Friday, June 15, 2007

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

These amounts serve as estimates until I make it next and write down what I actually throw in it. I love this dish and make it fairly frequently. It's super easy to prepare, the blend of spices is delicious, it's economical (especially when made without the chicken), it's healthy, it's filling, and my entire family relishes eating it. That's good enough for me.

1 cup uncooked brown rice (or your preference)
2 and 1/4 cups water or the same amount of chicken broth
Cook rice.

One medium onion
2 cloves garlic minced
olive oil

one (16 oz.) can black beans, (or the equivalent of home-cooked)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, cut and drained, or a few fresh diced tomatoes

@ 1 - 1 and 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 -1 tsp. salt
@ 1/2 tsp. black pepper
@ 1 - 1 and 1/2 tsp. cumin
pinch or two of cayenne pepper; if you like it spicy, add more, to taste
@ 1/2 tablespoon sugar
@ 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (Just splash it on with frequent tastings until it's right)
a few shakes of garlic powder, if needed

Cooked, cubed, chicken breast, if desired.

Saute onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Add black beans, tomato sauce, and tomatoes. Add the cooked rice and stir together over low heat. Add seasonings and vinegar. If using chicken, add to the rice mixture. Cook until heated through or simmer until liquid is reduced to your liking.

**White or cider vinegar may easily be substituted, but you may want to use less because they're more acidic on the tongue than balsamic.

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