I have commented before that it sometimes feels like we live in a test kitchen. This recipe reflects that. We had a favorite Rice and Bean recipe made with a variety of canned beans and a packet of chili seasoning. It's a very healthy recipe and, in fact, I found it in the Champions in the Kitchen: Great Food for Healthful Living - a compilation of recipes published by the Arthur G. James Cancer Center Hospital and Research Institute at The Ohio State University.
Even though it is a healthy recipe, we felt there was some room for improvement. Our first adjustment was to rinse the beans, which can reduce the amount of sodium in a recipe by something like 40 percent. Then we used cumin and chili powder instead of the chili seasoning packet, which can have a lot of additives. Then, for budgetary and health/environmental reasons, we switched to organic dried beans (thank goodness for the Whole Foods bulk section!). At this point, I'm not sure how this compares taste-wise to the original recipe. I just know that our adjustments have evolved to a new recipe that received thumbs-up all around the table. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Rice and Beans
4 cups dried mixed beans (we used a combination of pintos, black, cannellini, kidney, and black-eye peas)
Rinse and soak overnight in 8 cups (?) of water. Drain and rinse in the morning.
Saute in pan spritzed with olive oil:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2-1 cup diced green peppers
Put beans in crockpot and add:
Sauteed onion and green pepper
Diced Tomatoes (28 oz can)
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
3/4 tsp Garlic Powder (I was feeling lazy or I would've used 3 cloves minced garlic)
Water (I used the tomato can and filled it 1 1/2 times)
Simmer in crockpot on high all day. Just before serving add:
2 tsp Kosher Salt
Serve with rice and top lightly with shredded cheddar cheese.
My husband, who loves really spicy foods, adds New Orleans Voodoo Hot Sauce, or something comparable as well.