Sheet Pan Cuban Rice and Beans

I just might be on a sheet pan cooking kick. I recently shared a recipe for a Teriyaki Barbecue Pineapple Chicken dish and today I am sharing with you a rice and beans dish. I would have never thought I would make rice and beans in the oven on a sheet pan, but, after coming across the recipe and figuring it was worth trying I may try making some other rice dishes this way. I usually make rice the “normal” way, in a pot with water. And while it’s always edible there are times that I miss the moment when I should lower the heat and cover the pot and my rice comes out a little crispy on the bottom, or vice versa, I cover and lower it too soon and I end up with rice that has one too many clumps. I wouldn’t say it’s mushy by any means though. But, my first time using this method turn out rice that was pretty perfect.

I began by combining two sliced bell peppers (red and green), a sliced yellow onion, and 3 sliced garlic cloves with olive oil and salt in medium bowl. After tossing everything together I transferred the vegetables to a sheet pan I sprayed with cooking spray. I roasted the vegetables in a 400 F preheated oven for about 12-13 minutes.

While the vegetables were in the oven I combined rice, 2 cans of rinsed black beans, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt and 2 1/2 cups of water in a medium bowl. Don’t worry, it’s not a lot of water and if you use a large enough sheet pan it will not spill over.

After removing the pan from the oven, I stirred the vegetables and then carefully poured the rice mixture to the pan. I gave everything a few good stirs using a spoon and tongs. I covered the pan with aluminum foil and returned it to the oven for 30 minutes.

I let the pan stand for five minutes after removing it from the oven and then removed the aluminum foil and fluffed the rice with a fork. This was definitely one of the easiest and foolproof ways that I have made rice and beans. The end result was flavorful and the rice was the perfect texture and consistency.

Sheet Pan Cuban Rice and Beans

Ingredients:

2 bell peppers, any colors cut into thin strips

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine the peppers, onion and garlic in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Spread the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 13 – 15 minutes, until softened. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the vegetables.

In another medium bowl combine the rice, beans, cumin, oregano, coriander, remaining salt and 2 1/2 cups of water. Pour the mixture onto the pan with the vegetables and stir to combine. Cover with foil and return the pan to the oven for 28-30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before removing the aluminum foil.

Remove the foil and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Recipe slightly modified from Epicurious

Slow Cooker Sunday: Corn & Bean Enchilada Bake

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as many Slow Cooker Sunday recipes. It’s for a few reasons, one of them, I am running low on recipes. Quite a few of the recipes I have shared have been from this cookbook. While I haven’t tried them all, there are some dessert recipes I would like to try, I have tried those that sounded most appealing to me. Another reason, a lot of the recipes I come across are usually for 6- 10 servings, great if you are cooking for 2 or more people, but, since I cook for just myself that’s way too many leftovers. Don’t get me wrong, I love leftovers (especially since it means I don’t have to cook everyday),but, after eating the same thing for lunch & dinner after two or three days it just doesn’t taste the same by the 5th or 6th time eating it. And yes, I could start working on creating my own recipes, but, I am more comfortable creating recipes for stovetop and oven cooking. So, I did some research and came across the answer, a slow cooker cookbook with recipes geared towards 2 people. No more leftovers for days and days and days.

There’s a little bit of everything in this cookbook. A section on poultry, beef, breakfast, desserts and even seafood. Although, I always avoid making seafood in my slow cooker. I feel like since seafood cooks fast enough there’s no reason to slow cook it. Also, seafood odors can linger and cooking it in a slow cooker for hours on end may not be that delightful. So, I am geared with a new cookbook and ready to start using my smaller slow cooker to whip up some delicious meals that won’t be lasting me days on end.

First up, I made a Corn and Bean Enchilada Bake.

In a medium bowl I combined a chopped tomato, chopped onion, minced garlic, a minced jalapeno pepper, a can of black beans and corn.

After spraying the insert of my slow cooker with cooking spray I layered the ingredients for the enchilada.

I poured salsa verde in the bottom of the slow cooker. While the cookbook does include a recipe for homemade salsa verde I decided to go the easier route and used store bought. I then topped the salsa with 3 corn tortillas, overlapping them. I poured half of the bean mixture over the tortillas and topped it with more salsa verde and finally shredded cheese. I repeated the layers once more and then covered the slow cooker and set it to cook on low for 6 hours.

After the six hours the cheese had melted and the tortillas were soft. And I had the perfect sized meal for 2 lunches and 1 dinner.

Corn and Bean Enchilada Bake

Ingredients:

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 large tomato, seeded and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 14oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 8.5oz. can yellow sweet corn

1 1/4 cups salsa verde

6 corn tortillas, taco style

2/3 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

 

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine the first 6 ingredients.

Spray the insert of a slow cooker with cooking spray.

Pour 1/3 cup of salsa verde in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Place three of the tortillas in the slow cooker overlapping them. Pour half of the bean mixture over the tortillas and the top with half of the remaining salsa and half of the cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with the cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Recipe from The Complete Slow Cooking for Two Cookbook

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Sunday: Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

I’ve posted a fair amount of chili recipes and today I am bringing you one more… A Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes. This chili is loaded with kidney beans, black beans and chunks of sweet potato. And if you are not keen on spicy chili then this is the chili for you.

While I normally do most of my slow cooking on Sunday’s I ended up making this chili in my slow cooker overnight Saturday to Sunday since I had plans to go apple picking on this particular Sunday. I like to be home when my slow cooker is on, I know it’s completely safe and all, but, I just don’t like leaving it unattended. Also, if there happens to be a power outage I can always switch the dish to cook in the oven or on the stove as opposed to my entire meal being ruined because it didn’t cook properly, especially with a meat dish. I once read that if you do leave your slow cooker unattended and there happens to be a power outage and you’re cooking meat the best bet is to toss the food since you can never be sure of bacteria growing. And yes, I know it’s not any safer to have it on while I am sleeping, we can all recall how Jack died on “This Is Us” (even though the slow cooker wasn’t on but had a switch malfunction), in the back of my mind it’s safer thanks to my smoke detector and my keen nose. Speaking of my keen nose, the delicious aromas of this chili woke me prior to the 7-hour cooking mark and I couldn’t go back to sleep, so, I decided to check on it and happily discovered that the sweet potatoes were fork tender so I was able to turn it off and go back to sleep. If it had been on any longer the sweet potatoes would have turned to mush, but, as you can see from the picture below the sweet potato was intact.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 14.5 ounce cans of diced fire roasted peppers

1 15.5 ounce can of black beans, rinsed

1 15.5 ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Options for serving: sour cream, sliced scallions, shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips

Directions:

In the insert of your slow cooker combine the onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their juices), beans, sweet potato and 1 cup of water.

Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, 7-8 hours on low and 4 to 5 hours on high.

Serve with your favorite toppings or eat on its own.

Recipe from Real Simple

 

 

 

 

 

2 Salads & A Salsa

With summer in full swing you are probably heading to quite a few BBQ’s or hosting a few yourself. Today I would like to share with you two salads and a salsa recipe that are super easy & super quick to make for any BBQ you may be hosting or invited to or for those days that you just want to make something quick and easy for dinner that doesn’t involve much effort or thought. With all of these recipes I suggest making them a few hours in advance and refrigerating them so all of the flavors can marinate together.

Green Bean – Cucumber Salad

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 English cucumber, sliced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add green beans. Boil the green beans until they are tender – approximated 7 minutes – and then drain and rinse under cold water.

2.  In a large bowl toss the green beans along with the remaining ingredients and then season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Black Bean – Corn Salad

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Ingredients:

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

1 cup canned corn

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

Juice of 3 limes

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Whisk together the olive oil, honey and lime juice in a measuring cup.

2.  In a large bowl add the black beans, corn, pepper, scallions and cilantro. Add the olive oil mixture to the black bean mixture and toss all the ingredients together. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the dice avocado. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup diced white onion

1 20 oz. can pineapple slices in juice*

2 tomatoes, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt

*Alternatively can use 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into rings.

Directions:

1. Soak the onion in cold water for 15 minutes then drain.

2. Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium heat and lightly oil the pan (you could also grill the pineapple on a grill.) Grill the pineapple rings until marked, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and chop.

3. Combine the pineapple, onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, ginger and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the lime juice and season with salt then toss. Serve with tortilla chips. This salsa also tastes great over salmon and grilled chicken.

Quesadilla Casserole

I was running out of ideas of what to make for dinner – I’m a much more creative baker than cook – so I turned to one of the McCormick Recipe Creations I had in my cabinet and opted for a Quesadilla Casserole. The ingredients were basic, it seemed super quick and most importantly it sounded delicious.

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To start I gathered all of my ingredients together.

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Up first I chopped the onion and cooked it with the ground beef until it was browned.

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After draining the beef and onion mixture I added in two cans of tomato sauce, a can of black beans (drained and rinsed), a can of corn (undrained), and a can of chopped green chiles (undrained).

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After mixing that together I then added in all of the spices: chili powder, ground cumin, minced garlic and oregano leaves.

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I brought the mixture to a boil and then lowered the heat from medium-high to low and let it simmer for five minutes.

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Now it was time to assemble the casserole. I began by spreading 1/2 cup of the beef mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish which I sprayed with a non-stick baking spray.

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I then topped that with three 8-inch flour tortillas.

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To complete the first layer of the casserole I topped the tortillas with half of the remaining beef mixture and then one cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

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I made the second layer by repeating the tortilla, beef & cheese order.

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I baked the casserole in a 350 degrees pre-heated oven for 15 minutes and then let it rest for 5 minutes before digging in. It was a hit… This recipe is definitely a keeper and thankfully uses spices that I currently have in my cabinet so there’s no need for the recipe packet next time.

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Quesadilla Casserole

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. oregano leaves

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (8 3/4 oz.) whole kernel corn, undrained

1 can (4 1/2 oz.) chopped green chiles, undrained

6 flour tortillas (8-inch)

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp. red pepper (optional)

1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chiles; mix well. Stir in all of the spices except red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste, if desired.

2. Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on bottom of 13x9x2- inch baking dish sprayed with no-stick cooking spray. Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture and cheese.

3. Bake in preheated 350F oven 15 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.