These past couple weeks were overwhelming. I was super busy at work (tons of outreach work, plus hiring someone new!), Mike was injured while sledding and couldn't walk for a week, the St. Paul Winter Medallion Hunt started and then we all got colds. That meant we ordered pizza 3 times in one week. And picked up burritos at Mississippi Market. And ordered Chinese. I wasn't doing too much scratch cooking.
But I did manage to cook a big pot of brown rice and beans each week. I think that's the only thing that saved us from ordering pizza FIVE times in one week. Thank goodness for brown rice. It goes with everything and is so filling it's practically a meal in itself.
One night I paired the leftover (planned-over) brown rice with cannellini beans, home-canned tomatoes and home-canned pickled red peppers for a unexpectedly popular dinner. I sauteed some onions and garlic in lots of olive oil and then added dried thyme, ground fennel seed and dried basil from last year's garden. Then I added the beans, rice, peppers and tomatoes and simmered until all the tomato juice was absorbed and it looked almost like a risotto. Then I stirred in fresh basil (a real treat this time of year). I'll definitely be repeating this dish- Maybe next time I'll even write down the recipe!
Another night I had some leftover red beans, but no grains. So I heated the beans up in a little bit of barbecue sauce, whipped up some ranch dressing and used both to top a fresh green salad with lots of red pepper strips (red peppers have been on sale at the co-op, so we're eating LOTS of them). This reminded me of when I used to order baked potatoes at barbecue joints in Texas and eat them swimming in butter, barbecue sauce and ranch. I like to think this is just a touch healthier.
Another favorite leftover rice dish here, but this one I usually make for breakfast. I like to heat up my griddle and throw on some mushrooms and Field Roast sausage slices (usually the apple sage ones). Then I top them with leftover rice so that the rice basically steams over the browning mushrooms and sausage. Just before serving, I mix it all together and sprinkle with lots of black pepper and a little sea salt. Oh, yes. Delightful. I love savory breakfasts!
So there you have it. Those are some of my favorite uses for leftover beans and rice.
This week is bound to be more relaxing and allow for some real cooking. The Medallion Hunt is over (sad, but that means I'll sleep at night instead of tromping through snowy parks). Mike is on the mend (he's able to walk and sit, trying to build his strength back up for work). And me? I'm still on vacation!!!