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Beans, pasta, rice. January 22, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. Vegetarians have known since the ’70s that combining beans and grains makes a perfect protein balance, even without meat. Now everyone can get on the bandwagon and enjoy delicious, protein-rich meals without meat. Here are some fabulously flavorful, easy combinations you might want to try:

* Black bean soup and rice. Type “black bean soup” in our search bar at upper right and you’ll find the most luscious black bean soup ever. Serve it over rice and top it with sour cream and cilantro (if desired) for a truly fabulous, filling meal. Enjoy your soup and rice with an arugula-based salad and a citrus-based dessert.

* Refried beans. We like to make refried beans a smorgasbord experience, setting out several kinds of salsas (fresh hot, jarred, and tomatillo-based green), chopped cilantro, chopped green onion (scallion), sour cream, sharp white Cheddar or mixed Mexican blend cheeses, hot sauces, black olives, shredded lettuces, sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers, diced white and red onions, guacamole, and the like, so we and guests can create their own perfect taco, burrito, or simply create a dish where the beans are served over rice with all the toppings. (Type “refried beans” in our search bar for our favorite homemade recipe.)

* Kidney beans and rice. We like these heated up with salt and a little olive oil and served over rice. Plain, but nice. Add grated “Mexican blend” cheese if you like. To get your greens with this dish, you can choose to sautee kale, spinach and collards with diced sweet onion and mushrooms, or serve up a Caesar-style Romaine-based salad.

* Barbecued beans and pasta. Oh, yes. We love baked beans, barbecued beans, whatever you want to call them. (Bush’s Grillin’ Beans are our favorites.) And we love them served up with creamy pasta—either a quick and simple but thick and rich sauce of sour cream and butter mixed with al dente penne, elbows, or shells, or our all-out favorite, Crock-Pot Mac’n’Cheese. (Type “ultimate mac’n’cheese” in our search bar for the recipe, courtesy of our friend Delilah. Yum!!!) Serve up with coleslaw or a hearty kale salad and you’re set.

* Chili and rice. We’re a little divided about chili: Sometimes we have it over rice, sometimes with cornbread, sometimes over grits. It’s hard to go wrong with a rich, spicy chili. (Type “chili” in our search bar for some of our favorite recipes.) A nice tossed salad helps balance the heartiness of this dish.

* Dal and rice. The Indian version of lentil stew, dal is a luscious lentil- or split-pea-based dish that we like nice and thick, with rice, plain Greek yogurt, and chutney. Dal recipes can be comparatively simple or quite complex (type “dal” in our search bar for our favorites), but the effort is definitely worth it, and the leftovers keep and reheat beautifully for future meals. You can also serve dal as a side with any Indian (not Thai) curry.

* Lentil stew. When we get together for winter meals with friends, lentil stew is the most-requested dish (along with the Crock-Pot mac’n’cheese). This simple, filling, delicious lentil-based dish is extremely easy to put together and reheats well for leftovers, assuming your friends don’t devour it all in one sitting or take the leftovers home for themselves. Type “lentil stew” in the search bar to find the recipe. We like this with cornbread (check out my primo recipe by typing “cornbread” in the search bar), but you could certainly enjoy it with a side of rice or pasta. Broccoli slaw with raisins and slivered almonds makes a great accompaniment.

So, here are a few of our favorite bean- or legume-based dishes. What are yours?

‘Til next time,

Silence

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