Spicy Beans

This rice recipe (a variation of it) has made itself a staple in our household over the past couple years.

Spicy Red Rice

  • 2 tablespoons oil or bacon grease
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon each oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon dry onion
  • Dash red pepper (optional)
  • Dash black pepper
  • 8 oz can or 1 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups water

I double it for our family. Generally I heat the rice and spices in the oil for a few minutes, and then add the water. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat. I take the lid off for 30 seconds to allow the steam to escape, but I’ve yet to see a rice recipe that calls for that. Doesn’t stop me, though. I let it sit a while before fluffing.

We’ll eat this the first night, sometimes with sausages mixed in, but usually as a simple side. Last night we had the rice, warm tortilla chips, corn (from Costco, organic and frozen – very good) and tilapia. Decent dinner.

I had about 4 cups of rice leftover from the meal so last night I put 2 pounds of black beans in to soak overnight. Today before work, I rinsed them and threw them into the crockpot, covering them with water, adding about 1/8 cup dehydrated onion, 1 T. dehydrated garlic, a bit of black pepper and a bay leaf. I let that sit on low for about 6 hours, then kicked it up to high for another 2 hours when I got home from work.

After that, I removed 3 bowls full of beans and some liquid (about 2.5 cups each) to freeze for when I need black beans, and added some sausages in to the remaining beans. This cooked for a couple hours. After it was done I removed the sausage. The beans I fished out with a slotted spoon and mixed in with the leftover rice. I put that in a small casserole and topped with a bit of cheese, set it under the broiler to melt the cheese.

Dinner was the sausages, rice and beans, corn, warm tortilla chips. It went over well, and was a very cheap meal to eat. The sausages were from Costco (it was a 12-pack that I split over 2 meals), as were the chips (priced as a substantial savings over bying the same chips at our large grocer).

It is so nice to be able to sit down at the table with the kids to a warm meal. I feel spoiled!

The past couple days I’ve intentionally “shopped the freezer” to whip up a couple of meals. Tomorrow I head back to Costco, and possibly the regular grocer (time allowing) to pick up some items for some of the meals I have planned.

This all makes up for the complete glutton-fest I had today as I stopped by my favorite little restaurant to get my Peruvian chop bowl with cilantro rice and arepas, spending $10. Thankfully it was enough food to allow for 2 lunches for me. But still it was totally unnecessary. Old habits are hard to break.

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