Chorizo and Red Beans Rice

Chorizo and Red Beans Rice is a flavorful one pot dish with a variety of textures coming from the chorizo, red beans, and vegetables.  The star of this dish is the spanish chorizo which is a cured meat and can come mild or spicy, so choose accordingly.  Be sure not to confuse it with mexican chorizo, which is a fresh ground meat.    Sautéing the cured  meat with the vegetables releases the flavors of the the meat and distributes them throughout the dish.  This is a great dish for using up leftover rice, which we always seem to have a lot of around here.  Hooray for quick meals with hardly any dishes to clean afterwards!

Chorizo and Red Beans Rice
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups brown rice, uncooked
  • 4 ounces spanish chorizo, diced
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • parsley or cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker or according to package directions.
  2. Saute the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic until golden. Add the chorizo, beans, and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, salt, pepper, and paprika and stir together thoroughly until heated through. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro or parsley.
Notes
inspired by a Whole Foods recipe

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Chocolate Oat Chip Crispie Bars

Spring soccer season has finally begun around here.  I made a double batch of these Chocolate Chip Oat Crispie Bars for the boys to enjoy after their game.  They played their hearts out and lost their game, but I like to think that these treats helped to cheer them up a little.  They are loaded with whole grains and sweetened with coconut sugar and honey.  I think substituting raisins for the chocolate chips would also be a tasty alternative.

Chocolate Oat Chip Crispie Bars

Chocolate Chip Oat Crispie Bars
Serves: makes 20-24 bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1¼ cups brown rice crisps cereal
  • ¾ cups chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  3. With a stand mixer, cream together the butter and coconut sugar. Add the honey, egg, and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just combined. Mix in the oats, and then the brown rice crisps. Do not overmix. Add the chocolate chips last.
  5. Press mixture into the greased baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

 

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Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Whenever I make this vibrant and colorful salad, I feel happy and healthy.  I learned a great tip for making quinoa from Lorna Sass’s book Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way.  She recommends making the quinoa as if cooking pasta, rather than cooking rice.  This means draining the extra cooking water rather than letting the quinoa sit to absorb all of the water.  Ever since I started making quinoa this way, there has been no more mushy quinoa and it’s done perfectly every time. This is my own version of a salad that I once saw at the prepared foods counter at Whole Foods.  It keeps well for several days in the fridge and is great for packing lunches or picnics!

Black Bean Quinoa Salad
 
Ingredients
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 cup red quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked corn, fresh or frozen
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped

  • For the Dressing:
  • 1½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • juice of ½ lime
Instructions
For the salad:
  1. In a medium pot, boil 6-8 cups of water over high heat. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. When the water is boiling, slowly add the quinoa and boil uncovered for 11-14 minutes. After 10 minutes, start checking the quinoa for doneness. The quinoa is done when the "dot" in the middle of the quinoa starts to disappear and when some of the white filaments start to come off the seeds. Drain the quinoa over a fine mesh strainer and let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine the quinoa with the rest of the ingredients. Add the dressing and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with extra salt and pepper.
For the dressing:
  1. In a small bowl, use a wire whisk to blend ingredients.

 

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