Posts Tagged ‘beans’

Jamaican “rice and peas”

Heavens! I mean- heaven! I mean- this is one gosh-darn good plate of food, and it is SO simple! Again, this was lunch one day because the girls “hate” coconut. Amelia will eat coconut oil chocolate and has even been known to ask me to make some when she has a stash of Christmas Cadburys “because I love your healthy dark chocolate”. These words are a beautiful sound to fall on the ears of one such as I. But in any other shape or form, they won’t go near it. Lunchtime, and my fridge is empty until tonight. I mean, I could have made a salad….of grated carrot and nothing else. Store cupbard it was then!

Jamaican rice and peas, delicious with fish, or just as it is. Or- with a lime and coriander salsa that I will post tomorrow.(Because I haven’t bought the ingredients yet!)


  • Jamaican rice and peas is traditionally made with kidney beans. Most beans taste the same to me to be honest, I think it’s all in the sauce or additions. A tin of black-eyed beans did just dandy.
  • The recipe calls for coconut milk, which I never have in, but I DO normally have this:

Patak’s “Creamed coconut”- 100% coconut, with nothing else at all. 4 sachets for less than ÂŁ1, and you dissolve it in warm water for a kind of coconut milk. There was no box (and therefore no instructions) but I dissolved HALF a sachet in about 700 mls of water; the other half I refridgerated and will need to be used within a couple of days I would think.

  • I used “easy cook” Brown rice. Be aware that your cooking time and liquid amount will vary depending on what rice you use. As always, check the package instructions, cook it slowly rather than fiercely, stir and test frequently, and add more liquid if required.
  • The recipe also called for fresh coriander or fresh thyme to finish. I didn’t think grated carrot would work, so no fresh garnish today……


  • Gently saute an onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic until soft
  • Add 1 tin of beans, rinsed well
  • Add 1 cup of rice
  • Add 2 cups of coconut milk (see above) You may need to add more as the rice cooks
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Again, cooking time will vary with rice types. Mine was on a low heat and took maybe 30 minutes plus sitting time. So, so delicious.

Yes, it is more delicious than it looks!

I ate something really similar with a piece of freshly caught fish in Africa, on the day I renounced 8 years of eating vegetarian. But that’s another story 🙂

White bean and roasted garlic dip

Heavens above- it’s a recipe! On a food blog. As in, a proper recipe, with ingredients, instructions and a photo taken in my own home. It’s been a while.

I have been meaning to try bean-based dips/pates for a while, as they are so fibre-filled and -bonus-affordable, but lend themselves so well to gungey-pastey spreadable concoctions. It’s all about knowing what to add to them I guess. So here is number 1!  And it was SO delicious. It was a recipe that is floating around in various forms when you google “white bean dip”. But first- the notes!

  1. This recipe calls for 1/2 a can (1 cup) of white beans. If you don’t have any soup or salads that you can conveniently toss the leftovers into, you can freeze the beans for another day
  2. If using canned beans, rinse them well.
  3. The extra small clove of raw garlic was my addition, I think it worked
  4. The nutritional yeast was also my addition. I just love the savoury flavour it adds, and I am not sure what you could substitute it with. But it was pretty delicious with the garlic, oil and lemon, believe me.
  5. Other possible additions could include fresh dill, basil, roasted red peppers, tahini, black pepper, smoked paprika, etc
So. You need:
  • 1 cup of cooked white beans (I used cannelini)
  • 1 head of roasted garlic (Instructions here)
  • 2T of extra virgin olive oil  (Most recipes call for more )
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small clove of crushed raw garlic
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional yeast

You know the rest. Mini chopper or food processor. Process until smooth and creamy.

a sprinkling of smoked paprika...

Serve with:  Raw veggies or crackers (“sweet onion” ryvita combine perfectly, I had several) or use as a spread- maybe for a wholewheat salad pitta. Beans may not be raw and colourful but they definitely count in your list of  “five nine-a-day” awesome plant foods.

Note to self: Crisps do not count as a vegetable, so I won’t be counting the ones I had so much fun dunking in the bean dip last night  🙂

“Poor Man’s burger” with coriander salsa

Poor man’s meat; that’s what some people call beans and brown rice. It is a dish rich in complex carbs and proteins, containing all the amino acids on one plate, but with added benefits of fibre not found in meat. It is also very rich in B vitamins from the brown rice, has virtually no fat at all, aids in the lowering of harmful cholesterol, and is a great weight loss meal.

And even better- this burger comes with a relish! Lime and coriander is a favourite combination of mine since I spent a year in Ecuador.I realise coriander is a great divider, you either love it or hate it. (I even happened upon a website called  “A growing community of anti cilantro advocates and pioneers aiding the fight to ban the most loathesome garnish of our time“) If you don’t like it, you could still make the salsa without it; it is still delicious. It adds a new dimension to the dish, and I love it especially, because I always try to eat some raw food with a cooked dish.

Coriander has tons of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein in; Lutein is concentrated in the retinas of your eyes and is necessary for good vision. Raw onions, raw tomatoes, raw garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, my cup runneth o’er! More details on these ingredients in other posts due to time restrictions today. Suffice it to say, all of these will love your body.

My husband used to say “we should have a salad at every meal, even if it’s a soup meal” I remember thinking (and saying) “You can’t have a salad with a stew, that just doesn’t GO together!” I recalled my words when I was eating this for the first time, my raw salsa-salad, piled all over the black beans .It just works! I always make this when we have black beans now. For me, it’s missing something without it. Definitely one occasion when the sum of the two halfs are more delicious than the individual components. So…

Little-bit-Spicey Black Beans 

I did my beans in the slow cooker over night. I did not even soak them (it is however recommended that you soak beans and discard the water usually, to get rid of the tannins that inhibit nutrient uptake) On this occasion though, I just put them straight in, 2 handfuls per adult, 1 per child (total,7 handfuls)

Then I blended, until thoroughly lump-free in the liquidizer:

  • 1 and a half litres of water
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 small celery sticks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 sundried tomatoes

 It saves a lot of chopping, and mainly because I can put things in that my children would not like to find a-floating. Like….pretty much everything on that list. Then you can pre- sauté all that gazpacho-like base in olive oil, to bring out the flavours, but you know what? It was bedtime, and I just threw it in. I added another generous half-blender full of water to the slow cooker just in case and added some extra virgin to the slow cooker, a very little.


  •  1-2 bayleaves 
  •  2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • No salt yet. Apparently it slows down cooking time. (is it true? I don’t know)

Why did I put in onion powder as well as an onion, and garlic powder as well as fresh garlic? I really don’t know. I wasn’t following a recipe and there seemed to be so much water, that I was worried that it would not be punchy enough. I left it on low all night and the next morning they were done.

 I left it on high for a while longer to reduce down the water a little more. I like a thicker consistency in beans stews. Finally I stirred in salt to taste and 2 tablespoons of ground cumin, my most favourite spice for beans.

 MOJO de Cilantro (Coriander salsa)

 The original ingredients are: white cabbage, white onion, tomato, 1-2 raw garlic cloves. Dice all ingredients, in proportions that you feel happy with (it really doesn’t matter) and add couple of liberal glugs (great word) of extra virgin olive oil, the juice of half a lime (or a whole lime, if teeny), to taste, and plenty of chopped coriander.

Leave to sit for a few hours for flavours to meld (another nice word). Having said that, you can substitute the white cabbage for cucumber if you like, which is what I did this time. Obviously they taste nothing like each other but it’s just a nice crunch to offset the onion. You could also sub red or spring onion for the white onion, a little less harsh.Once I added celery too, and it was very good.

 (I am really sorry, but for things like this, I simply cannot do “half a cup of onion”, “2 cups of tomato” or “3 tablespoons of chopped coriander” Recipes like that drive me mad. How much tomato is in that cup depends on how it is diced, and whther it is packed down. So I just dice up whatever I think. It’s only a salsa after all, which is basically, a very well diced salad.)

I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you how to cook brown rice. Just a tip, When the rice is pretty much done, add a little more boiling water, and leave it off the heat, covered, to further soften and swell. Brown rice takes much longer than white so I normally do it in the morning, and just re-heat it at dinner time. It seems to work fine.

Final step- assemble and enjoy!

Part 1Part 2


Splendid finale…..

Here’s to your health,friends!

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