Friday, June 17, 2011

Rice And Beans

{Picture coming soon!}
Rating: 5 stars
Prep time: Easy

This spring, I've been trying to incorporate a few meatless meals into our lives for health and budget reasons. So far, this is the only meatless meal (it's not really "vegetarian" since it has chicken stock in it) that my meat-and-potatoes husband approves of. It's a simple dish, but one so packed with flavor that it's hard to stop eating! It would also make a great filler for tacos or stuffed peppers.

1 clove garlic
1 T olive oil
1 cup rice (I always use brown—you can also replace the rice with quinoa, which is delicious!)
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups black beans
1/2 cup corn (cooked)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder or mexican spice blend (I use a tex-mex blend that has chili powder, cayenne pepper, and other things)
1 T lemon or lime juice
1/2 t dried cilantro

Finely chop garlic. In medium saucepan, sautee garlic in olive oil until garlic is just barely beginning to brown. Add rice and sautee for a minute, then add chicken stock. Allow everything to come to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low (it should be higher than a simmer, but not a full boil). Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add all other ingredients and cook for another two or three minutes. Serve hot.

Zebra Brownies

{Picture coming soon}

Rating: 5 stars
Prep time: Medium (Still easy, but a little more involved than a box of brownie mix)

Cream cheese "zebra" brownies have always been my very favorite kind of brownie. I have been wanting to make some for weeks, and having company for dinner tonight gave me the excuse I needed! I adapted this recipe from a few different recipes, and it turned out perfectly. I may never be able to go back to brownies out of a box again!

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

1 stick butter plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. vanilla
4 eggs
2 c. white flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric beater until soft. Add vanilla, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 egg and cream together until smooth. Set aside. In medium saucepan on stove, melt butter. Mix in cocoa and stir until combined. Remove from heat and add sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, flour, and chocolate chips. Stir until combined. Pour into a greased 9x13" pan. Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture over the top of brownie batter and use a knife to swirl the two together. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center is no longer gooey. Enjoy... and try not to eat too many!