Thursday, 1 September 2011

Southwestern Rice and Bean Salad

Tonight I was NOT inspired to eat vegetarian.  I've done four days of totally veg eating and was feeling kinda lazy in the cooking department.  Especially with last night's home made fresh pasta undertaking.  Delicious, but a ton of work.  So tonight I was hoping for something easy.  When I started to think of easy ideas the first ones were "meat, a veg, and some potatoes." Yikes, this is the first challenge I've really faced so far with going weekday vegetarian so I was faced with actually putting some thought into what I was going to have for dinner on a night that I didn't feel like it.

I was talking to my sister about a recipe she got from the cookbook Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood and I decided to make it.  Although I didn't feel like buying quinoa when I had a huge bag of brown basmati rice to use up, so I decided to substitute brown rice for quinoa because I figured that rice + beans = protein, which is really what I wanted to eat anyway.

I didn't follow a recipe, only listened to my sister explain the recipe to me once.  It turned out fantastic and I didn't miss the meat, nor did I find it laborious or taxing.  Just as easy, if not easier than prepping a meat, a veg, and potatoes.

1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice
1 diced red pepper
1 diced red onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 diced roma tomatoes
1 can rinsed chick peas
1 can rinsed black beans
1 bunch chopped cilantro
1 minced serrano pepper
1 tbsp red chilli flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (or red wine)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook basmati rice according to package directions. When cooked transfer to a large mixing bowl and add garlic to hot rice. Stir in all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Season to taste and serve at room temperature.

The longer this sits and marinates, the better the flavour will be.  This dish worked well as a main and I served it with warm bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it in.  Another wonderful addition to this salad may have been fresh corn on the cob.  It's in season right now and would really add a nice flavour to the dish.  Alternatively flat leaf Italian parsley could be used to substitute for the cilantro, as some people don't enjoy the taste.

This dish should keep well and we'll be taking the leftovers on a road trip with us.  This salad should most certainly be a go to meal if you're in a bit of a salad rut and want something more substantial.

1 comment:

  1. To add even more flavor try some feta with the cilantro and even some fresh sliced avocado on top!!