Another week has come to an end - we prepared 9 new recipes this week and our tops this time were the Spinach, Caramelized Onion and Bacon Pizza, Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting, and that Four Cheese Baked Penne.
We know some people who don't feel like it's a meal if there is no meat on their plate, but neither of us are like that which gives us plenty of options for dinner. Just like this Cuban Black-Bean Stew with Rice I made tonight - while the dish is rich with protein, it just isn't coming from a meat source!
While I was letting the pot of brown rice do its thing (using the no-fuss method), I started the base to this stew by softening a sweet red bell pepper and a mild red onion in a shallow pool of olive oil. I tossed in a couple cloves worth of minced garlic into the mix and waited until its pungent, alluring flavor reached my nose before stirring in a couple cans of rinsed and drained black beans. Once the beans were in, I also poured a bit of vegetable broth into the pot, along with a splash of cider vinegar and a pinch of oregano.
As the mixture bubbled away, I used a sturdy wooden spoon to press some of the beans along the side of the pan, releasing their tender insides to create a creamy body to the stew. Once everything was in the pot, I probably let the mixture go a couple minutes longer than intended, but I wanted to give the flavors a chance to meld. As a result, it was not as "stew-like", but it still was fairly loose and saucy enough for us! I served this upon a bed of the cooked brown rice and adorned the top with peppery sliced radishes, a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and a wedge of fresh lime to add a fresh note. A meal in itself, I did serve this with a handful of baked tortilla "scoops" and used those in lieu of a fork or spoon for most of it - tasty! If you wanted to add a rich element to the dish, I think a few thin slices of ripe avocado would be a nice finishing touch.
Cuban Black-Bean Stew with Rice