It's so difficult to cook for picky eaters. We have a list running in my house divided into three parts: "Make Again, "Do Not Make Again (Ever), and one labelled "NITH" (Not In The House, referring to my fathers frequent business trips).
Because, ladies and gentlemen, for once it isn't the child who is the picky eater...but the parent. Since my mom and I became vegetarians, we've expanded our culinary scope to include dishes from around the world. For reasons beyond my imagining, my dad hates this and doesn't like most of what we cook.
For the first time in a month or two though, I was able to add another dish to the "Make Again" list- Red Beans and Rice w/ cornbread! I made a version of this early in the summer, but it was too spicy. These recipes aren't my own, unfortunately, but I've been thinking of ways to improve them. The beans, for instance, are far, far too salty. I've been thinking of making my own Cajun seasoning blend and using a tablespoon of homemade (without salt) and a tablespoon with the store bought kind.
For broth, I use Better Than Bouillon, which is totally delicious but also a little salty. Enjoy!
Red Beans Recipe:
1 pound of dried red kidney beans
1 large onion
2 stalks celery
3 tablespoons canola oil
11 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
Soak the beans overnight in water and drain. Peel the onion and chop the celery and onion into small pieces- I used a food processor for the onions, and chopped the celery very finely. Sautee the onion and celery in the hot oil for ten minutes over medium high heat. Add the beans and vegetable stock, then bring to a boil. Add the garlic powder, bay leaf, & Cajun seasoning, then simmer on medium-low heat for three hours (I know, I know! But it's sooo worth it!)
During the last hour of the beans cooking, make the cornbread:
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Combine the liquid ingredients, then the dry ones and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into a greased eight or nine inch square pan and bake in a 350 F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until done. Makes nine pieces.
While the cornbread is baking, make the rice. Making rice is really basic, but for those that need a recipe:
1 cup white rice
1 1/2 cups water
Combine the water and rice in a saucepan and bring to a soft boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for twenty minutes. Fluff with a fork.
The recipe serves six, so it's great for a family dinner, dinner party, small potluck, or for someone who likes to make a LOT of food and keep it in the freezer.
Recipes from "Teens Cook" by Megan & Jill Carle
Until Next Time,