I should preface this by saying that, even though I have been teasing him about not being on board with this challenge, I have been blessed with a very accommodating husband. He has very few requirements when it comes to food. As long as there are no beets, olives or oddly textured slimy things in a meal, he is quite content. He is also the type of person who could eat the same thing for breakfast for a year and not bat an eye.
His pleasant disposition has made the $2.36 challenge (I really need to come up with a catchier title…) MUCH, MUCH easier. Cooking a big honking batch of something and spreading it out over a couple of days has really helped me squeeze the pulp out of every last dollar. John's game plan for this week is pretty similar to mine, but with a few adjustments....
-1 pack of nuts
Eaten throughout the morning.
John swears by this breakfast. He has tried everything from oatmeal to smoothies to protein bars and thinks the simple apple, banana, nut combo keeps him full the longest.
-Leftover "Stir-Fry"(See this POST for "Stir-Fry" instructions.) or salad (depending on what we had the night before).
-1 sandwich baggie of popcorn or tortilla chips or baby carrots
Popcorn is usually John's staple, but TJ's was out of his favorite brand. That's how we wound up with the tortilla chips this week.
-TJ's Sweet and Savory Trail Mix
But could not be pried from his hands.
Was very clearly a deal breaker.
-soup and vegetable
-soup and salad
-salad and sweet potato
John and I will usually have the same thing for dinner ( as long as my dinner has no beets, olives or oddly textured slimy things…). As I said in this POST, I've been trying to make dinners that work as lunches, also.
This is John's favorite dinner/ lunch. The great thing about this recipe is that since the rice is frozen and the beans are canned you can keep both of those things in the house for a really long time. If you have those two ingredients and 10 minutes, you always have a hearty organic, vegan meal at you fingertips. When trying eat clean and cheap, you need a roster of go to meals that can be cooked QUICKLY. You need to create your own version of fast food. I make this version with salsa, but it is just as delicious with lemon and olive oil or even just olive oil and garlic. This dish also works great as a side dish.
John's Favorite Stupidly Easy Black Beans and Rice
Serves 2 (or 4 if used as a side dish)
Cooking time: approximately 10 minutes
-1 pouch of TJ's Frozen Organic Brown Rice
-1 can of black beans
-1/2 jar of TJ's Organic Tomatillo & Roasted Chili Salsa
-(optional) vegetable of choice
-1/4 cup water
-1 large skillet
1. Lightly coat skillet with olive oil and warm over medium-high heat.
Add the entire pouch of TJ's Frozen Organic Brown Rice.*
Add 1/4 cup water to the rice.
Cook for 5 minutes; stirring rice constantly to prevent burning.
2. Empty one can of black beans into a pasta strainer and rinse with water.
Add rinsed beans to the rice**.
3. Add 1/2 jar (or more to taste) of TJ's Organic Tomatillo & Roasted Chili Salsa*** to rice and bean mixture.
Cook for 3 minutes. (If you are not in a hurry, turn the flame down to low and let simmer for 2 more minutes. Doing that blends the flavors really nicely…)
4. Optional: Add any cooked vegetable of your liking to the mixture. Serve with tortilla chips. ( Adding vegetables doubles the serving size to 4! )
*I prefer cooking the rice in a skillet, but TJ's frozen rice can be microwaved first. If you decide to cook the rice in the microwave, you can put all of the ingredients in the skillet at the same time.
**I always rinse canned beans before cooking to remove excess starch.
**Salsa is the biggest cheaters cooking trick I know. All the tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic chopping work has already been done for you! It instantly turns plain black beans and rice into a chili that tastes like you spent hours on it.
Trader Joe's Organic %73 Cacao Super Dark Chocolate w/ Almonds and red wine. The dessert of champions.
So, that is what The Man is eating. Thank you, John, for being such a good sport!!!
If you have any questions about any of the recipes please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us at: @hhbelly or comment below. We would love to hear from you!
Coming up next week:
*Salad, salad, everywhere…Now what the heck should you put on it?
*Things I've learned from the $2.36 Challenge ( yeah, still can't think of a catchier title.)
*The drink that I love that I had to give up for the week...hint...it's not wine.
Have a great weekend, Veg Lovers!!!
-♥ J :)