Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mexican Risotto and Beans

Day 2 of Vegan MOFO: As I expected, coming up with a "recipe" is a little high maintenance every day.  But then again, what I think of as a recipe is really kitchen voodoo to someone else. And what someone else thinks is a recipe, I think is more an assembly. Tomay-to, tomah-to.

Call this a recipe or a matter of assembly, but it's one of my favorite convenience meals especially after a long and late workout when I have little energy to cook. This simply requires having the ingredients on hand rather than carefully crafting them in a cooking-like fashion. In short, the stove does the work for you. You just have to show up with the goods. What I'm calling "risotto" is truly just Mexican rice that comes out looking like Italian risotto because of the broth and nutritional yeast making a saucy, creamy goodness. In fact, this isn't just rice. I mixed quinoa and rice together because that's what I had left over in the fridge and there wasn't enough rice to make a whole serving. The spinach was the last of a bag that didn't have enough to make a salad. Creativity points?

So what perhaps is one of the laziest, unchef-ish meals to come out of this kitchen, is in fact a go-to staple at our residence and one that all kitchens should have on hand just in case. Bring out the can opener, scrounge through your leftover grains and eat like it's sophomore year in college.

Mexican Risotto and Refried Beans
Makes 2-3 servings
Cook time: 5 minutes


3/4 c. cooked rice
3/4 c. cooked quinoa
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne or crushed red pepper
  -- or use 2 tsp of your favorite taco seasoning
Pinch of salt
1/2-3/4 c. vegetable broth, divided
1 1/2 T. nutritional yeast
3/4 c. spinach

1 can refried beans
Fresh tomatoes, diced
Hot sauce


Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cover the bottom with 1/4 cup of broth. When broth is bubbling, add the rice, quinoa and spices (through the salt). Stir to completely coat rice. When liquid has almost evaporated and rice starts to stick to the bottom, pour in another 1/3-1/2 cup of broth, nutritional yeast and spinch. Stir again and cook a minute longer or until some of the liquid has evaporated and the texture becomes creamy.

Meanwhile, heat the beans in a sauce pan over low heat. To serve, plate the beans and risotto together topped with salsa, guac and fresh tomatoes. If you're like me and you like a kick, top it all off with a few shakes of Chalula.

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