I hope everyone is having a good week! I am so excited that tomorrow is Friday. The week has just been so busy and everyone has been sick at work, so I need to get some fresh air away from all the germs! I plan on sleeping in this weekend (if getting up at 8 can be considered sleeping in), doing some spring cleaning, planting some flowers, watching some movies, and just relaxing. I love weekends where I have no formal plans. Maybe that’s boring for some people, but it’s just the way I like my weekends to be!
When I saw this recipe in the April issue of Bon Appetit I knew immediately that it was something I wanted to make. Sure, it’s super simple, pretty much just a rice and bean bowl, but the chile-ginger salsa was what really intrigued me. Ginger is not something you usually see in salsas, and since I loved all the flavors that were to make up the salsa, I knew it would be something delicious! Plus, I have no problem with a simple meal of rice and beans. In fact, that’s one of my go-to meals when I’m alone for dinner, and don’t know what to make- rice, beans, a fried egg, and some hot sauce. Simple, filling and satisfying. This meal dresses up the basics with sauteing some onion before you add the rice to the pot, and then adding some cilantro at the end. The beans are also jazzed up with onion, cumin and coriander, and then you have that chile-ginger salsa to put on top, along with a bunch of toppings of your choosing. Of course, I used them all! I made this meal to bring to lunch for the week, and I never got bored of it. It was a super satisfying vegetarian meal, and you could totally make it vegan just by omitting the cheese. Now that I’m thinking about ginger in the salsa, this reminds me of another awesome meal that I haven’t made in forever from the New York Times. Its a gently cooked chicken with a garlic-chile-ginger sauce. I will have to make that soon!
Brown Rice and Beans with Chile-Ginger Salsa
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped, divided
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water
2 red jalapenos (or Fresno or Holland chiles), stemmed, halved and seeded
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp ginger, chopped and peeled
1 Tbsp finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 avocado, halved, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup Cojita or feta cheese, crumbled
1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Add 1/4 of the chopped onion, and saute about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the rice, and stir to coat. Add 2 cups water, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to low, cover and cook for 40-50 minutes, until rice is cooked. Then remove from the heat, let stand, covered for 10 minutes. Remove cover, fluff with fork, add 1/4 cup of the cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. In the meantime, add the remaining Tbsp of oil to a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Add 2/3 of the remaining onion, and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the coriander and cumin, and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the black beans and broth or water, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until slightly thickened, mashing slightly.
3. To make the chile-ginger salsa, add the chiles, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and remaining onion to a blender or a mini-food processor. Pulse a few times, until it forms a chunky salsa. Season with salt to taste.
4. To serve, add the rice and the beans to a bowl, top with salsa, avocado, cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges.
Source: Bon Appetit, April 2013