Monday, September 12, 2011

Meatless Monday: fancy pants rice and beans

We recently had a Meatless Monday suggestion from a good friend of the West Coast Muse. Leah's culinary savvy equals her elegance so when she gave a recipe suggestion my ears perked up for sure.

This is a gourmet version of rice and beans that stemmed from a recipe in Gourmet. The base is rice, beans, and sweet potatoes, topped with roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds); direction for all that is below. When Leah and her precious family had this for dinner, they added some delicious accoutrements and layered the rice and beans as follows:

Beans (any type you like)
Roasted sweet potato
Queso fresco 
Toasted pepitas
Spritz of lime juice and some salt

This recipe could not be simpler so it would be the perfect thing to throw together as a quick Meatless Monday dinner (or lunch!)


Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss sweet potatoes with oil and salt, then spread in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring and turning over once or twice, until tender and browned, 35 to 40 minutes.

Rice and Beans
2 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
4 to 4 1/4 cups Kemp’s black beans

Bring water, rice, and salt to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and cook, tightly covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, off heat 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas; not toasted)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick; preferably cast-iron) over moderate heat, stirring, until seeds are puffed and pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in oil and salt to taste.

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