Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May the Fourth be with you!

We have been blessed with a beautiful day. It seems our long wait for spring-like weather has finally been rewarded. There's so much to do in my yard, I can't spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. And I'd much rather work in my garden than buy groceries (yes, I'm a disorganized mess today).

How to handle the dinner dilemma?

I need something that utilizes the things I already have in my pantry, is quick to fix or will be content to simmer on my stove. And tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo (all this week I've craving Mexican food) so I'd like to create something spicy. Oh, and did I mention that my husband is coming down with a cold and so would probably like to have soup?

I have canned tomatoes and canned black beans--those could become the base for a soup. I know that there is some precooked brown rice in the freezer. A bit of that added at the end of cooking would make the soup a bit more hearty and satisfying and would also provide a nutritional boost. There's a bit of fresh cilantro in my frig that I could use.... OK, I think I have a plan.

Black Bean and Rice Soup
1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 cans black beans (do not drain)
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. chili powder (or more if you prefer spicy)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp. lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Place the canned tomatoes, ONE can of the beans, the onion, and the spices (chili powder, oregano, cumin) in a large saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer about 2 hours or until the tomatoes and beans are very soft.

Stir in the 2nd can of beans and the cooked rice. Simmer about 30 minutes more. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice and cilantro.

P.S. - The title of today's post? -- just a groaner of a joke I've been waiting for a year to use. I apologize.

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