Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tropical Explosion Tuesday

I loathe Tuesdays. I have ever since middle school, when I figured out that they usually fall when you are already ready for the weekend, yet it feels the the work/school week will go on forever. The fresh motivation of Monday is long gone. Fridays are obviously always great, because you've already checked out by noon, and Thursdays have that great energy of getting lots done to wrap up your week and the anticipation of the weekend. Tuesdays are the red-headed stepchild of the work week. Plus, crappy things tend to happen. Today was no exception - I left my gym clothes at home on accident, so my lunch break was spent driving back and forth - 40 minutes round trip. BUT there was a little nugget of goodness in my day: the amazing dinner I had the forethought to make on Sunday!

You see, Sunday I kind of went into domestic-goddess-on-crack mode, which I do from time to time. I made enough food for about five meals, much of which we are consuming over the course of this week. This was one of the dishes I crafted. It was modified from a recipe in this book, my collegiate cooking staple. I served it with quinoa and grilled pineapple, and it was purely orgasmic. And, as a pleasant surprise - really really healthy!

Lindsay's Jamaican Black Bean Pot

-2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or rehydrated equivalent)
-2 T. olive oil
-1 c. onion, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-2 t. mustard powder
-1.5 T. molasses (use 1 T. if you use blackstrap)
-3 T. brown sugar
-2 t. dried thyme
-1 t. dried chili flakes
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-1 big-ass sweet potato, diced
-1/2 c. veggie broth or water
-S & P

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over med-low heat and add the onion and garlic. Sautee for five minutes, until softened - no browning/burning!
3. Add the spices, molasses, and sugar. Cook for one minute, stirring to thoroughly combine everything. Stir in the black beans until combined, then dump everything in a nice casserole dish (ideally with a lid).
3. Stir in the pepper and sweet potato and mix well. Add the veggie broth, cover with lid or foil, and cook for 45 minutes.

Serve with a tasty grain (I highly recommend quinoa, or brown rice) and grilled pineapple or peaches.

Here's how I grilled my pineapple: slice yourself some fresh pineapple rings about 1" thick, then cut those in half. Brush both sides of each slice with some oil. Place on a pre-heated grill (about medium heat), arranged for optimal grill marks. It's key to make sure the grill isn't on full-blast, because you kind of want to slow cook the fruit to allow the sugars to caramelize. Leave alone for about five minutes, then come back and turn. After another five minutes, you're done!

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