Downturn Dish: Easy (Red) Beans and Rice

August 14, 2009

I'm subletting this summer and the girls who live with me love rice -- a lot. When I moved in they showed me the rice cooker (a contraption I never thought useful) and said I could help myself to their rice -- bags and bags of rice. Now, as time passed, I've learned to love the rice cooker even though I still think my 10-minute brown rice works just fine. Although I'd like to think of myself as a cook, I generally end up making the same meals over and over again. (But hey, they're my staples and they're easy).‚  So I bring to you my own take on red (or black, or pinto) beans and rice. I generally cook for myself with enough leftover for my roommate and the next day's lunch, but I'm adjusting this for four people. My method is pretty free-form so give and take as you'd like. 2 cups rice (white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, long-grain wild rice? Whatever you have) 1 can beans (any kind will do) 1 onion 2 peppers (I use whatever I happened to buy this week: green, red, yellow or orange) A few shakes of dried red pepper flakes A few pinches of chili powder (more if you like it spicy) Fresh cilantro (If I'm lucky, I add this) 1 tablespoon of oil (I only have olive oil, but canola or vegetable oils work too) Start cooking the rice (it's OK if it's done before the rest). Chop onions and sautƒ© in oil in a frying pan. Chop peppers and add to onions. Cook vegetables until slightly tender -- about seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red pepper flakes and chili powder. Stir in beans and let simmer for five minutes. Add cooked rice to pan and stir until evenly distributed. Frying pan not big enough? No problem, spoon serving sizes onto plates and top with rice with vegetable mixture. Makes About 4 Servings