I got a comment recently from a new reader. She said she was enjoying my blog, but didn’t see many recipes for leftovers. That comment kind of surprised me, because most of the food I make uses some kind of leftover component. However, I don’t always specify that when writing my posts. So I want to make more of an effort to point out the leftover components I am using, and to talk about other ways that my food philosophy extends, but yet still encompasses “leftover qualities”. Things like making food from scratch using what it in your pantry or fridge, making things you eat often like bread, cheese and yogurt, or preserving seasonal vegetables and making your own condiments. This is all part of the Leftover Queen philosophy – use what you have on hand, make substitutions whenever necessary, to be able to focus on what using what is on hand, and make as much as you can from scratch using wholesome basics.
In this vein I want to talk about beans and rice. I love beans and rice, and it is certainly a meal that embraces leftovers. Beyond the basic components of beans and rice (and even within those two ingredients there are many varieties), you can throw anything you have lying around in the fridge that needs using up. As usual I always soak my rice and beans ahead of time. I generally take a day during the weekend, and do large batches of soaking – grains, flours and legumes, and then cooking til almost done, so I can just package them up and throw them in the freezer for quick yet nourishing meals later on.
The week before vacation is always a busy time, so I was happy to be greeted by beans, rice and other grains when I opened the freezer that I could throw together for a quick meal. For this particular batch of beans and rice I added some chopped up organic kielbasa and sauteed it with the rice. Then I added about 2 cups of chopped kale, some spices like New Mexico green chili powder, cumin and coriander, a few tablespoons of homemade tomato sauce (also from the freezer) and water. I let everything come to a boil, and cooked on low heat for about 25 minutes, adding more liquid as necessary.
Beans and rice is a combination dish that is eaten all over the world. It is frugal, healthy and delicious, and you can constantly change it up to suit your tastes! Make it with leftover meat, or keep it vegetarian – the choice is up to you! Top it with shredded cheese, yogurt (or sour cream), salsa or even guacamole!
So enjoy some beans and rice for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast, today!
Stay tuned for some posts about The Foodbuzz Food Bloggers Festival that I will be attending this weekend! Looking forward to meeting many of you there!