Monday Musings… Beans and rice and batching it!

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We all have heard that saying poor planning can often lead to poor outcomes. The same can be said for eating well, and taking care of our health. I am not suggesting we become obsessive or “store up” too much, but a little planning at the beginning of the week when it comes to meals, will save money time and your health.

I knew this, but was reminded of it more and taking it to a whole new level while working through my Rouxbe training. I usually make a big salad for the week, prep some veggies, make up some humus or other dip and wing the rest. In the lesson we went through cooking various beans, rice, legumes and other grains in batch, then using those in different recipes to demonstrate the ease of putting a meal together. I am a single girl, but still making up a couple cups of rice and such at the start of the week, even if I don’t use them in a few days I freeze them for later use. The other little secret I learned was adding flavor to the beans while soaking or even cooking. If you know that you are going to be adding the beans to a dish that has garlic, or other herbs, put them in at those times to infuse even more flavor. I put a couple of bay leaves, 2-3 cloves of garlic in my black beans, as a cooked them and what a difference. Not sure I will buy canned again! Saving on sodium too!

One of the recipes intrigued me with the combination of black beans, salsa and coconut milk? In some ways it seemed an odd combo, yet I had all the ingredients and I was hungry… so I got to the business of making this up.

As I stated this was a batch cooking lesson, so I obviously used beans I had made. Yes you could use canned beans, but I really encourage you to try making your own. Also I had made my own salsa and had it on hand to use, again if you choose to use canned, read the label, watch for hidden sugar and salt.

IMG_0901This is the dish in progress… doesn’t it look yummy? The recipe link is: http://rouxbe.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=black+beans%2C+salsa+coconut+milk&commit=

I hope you will try it. Simple less than 5 ingredients and you have dinner on the table in less than a half hour! I served this over… you got it, some rice I had batched cooked earlier in the week! This is one dish I will come back to. Yes all the flavors go together VERY well!

A little cilantro garnish goes a long way!
A little cilantro garnish goes a long way!

So take some time to plan ahead and treat yourself to food that saves your wallet, and your waistline!

Peace

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