Sunday, August 25, 2013

Red Beans and Rice Revamped

I have always assumed that the definitive Cheap Not Frugal Eats recipe for red beans and rice was posted. I think I was fooled by thinking this because I have so many recipes that involve beans, tomato sauce and rice. Well...I've shared something that comes close to a recipe for our version of Cajun red beans and rice. Goodness, I have come a long way.

I love meals like red beans and rice because it's so easy to create a new meal depending on your mood or what's available in the pantry. In this case, this is the most simple version we make. Just cook some onions and garlic then everything else gets thrown in the pot, simmer until done. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice

by Ace Nation
Keywords: saute entree vegan vegetarian beans/lentils tomatoes
Ingredients (serves 3)
  • 1 tablespoon oil, such as canola
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water (about as much needed to rinse out the tomato cans)
  • 1-2 red chile peppers, such as Fresno, pimento, or Italian (bell peppers can be substituted)
  • 1 15 ounce can of red beans, rinsed and drained, or about 1 3/4 cups of cooked beans
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2-2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (amount depending on the brand and your taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium-low to medium heat.
Add the onions, cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just beginning to brown.
Add the garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add all the remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it cooks. Be careful, bubbling tomatoes will splash. If you need to put a lid on the pot, make sure the steam can escape.
Serve over rice.
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Belated National Cheesecake Day Celebration

In case you weren't aware, National Cheesecake Day 2013 took place on July 30. As part of the celebration, my dear friend, Chef Steph, was on the local news in Colorado Springs. I've mentioned Chef Steph before for her help in perfecting caramel and suggesting making a cardamom glaze for my Orange Bread.

 I had to share her clip discussing Boonzaaijer's Cakes and Pastries, the bakery she works at, and the beauty that is cheesecake. One of the things I love about Chef Steph is her witty one-liners. My favorite is her response to the news anchor's comment about calories. You will just have to watch to know what I'm talking about. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Improvisatory Moment in the Kitchen: Frugal Rice Salad

When it's hot, I don't always feel like cooked food or anything very warm, for that matter. Rice has become one of my favorite foods and a meal with rice almost always sounds like a great idea. The other night, after working outside all day in the park, I wasn't very inspired. Z. was bound and determined to make stir-fry. I looked at the fresh veggies and thought they would also be great raw. I chopped a bunch of vegetables, gave half to Z. to cook, and created a rice salad with the rest. I splashed the rice and veggie mixture with a bit of rice vinegar, olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. A great improvisatory moment in the kitchen. Use whatever veggies you have on hand. Since I had it, I used:
  • cooked jasmine rice
  • red bell pepper
  • green bell pepper
  • red onion
  • purple cabbage
  • basil
  • cilantro
What vegetables would you use?


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Recipe Review: Grape Clafouti

 Recently, I found myself with a bounty of grapes (they were on sale, of course). I have a very limited repertoire of grape recipes: grapes in my lunch or this great lentil salad with grapes, apples, and walnuts. I did a little research and came across Heidi Fink's blog, Lip Smacking. She has a recipe for Coronation Grape Clafouti that I just had to try. (Here is a little more information on clafouti if you would like to know a bit more.)

I still can't get over how pretty this desert looked.

The ingredients are very simple:
  • butter (or in my case, nonstick cooking spray)
  • seedless grapes
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • flour
  • light cream (I used milk and it turned out just fine)
  • salt
  • vanilla
This was delicious and elegant! Z. the boyfriend was skeptical but eventually tried my clafouti and was won over. The grapes transformed into little warm globes of juice that burst in your mouth and the cake was light and not too custardy. I don't have a pie pan, so I used two small pyrex glass dishes. As an experiment, I put grapes into only one pan with just enough batter to reach the top of the little spheres. In the other pan, I poured the remaining batter. When baking, clafouti puffs up, creating two layers. Once the clafouti was cool, these two layers came together into a tasty treat. Enjoy and try this recipe!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Recipes and Adventures in the Works

Good evening!

I have not abandoned you, dear readers! I have some delicious recipes to share, including grape clafouti. I am very proud of this recipe. It's amazing. And I will have some adventures to share with you. Z. competed in a home edition of Chopped with some friends and very peculiar ingredients. Check back soon to see the dishes and hear about his trials and tribulations.