Thursday, January 6, 2011

rice and beans

I shared some of my holiday baking with our upstairs neighbor at Christmas, and she shared some holiday treats with us, too. We got molasses oatmeal banana bread (delish and long gone) and this pretty jar of beans.
It came with spices (on top), brown rice, and directions. I made it last night, tweaking her recipe as I went.
Before simmering everything together, I sauteed some carrots, shallots, and celery (with leaves) in a bit of olive oil. Then I added the spice packet.
I dumped in the contents of the jar, and I let the whole thing simmer in broth until the beans were tender. Then I tasted and added salt and cayenne pepper. Dinner was served, thanks to the neighbor.
I love receiving jars of things. I visited a Lutheran church in Chapel Hill once, and they gave all their visitors chocolate chip cookies in a jar. My old coworker gave us cookie bars in a jar once, with Peeps in it to make a marshmallow layer. I like the sweets, obviously, but I really appreciated this healthy and easy dinner. I'm not sure what was in the spice packet-- I think it was dried onion, garlic, black pepper, parsley, and a bay leaf-- but I bet you could make up anything you want.

I'll have to keep this in mind for future food gifts. Edwin and I loved it, but are you surprised? We eat beans and brown rice like it's our job.

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