giving dept: I got an email from my cousin with this pretty wonderful idea. She and her husband put this together as their gift this year and I don't think she'll mind me passing it on. Not everyone can do everything, but someone can do something. Or...take the ideas and apply them to your own life. Get creative!

2008 Holiday Ark.pdf
978K View Download

and now...for the recipe of the week! This is from my daughter Michelle.

Black Beans & Rice:
Cook brown rice. While rice is cooking, in separate pan saute a medium onion for about 10 min. Add garlic to your liking. Add a can of rinsed black beans & cover for about 5 min. Add a handful or two of chopped spinach and stir. To serve, layer bean mixture and rice in bowls. Garnish simply with: a sprinkle of vinegar or go extravagant with: shredded cheese, salsa, cilantro, avocado, leftover shrimp/crab/pork or even cooked diced sweet potato. Full of whole grains, fiber & protein -- and depending on what you top it with: Calcium, Lycopene, plus Vitamins A, C, E & K just to name a few... enjoy!

Ok, I'll add a bit to this. Rice is the easiest thing in the world to cook or the hardest, take your pick. Basically, two cups water, one cup rice is the measure, subtracted or multiplied according to how much rice you want. You don't need much to get a lot of rice! If you have any meat or fowl bones around, make a broth to use as either part or all of your water, it adds to the taste and it uses up something you might throw away. I toss in a dash of olive oil.

There are lots of schools of thought on cooking rice, but basically two ways. One, start the water boiling, then add the rice, lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot and simmer until done, usually about 15-20 minutes. The lower the heat the better. The other school is, and I never saw this until I moved to the Caribbean, is start with cold water or broth, put the rice in, bring to a boil, let it boil 10 minutes or so, then turn off the heat, cover it and let it steam. It should be done in 10 or 15 minutes. Either way is good.

Beans. Obviously canned beans are fast and pretty inexpensive. But dried beans are even more inexpensive. However, they will take longer. If you have a slow cooker, it works great for beans! If you don't have one, they are usually at just about any yard sale for about 5 bucks and a great way to cook. They don't use much electricity, you can 'set 'em and forget 'em'.

I never put spinach in my black beans and rice, but I'm going to try it next time. If it's good enough for Popeye, it's good enough for me.

I also add just about any sort of leftover meat that is in the fridge. I never thought of shrimp! Good one, Mich! Ground hamburger sauted with onions and garlic, lots of garlic, is great with this as well. If you don't eat meat, this is fine all by itself, but I happen to be a carnivore and that's how my Daddy made it, so that's how I cook it.

Don't forget to use the vinegar!! It sounds a little weird, but it brings all the flavors together, just about a half a teaspoon a serving, then adjust if you want more. Finely minced raw onions on top are (making my mouth water) another good addition, along with the yummy toppings suggested above.

Buen provecho!

Suggested reading (anything from Amazon, reviews are way down the page, worth reading & they usually have the best deals on books new and used)

The Good Life - Scott & Helen Nearing
The Encyclopedia of Country Living - Carla Emery (this is one of my favorite books of all time, I got the second edition over 30 years ago, mimeographed on different colored paper...she wrote and sold it a chapter at a time and went around to art shows and markets selling it out of her's full of life stories as well as just about anything you want to know about country amazing book by an amazing woman...people really CAN do anything if they want to enough)

An interesting blog from the starting zone


1 comment:

  1. Excellent video - very inspiring! Lewis and I have toyed with the idea of removing our lawn (we don't have much by ATL standards - maybe 600 square feet, the remainder of our 3/4 acre property is mostly ivy with some native ornamental, drought tolerant landscaping) and replacing it with a vegetable garden. The area is the most sunny of our heavily wooded lot. The problem is not enough time to garden it, and being afraid it would go to waste. Sad! Thanks for the recipe too - an inspirational twist on rice and beans.