Monday, January 16, 2012

Garlicky Pinto Beans & Rice

Sometimes, for me, a simple meal is just what I need to focus on taking care of myself a little better. This isn't to say that I haven't been taking care of myself--but when I'm stressed, or tired, or feeling conflicted I don't always eat as well as I could or should. It's times like these that I need the reminder that easy foods can taste amazing and that there's a lot of cooking that can go on with my immediate supervision.

This is a simple dish of pinto beans and brown rice, meant (for me) to be a cleansing meal. Not Cleanse, like the fad diets, just a means of eating and living intentionally. I soaked the beans while I was at work, then stuck the rice in the oven when I got home, and turned the beans on to simmer while I walked the dog, cleaned the kitchen a little, and generally tried to focus on doing things that would help me feel better.

For the rice, I used a variation on Alton Brown's oven-baked brown rice, which I'll post about soonish.

Garlicky Pinto Beans
1 cup dry pinto beans, soaked for at least 8 hours in lightly salted water* if you've got the time (otherwise just cook them longer)
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon pureed chipotle, or more to taste
3 cups water or veggie broth
At least 1/2 teaspoon salt*

Combine all ingredients (including soaking water if you've pre-soaked--just try to adjust the amount of water/broth you add to equal about 3 cups total liquid) in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so that the beans will just simmer. When the beans are tender (about 40 minutes, depending on how long they soaked and how old your beans were) adjust salt if necessary.

*Don't add additional salt until you've tasted the cooked beans if you used salted soaking water.

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