Caribbean Style Rice & Beans

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Ingredients:

  • Long Grain Rice – 2 cups; thoroughly rinsed until water runs clear
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbs
  • Red Onion – 1/2 medium; diced
  • Garlic Cloves – 4-5; minced
  • Mushroom Caps – 4 small; sliced
  • Bell Pepper – 1/2; diced
  • Fresh Bay Leaves x 2
  • Fresh Thyme – 1 tbs
  • Vegetable broth bouillon cube x1
  • Coconut Milk – 19oz can
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Red Kidney Beans – 190z can; drained & thoroughly rinsed
  • Creole Seasoning – 4+ tbs
  • Salt & Pepper – a few dashes

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Instructions:

Heat a large sauté pan or skillet with on medium/ low heat. Wait a of couple minutes for the pan to heat up, then add the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. After the oil has time to heat, toss in the red onion and minced garlic. Shortly after, include the bell pepper, mushrooms, and fresh thyme. Stir it all around and add a dash of salt and black pepper.

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Now its time to add the long grain rice that you have washed extremely thoroughly. Even it all out then pour 3 cups of water into the pan. The coconut milk is then added along with the vegetable broth bouillon cube, 4+ tablespoons of creole seasoning (I love this seasoning so I don’t hold back), and the rinsed red kidney beans. Finally, add the 2 fresh bay leaves and bring it to a simmer.

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Cover and reduce heat, stiring freuquently to prevent burning, adding water if necessary. It takes about 20-25 minutes for the rice to cook and water to evaporate, at which point you’ll be left with a creamy rice thats not only delicious and nutritious, but also free of animal products. Do not forget to remove the bay leaves prior to serving.

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Creole Seasoning Blend: 

  • 2 tbs Onion Powder
  • 2 tbs Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbs Dried Basil
  • 2 tbs Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbs Dried Thyme
  • 1 tbs Black Pepper
  • 1 tbs White Pepper
  • 1 tbs Cayenne Pepper
  • 5 tbs Paprika
  • 3 tbs Salt

creole seasoning

In a small bowl, combine all of the above ingredients. Store in an air tight container.

You may be able to find this seasoning already made up at your grocery store, likely in the international isle. I did not have such luck, but easily picked up all the herbs and spices at bulk barn.

 

 

 

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Healthy and Delicious Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Ingredients (I didn't have cucumber on hand, but definitely add it if you can!)
Ingredients (I didn’t have cucumber on hand, but definitely add it if you can!)

1 box of noodles – 375 grams

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 can of chickpeas – drain and rinse

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

¾ Bell pepper (I like to use ¼ of 3 different colours)

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

½ small-medium red onion

Lemon juice from ½ a lemon

6 green onions

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

A bunch of spinach

1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes

½ of a medium sized cucumber

A pinch of salt and pepper

In a large pot bring lightly salted water to a boil and add the box of noodles. Cook noodles on a medium heat for approximately 10-15 minutes or until noodles are tender. While waiting for the noodles to cook, chop up your vegetables. Check and stir the noodles frequently. Still not ready? Make the dressing. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix it all up until it is well blended. Are the noodles done? Drain it! Add a little bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking, and set aside to it let cool.

Once the noodles have had some time to cool off, it’s time to add it all together. Mix in the chick peas, vegetables, and then while stirring it all together slowly pour in the dressing. All that is left now is to add the sesame seeds and parsley flakes. Continue to stir until the ingredients are well blended. Voila! Pack it up and toss it in the fridge.

This will make enough for a week’s worth of lunches or dinners, or to bring to a gathering of some sort. Feel free to tweak the recipe any way you like. I use whatever vegetables I have on hand and my measurements are never perfect. I am not a professional chef, but I think this is damn good. Oh, and if you don’t eat meat, this is a great vegetarian/vegan meal that offers complete protein through the combination of grains, legumes, and seeds. Enjoy 🙂

Ready to eat!
Ready to eat!