This weekend was crazy, but in a good way.
Nick and I drove to my parents’ house on Friday and the next two days were non-stop. One of my best friends got married on Saturday, so I got to spend time with her and some other friends at the rehearsal Friday night and while we were getting ready for the wedding all day Saturday.
The weather was cold, but the dresses were gorgeous, everyone’s hair turned out great, and the wedding went off without a hitch. The reception was at an old Victorian mansion, and the rest of the day was filled with recliners and football.
The perfect weekend? ;)
Besides being exhausted this morning, I really want comfort foods today.
It looks like it’s going to be another gray, cold fall day today which means I need three things: coffee, my slippers, and a hearty comforting meal.
The only problem? A lot of comfort food recipes take some time to make. A slow simmering chili or pot of beans has got to be one of the best things ever, but I don’t always have the time to make that for dinner.
And there are definitely some dishes you can’t rush (beef burgundy) but beans and rice are one dish you can make on a busy weekend and they’ll still have the flavor of a long-cooking dish.
My secret weapons for making a quick dish taste like it’s been cooking for hours?
1. Every ingredient needs to be the best you can get. Using broth? Make sure you choose your favorite and the most flavorful.
2. Use beans that have great shape and texture.
3. Start off the dish with sauteed vegetables to give it a deep base of flavor.
4. Tomato paste in a tube! It’s my life-saver for dishes like this.
5. Use fresh herbs whenever possible.
I’m not sure I would ever put a pot of beans up against my grandmothers, but these were hearty and tasty and make a great dinner. Plus, you’ll have a lot of leftovers and that means instant lunches!
Quick Beans and Rice
Makes: 4-6 servings
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1 and 3/4 cups quick cooking brown rice
- 2 tsp salt
- diced avocado, hot sauce, scallions, cheese, for possible toppings
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the diced onion, scallions, and carrots and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
- Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and stir together with the vegetables. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the tomato paste is cooking into the vegetable mixture.
- Add the smoked paprika and Cajun seasoning and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring.
- Pour in the beans and tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let the pot of beans cook on low for 10-15 minutes.
- In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover the pot, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and keep it covered for another 5 minutes. Stir the salt into the rice.
- Serve beans over rice and top with avocado, hot sauce, and extra scallions or cheese.
Want to see more comfort dishes? Visit kelly-confidential.com to vote for your favorite comfort foods and/or share their own.
For every selection or entry, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as part of its $1 million commitment to the cause. Plus, visitors will be entered for a chance to win an Electrolux Induction Cooktop, which makes cooking your favorite comfort foods fast and easy thanks to induction technology.