Friday, October 10, 2008

VeganMoFo: Favorite Dinner part 2



Rice and Beans w. Zucchini and Tomatoes
V'Con Skillet Cornbread


Another favorite dinner so soon? You bet! I'm glad I did it so soon too because this was the best Rice and Beans dinner I've ever made and I've made many. I use to make kick ass Rice and Beans all the time. Then I noticed that they started lacking in flavor and I didn't know why. I though I was making them the same way I always make them but apparently I wasn't. Then one day not too long ago I taught my Mother-in-law how to make them and she now makes them all the time and they are good! Really good! I'm wondering how I can teach her to make them and she can make them better than mine have been even though we are making them the same way. So last week I decided to take my time making them. The flavor I was missing was all of a sudden back. I figured out my problem very easily. I was quick cooking them. I wasn't allowing for the flavors to develop enough. Understandably with a baby who is now 13 months, quick was what I was looking for but quick doesn't work for delicious Rice and Beans.

Now to last night. I made them again but even better with the addition of small diced zucchini and tomatoes. I cooked the onions and garlic in olive oil until soft and delicious then added a nice helping of cumin and let that cook as well. (It's very important to cook your dry spices. It helps get the rawness out of them and it also then flavors the oil you are cooking everything in then creating a flavored oil. Does that make sense? It does to me and that is what I was taught by some talented chefs that I've worked for.) Then goes in the cans of black beans, not drained, and some salt and is slowly simmered on medium-low heat. Towards the end I added small diced zucchini and tomatoes. I like my zucchini al dente that's why I add it to the end. Cook for a few more minutes, taste for salt and voila awesome Rice and Beans with yummy veggies that will trick any Rice and Bean loving 13 month old who is refusing to eat green veggies all of a sudden. I think you know who I'm talking about.

The beans were topped off with fresh sliced scallions and 1/2 and avocado for each of us on top. On the side was the Skillet Cornbread from V'con. Pretty good cornbread but I've had and made better.

So the moral of this story is to take your time cooking. Rushing things is not alway's good for you.

(That 13 months old was now eating unhidden sauteed zucchini tonight with her seitan! Such a good kid. Next Monday she will surely hate it again.)

13 comments:

erin32mc said...

I think I'm adding this to my menu this week. See if I can trick a picky 7 year old into eating a green vegetable!

Bex said...

This is a great post. I haven't made a good rice and beans dinner in a while. What kind of vegan am I? I'm going to do this soon.

Jeni Treehugger said...

I love taking time over cooking - but you're right, it isn't always possible.
Beans and Rice YUM!

Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

Oooh beans and rice! Haven't had that in quite some time! Need to add it in to the rotation again.

VeggieGirl said...

I'm coming over for dinner; and I'll make sure it's on ANTM night ;0)

tofufreak said...

yum! awesome fave dinner :D

jessy said...

hoooooray for another favorite dinner. and i can see why it's a fav - it looks awesome in every way! good point on take'n your time cooking! so true, indeed! and thanks for the tip on letting the dried spices cook for a bit, i would have never thought about that. thanks! :)

River said...

Wow Jenna, that's comfort food at its best!! Pure deliciousness!!

VeganView said...

Looks so warm and comforting...I never thought to put zukes in a dish like this, but it's a great idea and looks fantastic

allularpunk said...

it's hard enough cooking to please my boyfriend, i can't even imagine an infant! those look amazing though, i love rice and beans and do not make them often enough. yum!

Urban Vegan said...

I love the idea of "favorite dinners." It's fun to get a glimpse into yours. Mine would have to be anny kind of pasta, soups, grilled vegan cheese sammiches, and Riblets--yes, vegan convenience food!

VeganCowGirl said...

Here is to slow roasting the beans!!! and here is to the zuch eating little one! whop whop.

Rach-ums said...

Who doesn't love a little rice and bean action?! Plus that Vcon cornbread is the best I've ever had.