Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

18 January 2010

Brown Basmati & Black Bean Rice Bowls

It's Wednesday and my week is in full swing. As usual I'm moving at full speed and juggling well, the many things that I juggle every day. So, today's posting will get right to the point.... Dinner! Tonight's dinner is an easy one but healthy, yummy, & comforting... Brown Basmati & Black Bean Rice Bowls. 

I'm jazzin' it up a bit by adding some homemade creme fraiche, sliced radishes, avocados and wilted chard, along with lots of savory spices. 

By the way, if you have never made creme fraiche, it's the simplest thing ever to do. There's no need to pay $6 at the market for a little tub of it. Just make your own... it tastes better too! Or, of course you can substitute sour cream in a pinch.

A quick note about the beans. So, for many folks beans do the cause the usual gas 'situation'. To avoid that I use Eden Brand beans and rinse, rinse, rinse before using. They're available at Whole Foods or most large natural foods stores. The difference is that they cook their beans with Kombu, a seaweed that really reduces the aforementioned 'situation'. Give 'em a whirl or make your own and add a piece of Kombu when cooking your dry beans.

Here's the 'How to':

For the Creme Fraiche:
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 TB buttermilk

1) Pour the cream into a bowl. Stir in the buttermilk to combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in at room temperature in a warm, draft free spot (on top of the refrigerator, on the stovetop etc...) for about 24 hours until desired consistency is reached. How long this takes will depend on how warm your room is. Stir it every so often to check for consistency. Store it in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. 

For the Rice:
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups long grain brown basmati rice
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp chile powder
pinch salt

1) Saute the onion in 1 TB olive oil in the your saucepot until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, water, and rice. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered for 35 minutes, until most of the water has been absorbed. Set aside to steam another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in the spices.

For the Beans:
2, 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed (I use Eden Brand)
1, 15 oz can light coconut milk
1 can diced green chiles
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp cumin, ground

1) Saute the onion in 1 TB olive oil. Add the spices and toast until fragrant. Add the drained beans and green chiles and stir to combine. Add the salt & pepper. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for @ 5 minutes until the coconut milk has reduced to a consistency of your liking.

For 'Les Accoutrements':
3 small radishes, thinly sliced
1 Haas avocado, sliced
1 bunch chard (I used 'Bright Lights'), washed and ribs trimmed, torn into bite size pieces
Creme Fraiche

1) Heat 1 TB olive oil in a saute pan. Add the freshly washed chard which should still have a bit of water on it, and a sprinkle of salt & pepper to the pan and toss with tongs to wilt the greens, about 3-5 minutes.

2) Spoon 1/2 cup rice into each bowl. Top with the black beans, creme fraiche, chard and other garnishes to your liking. Tuck in and Enjoy!

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