When life gets busy, it’s a challenge to create wholesome home-cooked meals. Time is scarce and so we tend to turn to the path of least resistance. We open a few packages and.. voila! This works well except that prepackaged foods (particularly organic varieties) are quite costly and often aren’t very tasty. I thought I’d share my secret to a quick, easy, and inexpensive meal: black beans and brown rice.
“Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they posses over all vegetables the great advantage of being just as good, if not better, when kept waiting, an advantage in the case of people whose disposition or occupation makes it difficult for them to be punctual at mealtime.” – Andre Simon (1877-1970), ‘The Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy’ (1952)
You will need:
dried black beans, rinsed & sorted
1 medium-sized onion or half of a large onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced 4 ribs of celery, chopped
1 orange, cut in half
4 bay leaves
3 quarts of water or broth
a dash of olive oil (optional)
If you are in a mad-hurry, dump all of the ingredients in the pressure cooker. Bring to a boil, place lid on the pressure cooker with full pressure, and turn heat to low once it begins to rock. Process for 40 minutes. Start your brown rice cooking in a rice cooker or on the stove at the same time and they will finish in sync. If you have a few minutes, saute the onions and celery in a bit of olive oil and then add everything to the pot for processing. Once the regulator drops and it is safe to open the pressure cooker, season the beans to taste and serve over rice. Enjoy!
Adding an orange to beans gives the cooked beans a truly wonderful flavor. You’ll be amazed! A dear friend told me to try it several years ago and I fell completely in love. I squeeze the two halves into the pot, but you could also just toss them in without doing a thing.
My trusty rice cooker was working hard. Have you tried this brand of rice? My family is a fan. The rice is quite fluffy but sticky enough to make sushi rolls. Please excuse the poor quality photos, my friends, but I used my cell phone. I was in a bit of a rush, which is why it occurred to me to share this recipe.