'cause face it- there's not much worse at dinner than trying to choke down dry beans and flavorless rice. indeed, the only worse things I can think of are *much* worse- weevil-y bread, no food at all, bad prison movie food. But, for the things you're actually ever likely to serve yourself, dry beans and rice is pretty high up there for blegh factor.
So you gotta make it not-dry and not-flavorless. I do that with a variety of sauces, most made up on the spot, and salting the rice. I used to season it with saffron as well, but there is no way this budget is ever stretching that far.
Yesterday I finished cooking the black beans. I have about 1.5 cups of beans left in the fridge, in a little container. With all those beans, and plenty of rice still in the pantry, I decided to do something with the canned tomatoes I got from Mom. I made something that tasted kinda like chili, while really having only 3 ingredients- the rest are spices and whatnot.
Cheap Black Bean Chili-
- 1C cooked black beans
- 1/2C canned diced tomatoes in tomato juice (give or take)
- 1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1T oil
- 1T vinegar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- large dash each- paprika, cayenne, garlic, onion powders
Heat oil in pan, add onion and garlic. Fry until lightly browned, then add tomatoes, smooshing slightly to break up clumps and release extra liquid. If too dry, add up to 1/4 cup water. Add spices, salt, and vinegar. stir. Add beans and cook until slightly thickened and heated through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over 2x as much rice as chili. Makes 2 "servings."
Optional- Add shredded chicken, corn, chopped fresh peppers, fried ground meat, top with sliced avocado, use different or more or fewer spices.
Made the same thing again for "dinner"- half of which is sitting next to me, waiting to be finished. I live like a frat boy, sometimes.
The rice is good because it cuts the heat from the spices and bulks out the meal so you don't have to use as much of the more expensive stuff. I think the second time I used a little less than 1/3rd cup of tomatoes and juice and it still turned out fine.Leaving the sauce a little runnier also lets it soak into the rice a bit more, for more tastier rice.
I also bought 1 .53lb onion yesterday. I think that might be my only purchase this week. It was 37 cents plus a penny in tax. Guess next week is for big shopping, huh?
Do you have a good way to make rice and beans edible?