Archive for ‘beans grains & greens’

June 8, 2011

mexican mash-up

I much prefer baking to cooking.  It has everything to do with the measurements.  I love following directions and measuring and scooping according to the recipe.  Most good cooks, well, inventive cooks, do not typically rely on recipes to make their dishes and have delicious outcomes.

I’m trying to better myself.  I made a dish last night that did not have a recipe.  I admit, I was kind of freaking out because what if it turns out horribly?!  Well, it didn’t.  And it’s very simple, so no freak outs required for you.  I’ll list ingredients and measurements, but if you choose to find your inner chef, please, be my guest and make any substitutions or changes you see fit.

Mexican Lime Millet Succotash

  • 2 cups cooked (or canned) beans.  I used adzuki beans for the first time (we got them dried and I cooked them in the rice cooker, I’m pretty sure I cooked them way too long so mine were somewhat a mix between whole beans and refried beans)
  • 1 cup uncooked millet
  • 1/2 cup baby lima beans
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s fire-roasted bell peppers and onions (If you don’t have a TJ’s near you, you can either use a bag of frozen green peppers or cut up and cook your own with onions if desired.

Sauce

  • 1T honey
  • 1.5T rice vinegar
  • 1T grapeseed oil
  • 1T lime juice

In a saute pan, heat up the millet on medium-high heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently until they begin to pop.  Remove from heat and cook the millet (1 cup to 2 1/2 cups water) in a rice cooker or on the stovetop.  My rice cooker took 30 minutes, but use your own specifications for this part.  Once done cooking, let sit with the top open for 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

In the same saute pan used for the millet, heat the frozen lima beans, corn and green pepper mixture.  Cook until everything is well combined and no longer frozen.  Remove from heat.

To the rice cooker (still on the warm setting), add the beans (drained if you’re using canned) as well as the vegetable mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce with a whisk and toss in the rice cooker with the other ingredients.  Keep on warm until you and your family members are ready to eat!

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May 26, 2011

one “pot” wonder

Rice cookers are a wonderful thing.  I had never had one growing up, and was never the biggest fan of plain rice.  Well… I recently found out that rice cookers are not just for rice anymore.

A few mornings a week, rice cookers are used for steel-cut oats.

And a few nights a week rice cookers are used for various grains.  I have yet to make rice in it.  Although I do believe today is the day ;).

Going back to grains, dinner on Tuesday night was a random combination of stuff we had in the pantry and in the freezer, but it turned out really good.  It even makes delicious leftovers served cold!

I started by cooking millet in the rice cooker.  1 cup millet + 2 cups water, cooked for 25 minutes.  Let sit for another 20 or so minutes and then fluff with a fork.

Add in a mixture of your favorite beans and vegetables (I slightly warmed some kidney beans, chickpeas and lima beans from the freezer, and then added fresh spinach), and then tossed in with the millet in the rice cooker which was still on the warm setting.  Also add in 1/2 cup liquid (vegetable stock in this case).

Close the lid and keep warm in the rice cooker until you are ready to eat.  I think this got left for 45 minutes to an hour, the beans were still slightly frozen when I added them and they  heated up perfectly.

Once we were ready to eat – a simple vinaigrette was made to add to the rice cooker.  3/4T mustard + 1T honey + 1T vinegar +1T oil.  We also topped with hummus for an added protein punch.

Simple and delicious.  Only one pot to clean.  And infinite possibilities with variations of grains, vegetables and sauces.