Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Beans n' Cornbread

I know it seems like I've been making lots of bean dishes in the last several days. And, well...I have. I'm trying to drop just a few pounds that I put on over the holidays. If I eat lots of lean protein, I just don't crave junk as much. Hence, the beans.

Last night I made a dish that I've been making, in some variation, for the last 15 years. I lived on this stuff in college. Black beans with tomatoes over brown rice. Sometimes I'll throw in some pintos too if I have them around. I start by sauteeing a chopped onion and several cloves of minced garlic. When the onion is soft, I'll add a semi-drained can of diced tomatoes. (Sometimes two if I'm making a lot.) Then I add the beans. This time I also added a small can of chopped green chiles. I think I'll definitely do that from now on. Next, I add the seasonings. I use a couple TBS of sugar, some chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Really you could add whatever you like. I like serve it over brown rice. Very tasty, and very filling too.

I like to have cornbread with my beans. (Who doesn't?) I used Jiffy brand cornbread mix for years, and several months ago I decided to read the ingredients. I noticed it contained lard, and I almost barfed. (I have no problem with people using lard for cooking. We don't eat land animals, though. That was the problem.) How that had escaped me for so long, I just don't know. I read the ingredient list on EVERYTHING. So, I needed to find a good recipe to make my own damn cornbread. Well, I think I picked a winner! Holy smokes, it was the best cornbread I've ever had. I even baked it in my cast-iron skillet. That's the old-fashioned way, you know. Anyway, I did reduce the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for. I used a scant half-cup. I do like my cornbread on the sweet side, but I don't like it to be like cake. So, I definitely recommend reducing the sugar.

My little guy was hanging out with me in the kitchen while I was cooking, and he said he wanted to listen to "the music I liked when I was a baby". So, it was Damien Rice's O. That album was the only thing that soothed him when he was a tiny baby.


Rebecca Burch said...

Ooh, Cuban black beans! I love that stuff.

Beans = comfort food.

The Dalai Mama said...

For sure. My mom made soup beans and cornbread all the time when I was young. She swore that her mom made it much more often!

carrie said...

DM - These look so yummy...I'm a big fan of beans, as is my little one. I use lots of beans in my cooking, and always have several varieties precooked and frozen.....I'm going to have to check the stash for black beans and make this one up soon!!!

The Dalai Mama said...

Carrie, you definitely should. You won't be disappointed. I'm going to try your agave lentils next week!

Rebecca Burch said...

I made this for my parents and father-in law today. It was a hit!

I need to fix beans more often.

Rebecca Burch said...

BTW, Mexicans use a spice called "epazote" in their beans to counteract the ... er... digestive issues that beans cause. I tried it today, and everyone seems pretty fart-free. It tastes kind of like parsley -- doesn't really have much flavor at all, to be honest.

I got it here: http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeysepazote.html

carrie said...

DM - The beans and cornbread are on my menu for this week (although I have to use a different cornbread recipe because we are going eggless for the time being). Agave baked lentils are on the menu for this week too!! We're having them tomorrow as a matter of fact.

The Dalai Mama said...

rebecca: Cool! I'm glad it was a hit. Neat about the spice too. Maybe I'll get some and regularly sprinkle Sleek's food. (heehee!)

carrie: I always have massive quantities of beans cooked and ready too. Makes cooking much easier.