It’s all about the delivery.
I feel like I’ve got to stick up for “beans and rice.” This poor meal has got such a stigma:
Oh, you’re trying to save money? When I’m trying to save money, I eat beans and rice.
Well, guess what people, I eat beans and rice even when I’m NOT trying to save money. Rich people can eat beans and rice, too, ya know.
Oh, you’re a vegetarian? I bet you eat a lot of beans and rice.
Well, actually, not really. And the Omnivore eats beans and rice, too.
Oh, you’re trying to increase your fiber intake? Why don’t you eat some beans and rice?
Well, why don’t you eat some prunes? Beans aren’t the only thing out there with fiber. Sheesh.
I mean, seriously, can’t you eat beans and rice “just because?” Maybe it’s all about the delivery. Beans and rice is such a monotone, bland, mono-syllabic, title. Maybe if I said, I’m having black turtle beans with basthmati grains you’d be impressed. What about smokey red beans with brown long grain rice? How would you feel if I said that we were having hearty garbanzo beans on a bed of cashew-fruited rice?
And sometimes, even if the dish *sounds good*, it looks totally unappealing. Bland brown slop atop parched white rice, anyone? Pass. In fact, I more than pass. I’m allergic to whatever that is. Yep. Anaphylaxsis, people.
But how would you feel if I offered you Cumin-Spiced Beans with a side of Herbed Lemon Rice? Like the sound of that? And what if I made the whole experience extra special and made the rice into a pretty shape…
Would it make you feel less cheap?
Would it make you feel less vegetarian?
Would it make you feel like you needed more fiber in your diet?
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 T lemon juice
1 T fresh chopped oregano
1 T fresh chopped parsley
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Cook rice as directed on package. Fold in remaining ingredients just before serving.
The Beans (serves 4)
1 can Rotel-style diced tomatoes
3 cup black beans
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili powdr
1 tsp cumin
Saute the onion with the chili powder and cumin. Yes. Just like that. Add the garlic clove. Cook lightly. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a slight simmer. Add in black beans (if you are daring to use canned, yes, lawd, drain the beans. Rinse ‘em while you are at it). Simmer until liquid is mostly reduced away. Remove the bayleaf but use it as garnish if it makes you feel special.
Yes. Those are collard greens in the background. Remember, I’m southern.