Meatless Monday

Brazilian Black Beans with Brown Rice

Todays meatless creation was Brazilian Black Beans. I served the dish with brown rice and garnished with low fat cheese, avocado, heirloom tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, chili paste and lime. My husband skipped the chili paste and lime. I am a big fan of hot food and really like lime so for me these were key. He enjoyed the dish without.

The inspiration for this dish came from “Everyday Food – Fresh Flavor Fast”. I was excited when I came upon the recipe because it called for beets and scallions both of which came in my box from the organic farm on Thursday. I added my own twist to the orignal recipe – shocking, I know.

This is not only meatless by vegetarian. Served without the cheese or with soy cheese will make it vegan.

Brazilian Black Beans
Serves 6

3 medium beets
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and soaked
3 garlic cloves
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch cilantro
2-3 bay leaves
Salt and Pepper
lime wedges, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, chili paste, scallions, cilantro for garnish

Rinse and pick through beans. Place in a large pot or bowl. Cover with 8 or more cups of water and let soak overnight.

Drain and rinse beans. Scrub and trim beets. Place beans, beets and bay leaves in a large dutch oven or stock pot (at least 5 quart) and cover with water. Season with Salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until beets are tender when pierced. Add water as needed to cover.

When beets are tender, remove to a bowl and cool. Continue to cook beans for an additional hour or until tender. When beets are cool, rub off skins and dice.

Finely chop garlic and sprinkle with salt. Use the flat side of a chefs knife to rub garlic into a paste. Wash and chop 3/4 of the bunch of cilantro. Clean and slice 3/4 of the bunch of scallions.

Heat the oil in a saute pan and cook the garlic, scallions and cilantro for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until scallions began to soften and mixture is very fragrant.

Drain excess water off of beans and add the scallion mixture. You may add the beets to the pot as well or keep them separate and serve then on the side. Heat together for about 5 minutes until flavors meld.

Serve black beans with white or brown rice. Garnish with all or some of the suggested garnishes. Enjoy!