Friday, January 19, 2007

Beans and Rice

Beans and rice have a long-standing reputation as a cheap and filling meal fix. Although this is true, there are many ways to turn beans and rice into tasty and unique dishes as well. Every once in a while I make a huge pot of beans and rice (usually white rice and chili beans, sometimes I vary this a bit.) I often add hot sauce, hot peppers, cheese, salt, pepper, onions and garlic. Here are a few ways I use the beans and rice:

  • Casserole - I layer one or two casserole dishes with the mixture. This creates a layer in my enchilada casserole or becomes the bulk of the casserole.
  • Burrito Patties - My own invention, I take homemade uncooked tortilla dough, wrap it around a scoop of beans and rice, and either fry or bake it. I then freeze them for instant lunches on busy days. Very filling!
  • Burritos - Just wrap a scoop of the mixture in a tortilla for an easy lunch or dinner sandwich.
  • Tacos - Beans and rice make a great meat substitute in vegetarian tacos. Sometimes I prefer TVP or plain beans, but the already-seasoned beans and rice work well.
These might seem obvious, but I'm always amazed just how long a pot of beans and rice can last! They have become a staple around here. I often have extra beans and rice frozen in the freezer. Last week we ran out of rice and it was beans and rice panic! (To put this in perspective, I'm usually on top of the grocery shopping and pick up extras before we actually run out.) Oh, this is also an easy crockpot meal. In fact, I prefer the crockpot because I don't have to stay near the stove making sure the rice doesn't burn.

Any other beans and rice ideas? I'm always open to suggestions...

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