Monday, May 15, 2006

Jamaican Red Beans & Rice

Two more recipes today from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. In all honesty, I have to say that until Nava Atlas offered to send me a copy of her book I hadn't given it any notice. That's really just because it started with the word "vegetarian", which in most of my cookbooks translates as "lots of eggs and dairy". But all the dishes I've looked at have either been vegan or have easy vegan options. Now I can't seem to put it down! Her recipes inspire me as an adventurous cook, but are still dishes that my son will gladly eat.

First, in the thermos, Quick Jamaican Red Beans & Rice, made of cooked brown rice, a can of red beans, and some light coconut milk. On the side are whole wheat Banana Fritters, another adaptation of a traditional Jamaican recipe, with a little container of maple syrup.

Nava recommended a green salad or a dish of glazed butternut squash to go with this meal. Sounds good to me, but as shmoo says when in one of his Raggae moods, "A nuh mi fi like it (I am not one to like that)." So I added a dish of blueberry soy yogurt topped with frozen cherries and raspberries.

Verdict: Beans and rice is such a staple at our house. If you cook a large batch of brown rice at the beginning of the week and keep canned beans on hand, you can have a fast, simple and kid-friendly supper together in minutes. Adding coconut milk this time gave it an extra-rich flavor we all loved -- even better the next day for lunch. The fritters were denser than a regular banana pancake, and more banana-y. Everything got eaten up by my wanga-gut (hungry belly) boy. 4 stars.

26 comments:

Sheena said...

Mmmm! Everything looks SO yummy! I might just have to buy another veggie cookbook! Lol!

deva said...

OOOOOH BANANA PANCAKES :)
has shmoo ever heard the Jack Johnson song by the same name?

Kelli said...

I'm a big Nava fan, too. I recently waxed poetic about her here:

http://verygoodthings.blogspot.com/2005/11/produce-project-who-needs-takeout.html

(sorry -- I haven't figured out yet how to post addresses as actual links in Blogger comments!)

=) Kelli

Nelly said...

yummy....the rice and beans! and the frozen yogurt with berries. yum yum! lucky shmoo!

Sheryle said...

You keep giving me happy food memories. My mom makes the best coconut rice and beans. Sorry I keep drooling on your blog.

shinyruby said...

love the coconut milk over beans n' rice idea... sometimes it's just by adding the tiniest little change in ingredients that you come up with a whole new meal.

i have dinner ready for tonight now, and don't even need to go out shopping! yay!

krispycheks said...

Wow, that sounds good. I've never made Jamaican food before. I keep seeing Nava's name around, I may have to pick up that book...

Ozegrrl said...

This meal looks delicious!
I check in on this blog everyday... I'm a big fan. Thanks for all your interesting posts!

Jane M said...

Huh, coconut milk in beans! Never tried that but now it is starting to sound good. I eat a lot of beans and that would really help make them something special! Thanks for the great idea! Good Lord, another book on my list of books to buy....sigh...

Beth Miriam said...

My son (2) loves beans and rice, I bet he'd love them with some coconut milk. People are always so surprised that he eats beans, it's so nice to come in here and see that yes beans (as well as vegetables) are normal toddler foods! LOL

Sharyn said...

I love the Nava Atlas book! I was so excited when you started trying recipes from it. She has a lot of great ideas. Some have worked for my very picky veggie kids and some haven't but I'm still trying. So between her and you I'm trying to up the ante in the nutrition for my boys. Seems like they can spot non-processed food from a mile away!

harlemgrrl said...

irie :)

Essy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Essy said...

Adding coconut milk is an awesome idea.

And Kelli to make it into a link you need to type it like this...

[a href="http://verygoodthings.blogspot.com/2005/11/produce-project-who-needs-takeout.html"]Who needs Takeout?[/a]

But you need to change the square brackets to angle brackets before it will work.

i *heart* paper said...

EVERYTHING looks wonderful. I have to send a word of thanks. I've tried some of the recipes and they've been a huge hit with my "shmoo", too!! She's loving everything and we're all eating healthier.

Thank you!!

Wide Lawns Subservient Worker said...

I think this may be my favorite post since the glazed tofu. I am definitely making this meal this week! I went to Jamaica in Nov. and had some of the best vegan food of my life there. I am still dreaming of curried sweet potatoes stewed in coconut milk. They also cooked kidney beans, diced potato and carrot in coconut milk for a really yummy, easy stew. Thank you for inspiring my dinners yet again!

raising_kahne said...

oh my goodness. Those banana fritters look so delicious! I think Im gonna have to buy that cookbook! well, as usual, you did an awesome job on the lunch! Very creative!

Thistle said...

I don't usually leave comments, but I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and read it every day! It's amazing what you can do for lunch. :) It all looks so yummy! Especially today's!

threetoedsloth said...

Banana fritters!!!!!!

Incidentally, I tried some vegan banana pudding the other day (I think Zen Soy was the brand), and it was some of the greatest pudding I have ever consumed.

Deborah said...

I think your comment about making beans having a kid friendly meal on hand at all times amusing. With as persnickity as my child is, a pot of rice and beans would do me no good.
A pot of Ramen on the other hand.

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angel said...

Lmao I love reggae! One of my fav songs is about a wanga gut.

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Yum! The Red Beans and Rice looks easy and good to make. Light coconut milk is amazing. Great job once again!

hitchhiker72 said...

I tried the beans and rice. Threw in some dried parsley. Very good. Thanks. Very inspiring blog!

red said...

thank you



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