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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Haitian Rice and Beans

Randy and I leave for Haiti again in a few days.  I just love that country.  The people there are so genuine, so real and so loving.  We go with the intentions to love, yet we come back so much more full of love from them that we burst!

We have had the privilege to work with a local non-profit organization, Ncompass and help to oversee a children’s home in Titanyen, Haiti.  The Maranatha House is home to 40 beautiful children, and a generous family who have opened their home, their arms and their hearts to them.  This is my 2nd trip to the Maranatha house and Randy’s 3rd, and we so look forward to seeing our friends again!

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Jackson, and his wife and son oversee the Maranatha house.

To learn more about Ncompass, the Maranatha house, or to follow or trip, LIKE us on Facebook.  

Haiti life and Haiti love is so flavorful. And so is their food.

In honor of our upcoming trip, I wanted to leave you with a good ol’ Haitian stand-by recipe that is sure to be loved.

Rice and Beans

  • 2 cups of dried black beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, ringed
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 tsp of “Better Than Bouillon” or any chicken bouillon
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups of brown or white rice (dried)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes

Soak black beans over night in a large bowl, with 6 cups of water

In a large stock pot, sauté onions, garlic and peppers in olive oil.  When soft, add beans, rice and 8 cups of water.  Add tomatoes with juice, bullion, and pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes, until beans are soft and nearly all water is soaked up.  Stir occasionally to keep from burning.

*This recipe is not low carb, so if you are looking to mix it up to better fit your needs, you can substitute riced cauliflower, and or remove the beans.  If you do either, you will need to reduce the water added.

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Lara Bars

I like protein bars.  They are quick and easy, and if you do your research and look hard enough, you can find ones with good protein, low sugars and minimal added junk.

Lara Bars are awesome.  They are full of only REAL ingredients.  In a world where real doesn’t happen very often, these bars are like bars of gold.

But……

And there’s always a but….

Lara bars are more than a buck a piece.

I like to accept any challenge, especially one in the kitchen.  So looking at the ingredients list on a Lara Bar, I found myself experimenting.  Basically, the bars consist of some sort of dried fruit that has been reconstituted and pureed, and chopped nuts and seeds.

I’ve experimented with a few varieties so far, but I actually took a picture of this one.

Lara bar

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried and pitted dates
  • 2 cups of raisins, divided
  • 2 cups of cashews, divided
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup soy or whey protein powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Using a food processor, or a Vitamix, blend 1 cup of cashews, 1 cup of almonds, 1 cup sunflower and 1 cup pumpkin seeds until powdery. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In the same food processor or Vitamix, blend 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of dates with a 1/3 cup of water until it becomes a paste. 
  3. Add the fruit paste to the nut/seed mixture, and add in protein powder if using.  Using a wooden spoon, mix until dough-like.
  4. Pour out on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Put a sheet of wax paper on top and us a rolling pin to flatten.  Shape into a rectangle.  Remove wax paper and bake for 30 minutes.  Slice into 20 pieces.  Store in the fridge and enjoy.

Squash Quesadillas

I love pinterest.  Who doesn’t? I love to just browse the pages and look at all the pretty pictures.

I’ve had a butternut squash sitting on my self for days, calling to be cooked.  Not wanting to cook it in vain, I searched high and low on pinterest for the best use of it.  Squash Tacos kept popping up.

I put my own twist on a recipe and made Squash Quesadillas.

Squash QuesodillasIngredients:

  • 1/2 a butternut squash, cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 can of beans, drained (your choice, black, pinto, kidney, ect.)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • cheese of choice
  • corn tortillas

In a large pan, add squash with a 1/4 inch of water.  Bring to a boil and steam for a few minutes.  Once somewhat soft, pour squash into a strainer.  In the same pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and jalapeño.  Reintroduce squash, and brown.  Stir in beans, tomatoes, cilantro and taco seasoning.

On a baking sheet, place tortillas with a bit of cheese on each.  On half the tortillas, place a scoop of filling.  Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove and place the cheese only tortilla on top of the squash topped shells and back again for a few minutes.

Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream and salsa if you so desire.  They are great on their own.

 

The filling will make many quesadillas.  If you have any left overs, it makes a great topping for a salad.

 

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