Saturday, March 19, 2011

Black Beans and Rice

We seem to go back and forth in terms of eating meat and then no meat. We have two family members (one adult and one child) whom a good part of the time just are not interested in meat of any sort, so we have been creating altering menu items that are high in protein. Beans seem to keep coming back into the menu. Last night we made this killer recipe, Black Beans and Rice (I would actually use brown rice rather than white rice, but I ran out...still good though).

Black Beans and Rice
2 green peppers (you can also use red/orange/yellow peppers)
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 T. olive oil
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 T. white vinegar
1 tsp. garlic
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 cups cooked rice (the black bean mixture is served over the rice. So if you want to cook more, please do so).

In a large saucepan, saute the fresh peppers and onion in olive oil until your desired tenderness. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, and pepper. Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes and stir occasionally. Serve over rice.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Apple Cake

We recently had a weekend dinner party with some family friends of ours that we had not seen in a while. We decided it was much too long and we needed to get together more often. We were talking about one of our favorite topics….food! My daughters had mentioned that one of their favorite desserts was Apple Cake. We all chuckled because they had mentioned that they had not had an apple cake before, apple pie of course, and have had applesauce in different cakes to help add moisture and create a little bit more healthiness to the dessert, but not a true apple cake.

Now after talking about, the next day I thought to myself…ahh….I think we will make an apple cake for dessert (and I must say it is also good breakfast as a coffee cake)!

Apple Cake
¾ cup chopped walnuts (other nuts that are also good are sliced almonds and pecans)
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 large baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup orange juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with oil to help the cake in not sticking to the sides. Sprinkle walnuts at the bottom of the pan evenly. In a large bowl, mix 2 T. of the flour, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the cinnamon together. Add apples to the bowl and toss.

In another bowl, mix the remaining of the flour and the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, oil, butter, orange juice, and vanilla. Mix together until the batter is well combined.

Pour half of the batter into the bundt pan (roughly 2 cups). Then place the apple mixture on top of the batter and spread evenly. Add the remainder of the batter, on top of the apples.

Bake for 1 ¼ hours. Let the cake cool for 15-20 minutes. Take a knife and run around the sides of the pan, turn over, cool a little more and remove the cake from the pan.