Monday, December 12, 2011

Cauliflower Bread Soup

From: A Tuscan In the Kitchen
This is considered one of the great soups from the Montalcino area of Italy. It has very little broth, looking almost like a sloppy bread pudding. Serve right away.

-olive oil
-black pepper
-parmesan cheese
-Italian bread

Remove the outside leaves from the head of the cauliflower and boil them in a large quantity of salted water for about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop the cauliflower into florets and add them to the pot. Cook at a low boil until completely tender.

Drain the leaves and florets and keep the water they were cooked in.

Slice the bread, toast it, and rub both sides with garlic. Soak the bread in the cauliflower water.

Now start to build the soup. In a large bowl, or individual bowls, make a layer of bread. Sprinkle it with olive oil, salt, papper, and Parmesan. The spread a layer of cauliflower florets and leaves over the bread. Make another bread layer an dkeep building until you run out, working quickly so the soup stays hot. Serve it right away when it's hot.

Monday, December 5, 2011

VEGETARIAN CHILI with Corn and Avocado

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
  • 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespooon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock, or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooked brown rice, accompaniment
  • Sour cream or strained plain yogurt, garnish
  • Diced avocado, garnish
  • Chopped green onions, garnish
  • Creole seasoning mix, below:


In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with Seasoning Mix and green onions and serve.

Serves 6-8

Creole Seasoning Mix:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Saturday, December 3, 2011


From The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters:

Warm a heavy-bottomed pan. Add:
-3 T. olive oil
-1 medium onion, thinly sliced
-1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced
-pinch of salt

Cover and cook until soft but not brown. Add water to keep from browning if necessary.

-2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced or crushed

Cook for about two minutes, then add:
-2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, washed, cored and sliced.. or two cans of good quality diced tomatoes.
-1 scant T. white rice
-large pinch of salt
-1/2 bay leaf
-1 small sprig of savory, thyme or basil

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes fall apart. Add:
-1 cup water or broth
-1 T. olive oil or butter

Continue cooking for another ten minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove the herb sprig. Blend until smooth. Taste for salt. Add more water if the soup is too thick.

-Garnish with mint or croutons, or with torn basil or finely cut chives and olive oil

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vegan Sweet and Russet Potatoes Anna

Makes 8-10 servings

If making up to one day ahead, let cool, cover airtight and chill. Reheat, covered, in a 425 degree oven until hot in the center, 25 to 30 minutes

One-and-a-half pound of yams or sweet potatoes

One-and-a-half pound russet potatoes

olive oil

2 large leeks

1 red onion

1 sweet onion

Several tsp dried rosemary or finely chopped fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper

1/2 - 1 cup plain, unsweetened hemp milk

1/2 - 1 cup vegetable broth

Slice leeks and onions thinly, then saute in olive oil until soft and lightly browned. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary.

Peel yams and russet potatoes. Cut yams and potatoes into uniformly thick 1/16" slices. As cut, immerse russets into water to prevent browning.

Generously grease a 12" pan with olive oil.

Overlap potato slices in layers, alternating with layers of leek/onion mixture. Repeat layers, alternating russets and sweet potatoes.

Mix together vegetable broth and hemp milk. Pour over the potatoes - you may use only part of this mixture, you just want enough to moisten the potatoes well. Drizzle top with olive oil.

Cover pan tightly with foil.

Bake on the lowest rack in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until potatoes are tender when pierced and edges are brown and crisp, about 35-45 minutes longer. Let stand 5-10 minutes.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Bars

Generously grease a 9 x 13" pan with canola oil, and preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine in large bowl:
21/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy, soy free kind)
1 cup rice or other gluten free flour
1/2 cup agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt

Mix together, then pat crust evenly into the bottom of the pan.

Mix together 1 and 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 T. cornstarch

Beat 4 large eggs, and stir in 1 large can (29 oz.) pumpkin, 2 tsp. vanilla, and sugar/spice mixture. Gradually stir in 24 oz. plain, unsweetened hemp or rice milk.

Spread on top of unbaked oat crust and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Scatter chopped pecans over the top, or dust with cinnamon and nutmeg. Let cool before cutting; keep refrigerated.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Potato/Corn/Tomato Soup

These amounts are approximate...adjust according to your tastes...

Saute in olive oil in a big pot:
-2 celery stalks, minced
-1 large onion, minced
-3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. pepper

When all is soft but not browned, add:
-3 russet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
-1 large can tomato sauce, or 1 large can chopped tomatoes, or 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
-about 1/2 bag frozen corn, thawed
-1 bay leaf
-1 tsp. dried oregano
-1 tsp. dried basil
-4-6 cups of liquid (depending on if you want this to be more like a stew or soup - I use half broth and half water.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wild at Heart Salad

1.5 cups wild rice
1 can artichoke hearts
1 can of chopped black olives
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1 cup chopped cheese curds, feta cheese, or farmers cheese

These amounts are approximate, just mix ingredients to taste
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp mustard
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt

Cook rice per instructions on package and let cool a bit. Add vegetables, walnuts and dressing, stir, then put in the fridge. Add cheese once the rice is cool.

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Makes 8 enchiladas

1 cup light vegetable broth
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup chopped roasted green chiles or fresh chopped chile peppers, like poblanos
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin or
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 15-oz can organic black beans, rinsed, drained
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh lime juice from 1 lime
2 heaping cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed (I baked them in the oven for an hour, then scopped them out and mashed them)
1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

To Assemble:
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
8 corn tortillas
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Make your Green Chile Sauce by combining the broth, corn starch, green chiles, garlic and spices in a sauce pan and heating over medium-high heat. Bring to a high simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes until thickened. Taste test. Set aside.

In the meantime, using a mixing bowl, combine the drained black beans with minced garlic and lime juice. Toss to coat the beans and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the mashed sweet potatoes with the chopped green chiles; add the spices. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Pour about 1/4 cup of the Green Chile Sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.
Grab a skillet and heat a dash of oil. Lightly cook the corn tortillas to soften them - one at a time - as you stuff each one.

Spoon 1/8 of the sweet potato mixture down the center of the tortilla.
Top with 1/8 of the black beans. Roll it up and place in the baking dish.
Repeat for the remaining tortillas. Top with the rest of the sauce.

Top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, optional.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

Top with sour cream and chopped avacado, optional.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lemon Risotto with Summer Squash

7 to 8 cups well seasoned vegetable stock, as needed (I use half water and half broth).

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup minced onion (I used a whole onion)

Salt to taste

1 pound summer squash (mixed varieties), diced

1 1/2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice

1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), green shoots removed, minced

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup dry white wine, like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc

2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest

1 to 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)

2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Put your stock or broth into a saucepan, and bring it to a simmer over low heat with a ladle nearby or in the pot. Make sure that the stock or broth is well seasoned.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the squash and a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to medium high, and cook, stirring often, until the squash is translucent but not too soft, about five minutes. Stir in the rice and the garlic, and stir until the grains separate and begin to crackle. Add the wine, and stir until it has been absorbed. Turn the heat back down to medium, and begin adding the simmering stock a couple of ladlefuls (about 1/2 cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until the rice is just about absorbed. Add another ladle full or two of the stock, and continue to cook in this fashion, stirring in more stock when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often.

When the rice is tender all the way through but still chewy, in about 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add another ladle full of stock to the rice. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and Parmesan. Remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound.

Yield: Serves six.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pear Clafouti

A clafouti is a French oven-baked dessert pudding. The impressive end result belies the little effort it takes to produce.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Unsalted butter to grease baking dish
  • 3 ripe but firm pears, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Wash pears, peel, seed and chop. Place in bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer until foamy.
  4. Add milk, vanilla, sifted flour, sugar, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Beat again until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into buttered 9” ovenproof dish or pie plate. Scatter pear pieces over batter.
  6. Place in oven and bake 40-45 minutes. Batter should rise and turn golden when done.

Remove clafouti from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, which is a fine powdery sugar also known as icing or powdered sugar. Makes 8 portions.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pie Crust from "Rustic Fruit Desserts"

Makes four 9" pie shells:

- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 3 T granulated sugar
- 1 and a half tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 cups (1 lb.) cold butter
- 1 cup ice water, more as needed
-2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir to combine, then put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Cut the butter into 1 inch cubes, then add it to the flour mixture and toss to evenly coat. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, food processor, electric mixer, or your hands; just until the mix becomes coarse and crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.

Stir the water and lemon juice together, then drizzle over the dry ingredients, 1/3 cup at a time, toss with a fork to distribute the liquid. The pastry will be shaggy but should hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand; if not, add an additional teaspoon or two of ice water.

Dump pastry onto a lightly floured work surface and press down on the dough, folding it over itself a few times. Don't handle too much. Divide pastry into 4 equal parts, and shape each into a disk 1" thick. Wrap each and chill for an hour.

Roll out the dough using the smallest amount of flour possible; begin in center of disk and roll outward, turning every few strokes to shape a circle and prevent dough from sticking. Flip it over and roll from the other side too. Roll dough out a little larger than the pan, then trim off any excess. Once dough is in the pan, chill to let it rest for 30-60 minutes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Aloo Gobi

From Manjula's Kitchen -


  • 2 cups of cut cauliflower (cut into small florets)
  • 2 medium potatoes (cubed into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/2 inch shredded ginger
  • 3 teaspoons coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( lal mirch)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Pinch of Asafetida (Hing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 green chilies, sliced in long pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (green coriander)
  • 1/4 cup water as needed


  1. In a small bowl, mix the shredded ginger, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and 3 tablespoons of water to make a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if the seed cracks right away, the oil is ready.
  3. Add asafetida and cumin seeds to the oil after seeds crack add the bay leaves and green chilies and stir for a few seconds.
  4. Next, add the spice paste and stir for a minute.
  5. Add cauliflower, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of water and salt. Mix well. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Make sure to stir gently every 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Lastly, add the mango powder and fresh cilantro. Mix everything and cover for a minute. Adjust the salt to your taste.
Spencer's Variation: I ignored the asafetida and mango powder because I couldn't find anything. I also didn't put in cilantro because I forgot. And I only put in one green chile, minced.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Frittata

  • 8 large red Swiss chard leaves with stems
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 t salt, divided
  • 2 t minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 8 large eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • If you don't have Swiss chard, spinach is good too
Wash the Swiss chard; cut off stems, mince, and set aside. Roughly chop the leaves. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 9-inch skillet (I used an 11" skillet and it worked fine_ with an ovenproof handle. Add onion, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and rosemary. Sauté 10 minutes over medium heat, until the onions are very soft and just starting to brown. Stir in the Swiss chard leaves and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes, or until the greens are just wilted. Remove from heat, stir in garlic and Swiss chard stems, and set aside.

Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add the Swiss chard mixture and goat cheese, and stir to combine. Wash and dry the skillet and return to stove top.

Turn on the broiler, then heat the remaining tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, pour in the vegetable-egg mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs are set on the bottom.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated broiler and broil for about 3 minutes, or until the frittata is firm in the center and golden on top. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the frittata from the skillet and invert onto a large round plate. Cut into wedges.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spencer's 25th Birthday Tacos

Makes 4-6 servings

For Tacos:
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 T. olive oil, divided
2 T. lime juice, plus lime wedges for a garnish
3 tsp. salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 bell peppers, any color, cored and thinly sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
1 and 1/2 tsp paprika
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
8-10 corn tortillas (or you could use whole wheat tortillas)

For Salsa:
2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh lime juice
4 tsp minced fresh jalapeno chili
4 minced cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 avocados, pitted and cut into small dice
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
4 T. minced red onion,
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss together corn, 1 T. olive oil, lime juice, 1 tsp. salt, cumin, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, bell peppers and onion. Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet.

In a second bowl, toss together 1 T. olive oil, paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt and the black beans. Spread this mixture on a second large baking sheet.

Roast vegetables and beans, stirring occasionally and rotating sheet trays halfway through. Cook the beans until they dry out and are just crisp, 20-25 minutes. Bake the vegetables until soft and golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile make the salsa in a smaller bowl:
Whisk together 2 T. olive oil, 2 T. fresh lime juice, 4 tsps. minced fresh jalapeno chile, 4 minced cloves of garlic, and 1/2 tsp. sugar. Then gently stir in 2 avocados, pitted and cut into small dice, 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed, 4 T. minced red onion, 4 T minced fresh cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside

Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven for a few minutes to warm, or lightly pan fry each side in oil. Scoop roasted vegetables onto tortillas, top with sliced cabbage, roasted beans and salsa. Garnish with lime wedges

Monday, April 11, 2011


From Martha Stewart Living Cookbook - First made for Half Moon Yoga's Opening Party...
Makes about two dozen cookies
8 Tbs. unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl.
Add the egg and mix on high until combined. Add the lemon zest; mix to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, salt and crystallized ginger. Add dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mix and combine for about 20 seconds. Using two spoons, drop a Tbs. of batter on prepared baking sheet, about 3" apart. Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate the sheets between the racks and bake until just golden, about 7 more minutes. Slide parchment paper with cookies on it onto a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Monday, January 31, 2011

21st Century Caponata (from Greg Atkinson)

This Sicilan style eggplant appetizer is delicious served over brown rice, tossed with pasta or as an appetizer with crackers. With hummus, olives and feta, it makes an appetizer platter.

Cut a large eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Toss with 1 T. salt and let it stand at room temp in a colander for 10 minutes to drain off the bitter juices Then toss with olive oil and spread on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees until soft and slightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop a red onion and two stalks of celery and saute in olive oil. until onions are beginning to brown. Add 1 T. dried oregano leaves and 1 T. chopped garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Transfer to a bowl, stir in the eggplant plus 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup capers, drained, 1 cup julienne-cut strips of sun-dried tomatoes in oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture stand at room temp for at least 10 minutes before serving. Caponata keeps well in the refrigerator for a week.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spencer's Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients: Yield: 12 muffins
2 1/4 cups gluten free oatmeal, at least half ground to flour in a blender
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cloves
1/4 nutmeg
3/4 cup rice milk or goat yogurt
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Pre-heat oven at 375°F. Cover 12 muffin cups with oven-safe paper.

In a big bowl, mix oatmeal, baking powder, salt and spices

In a blender, food processor or stand mixer, mix the rest of the ingredients and til you have an even mix

Add wet to dry ingredients and mix lightly. Put the mix on the muffin cups and fill 3/4 of each one.

Bake for 13-15 min or til golden.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Edamame Pesto and Linguine

1-1/2 cup shelled edamame
1 lb. whole wheat or brown rice linguine
1 large garlic clove
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/4 cups firmly packed cilantro leaves
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil

Put the pasta water on to boil in a large pot.

Cook the edamame in a small saucepan of salted boiling water for 10 minutes, drain.

In a food processor, process the garlic, salt and cilantro until finely minced.

Add the cooked edamame, lime juice and olive oil.

Add 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water to make a smooth sauce.

Toss the sauce with the cooked linguine and serve.

NOTE: I am going to experiment with this recipe and I think it can get better- like adding sauteed vegetables and walnuts or pine nuts would be perfect. But this is a good base recipe to start from.

Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Refried Rice and Beans)

From Viva Vegan. Gallo pinto literally translates to "painted rooster."

3 T olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
one small or 1/2 large onion, diced finely
1 small red or green hot chile, seeded and minced (optional - I didn't have one so I put in some chile powder and cayenne pepper)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced finely
2 cups cold cooked lon-grain white or brown rice
1 t. ground cumin
2 cups cooked black, red, or pink beans (I used 1 can, drained and rinsed, which came to a bit less than 2 cups. I used a bit less rice as well to match.)
1/2 cup vegetable broth (or bean-cooking liquid if you didn't use canned beans)
1 T. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. liquid smoke (I didn't use this because I didn't have any)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large, deep cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the onion, chile (if using), and bell pepper, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

2. Stir in the rice and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Stir in the cumin, beans, broth, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt, and ground pepper. Use a metal spatula to stir frequently and occasionally mash some of the beans into the rice. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed but the mixture is still moist, 10 to 15 minutes. If the mixture looks too dry, drizzle in 1 to 2 T of additional broth until your desired consistency is reached.

4. Stir in the cilantro and remove from the heat.

I recommend serving this with corn tortillas.