Posted on May 7, 2012 by
We are not strangers to the wonders of rice and beans here at The Greenists. When it comes to meatless meals, it doesn’t get much more simple or inexpensive. Combined, rice and beans provide a complete protein as well as essential nutrients and soluble fiber. Plus, they’re easy to make and super yummy.
To take the stress off meal time, we’ve been making a big batch of rice and beans a few times a week and planning our meals around how we can dress them up. Calabacitas are my favorite addition and so easy to make.
I soak dried beans overnight. I do two packages at once and like to combine small red beans and pinto beans. I brown one chopped onion in olive oil in the bottom of a big pot and add the beans and water to cover them, bringing the whole thing to a hard boil for a few minutes. After boiling, I transfer them over to my crockpot and cook on high for four hours before taking it down to low for another three or four hours, until the beans are soft.
While the beans simmer in the crockpot, I add salt and spices like turmeric, cayenne pepper, chili powder and ground coriander, and a pinch of baking soda to “de-gas” them. I also add vinegar and 1/2 a bottle of (gluten-free) beer.
I know this sounds involved, but two bags of beans will last us most of the week, so a little bit of effort on a Sunday afternoon has a great payoff.
When the beans are close to done, I boil up a pot of rice, pre-heat the oven to 450 and get started on the calabacitas.
My calabacitas recipe usually looks like this:
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 package of frozen corn
- olive oil