SARABANDE-Style Mexellent Feista Time!
This is a fine
vegetarian meal, with the classic life-sustaining 'perfect protein'
combo of rice and beans, plus lots of toppings to make it feel fancier.
Feelings of fanciness aside, you can feed four people (or two
people plus leftovers for lunch) with this recipe for about $5, which
we challenge you to beat with a stick.
For Main Meal:
2 cups short-grain brown rice
3.5 cups of vegetable stock or water
2 cups dried black beans, covered in water and presoaked overnight, plus about one cup of water or stock
6 cups spinach, bok choy or swiss chard, washed and roughly torn
one medium onion
3 bay leaves
three cloves of garlic, minced
good quality olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground (more or less, to taste)
1 tsp red chili pepper, ground (more or less, to taste)
1 tsp coriander, ground (more or less, to taste)
1 tsp chipotle pepper, ground (more or less, to taste)
dash of medium-dry sherry (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup sour cream or full-fat yogurt
one large avocado
1/2 tsp chili peppers, ground
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
pinch of salt
grated Monterrey Jack cheese or queso blanco
the rice, veggie stock, bay leaves, one half of the onion and a drizzle
of olive oil in a good-sized saucepan or smallish stock pot, boil,
cover and cook (if you need a primer on how to cook rice, here's a
simple enough explanation).
Meanwhile, chop the remaining half of the onion.
In a saucepan with the burner on medium, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive
oil and toss in the onion, 2 cloves of garlic, salt and spices.
Sautee until the onion is translucent. Drain the beans and
pour them into the saucepan, adding the cup of stock or fresh water
(consuming the beans' soaking water reportedly causes gas) and
adjusting heat so that the beans are just simmering. Add the dash
of sherry if you're using it and let the beans cook for about half an
hour. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Now, for the extras: squeeze both limes and zest one of them
until you've zested up about 2 tsp. Add half of the juice and the
zest to the sour cream/yogurt and stir. Viola: you've made baja
cream! Peel and mash the avocado, add the spices, the remaining
lime juice and a dash of tabasco: guacamole, too!
In yet another saucepan, heat some more olive oil (a couple of
tablespoons) and sautee the remaining clove of garlic on medium low
heat. When the garlic is fragrant, urn the heat down to low,
add your greens, and cover. Allow the greens to wilt down, and
stir to evenly distribute the oil and garlic. Salt and pepper to
Serve the beans over the rice piping hot, and top with plenty of baja cream, guac, and cheese and serve the greens on the side.