Instant pot Black beans and rice

When we lived in Colombia, we did a lot of cooking from scratch. When you can get fresh ingredients year-round, there just isn’t a culture of canning or eating canned foods like there is up north.

I loved making beans in our pressure cooker, and made them almost 3x/week. It usually involved soaking them overnight and then cooking them the next day.

It was just one of those things that fit into the rhythm of a simpler life… you pull the clothes off of the clothes line, , mix up your yogurt starter to cook overnight on the water heater, and you put your beans in water. Simple nightly rhythm.

When we moved to the US, I lost the rhythm. I still think that, 6 years in, I’m still learning how to implement simple steps into our crazy work-filled days.

We invested in an Instant Pot last year on Prime day, and it has been a game-changer for us! We use it at least once everyday, and this is one of the simplest recipes that has made it into the rotation.

I’ve made lentils, black beans, garbanzos, pinto beans, navy beans and red beans with this same recipe, so it works no matter what you’re cooking. It took me a while to get the measurements/ timing down, but I have it pretty fool-proof now.

Ingredients:

2 cups of dry beans (usually a 1lb bag)

6 cups of liquid (I use a box of organic chicken broth, which is right around 4 cups, and then add 2 cups of water.)

1 can of diced tomatoes un-drained (you can use 2 small real ones and the liquid content won’t matter much)

2 cloves of garlic (just for flavor)

1 tbsp salt

You can put any other spices you want. When I’m cooking lentils, I usually put in 1 tbsp of cumin, 1 tbsp coriander, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp cayenne

Rice (we’ll talk about measurement later)

Cooking the beans:

Put all the ingredients together except for the rice. I usually put the beans in first so they don’t splash, then the liquid, the tomatoes and garlic, then the spices. I stir it all together and put the lid on.

I’ve tried all different cook times, and I’ve found that cooking the dry beans for 40 minutes works well. (Lentils I only cook for 8.)

Also, make sure the vent on the top is closed.

Once the beans are cooked, they should look like this:

Now, here’s where the magic happens!

Cooking the rice:

I use a slotted spoon to scoop out the beans. I don’t mind if a few get left in the pot, but I try to get out a majority.

Then, I look at the cup measurement marker on the inside of the pot. Usually there are around 3-4 cups of liquid left.

For just the 2 of us, cooking 1 1/2 cups of rice gives us enough for a few meals. I only use 2 cups of liquid for 1 1/2 cups of rice. So I scoop out the liquid until the level is down to 2 cups, and then pour in the 1 1/2 cups of rice.

I then set the timer for 12 minutes.

Again, make sure that the vent is closed.

I pour the extra liquid over the beans.

The rice cooks in all that yummy “juice”, and comes out super flavorful!

We like to eat ours with some avocado and grilled meat of some kind. I forgot to take a picture of it before I started mixing it all together… oops!

And yes, that is a disposable plate…. because there are just days that need to be easier. Lol!

We also save it for breakfast the next morning, and mix it up with a fried egg and hot sauce on top. That’s a typical Colombian breakfast, and even our 14 month old son is used to eating rice, beans and egg for breakfast now!

Let me know… how does this recipe work for you?

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Honey Peanut Butter

I’ve been having fun experimenting with Organic PBfit powder. What I love is that I can re-constitute it to make it as thick, creamy or runny as I want.

Today’s concoction:

•one scoop PB powder

•one tbsp MCT oil

•1/2 tbsp honey

•3 cranks of Himalayan pink salt

I stirred it all up to form a nice little clump, and then rolled little pea-sized balls that were easy for Elias to pinch and eat. He loves it, especially with his new-found love of apples.

Also, let’s be honest… I need to make sure whatever I feed him is 100% beagle-friendly, because at least a few times while little man is eating, he gives food to the pups. Lol!

~pro tip: if you use the same measuring spoon for both the oil and the honey, measure out the oil first and then the honey slides right out into the bowl. 🙂

Do any of you mix up different concoctions with PB powder?

Easy-peasy spring rolls

A few years ago, a roommate from when I lived in Bogota, Colombia and her husband came to visit, and we went to our local international grocery store, Saraga. In addition to yummy Colombian treats, my friend found some spring roll wrappers and suggested that we make some spring rolls as an appetizer.

I had honestly never tried to make them before, and they were so easy to assemble!

We bought bean sprouts, carrots, Thai basil and peppers to stuff them with that night.

So delicious!

Since then, I’ve kept a pack of spring roll wraps (so many come in a pack!), and I get inspired every once in a while to make them.

I don’t know if there’s any specific way you’re supposed to do it, so I like to mix it up depending on the food I have on-hand.

The other day, we harvested some cucumbers from our garden, and I though “these will be so delicious in some spring rolls”. So I picked some stems of Thai Basil from our herb garden, cut up some chicken I had from the day before and found other miscellaneous ingredients in the kitchen.

It was a little tricky to assemble such a detailed meal with a toddler at my feet, but I loved doing it!

So, here’s how I make spring rolls.

Start out by getting all your ingredients together. For this I used:

– grilled chicken

– cucumbers sliced julienne style

– a few Thai basil leaves per roll

– green onions (I started with them cut long as in the picture below, but then realized as I bit into the first one that they don’t bite through easily. I ended up chopping them up for the rest, and that worked really well)

– rice noodles cooked in chicken broth

There are so many other ways you can make them! I like to think of it as a “veggie left-over” meal, especially because a few veggies go a long way.

Sauce ingredients:

– PB powder

– MCT oil

– Hoisen Sauce

– Sriracha Sauce

– red pepper flakes

You can also make these vegan by skipping the chicken broth and grilled chicken.

Soaking the rice paper

I soak one sheet at a time in a plate that has filtered water. I simply submerge the disk and wait about a minute or two. I like to wait until it’s transparent.

You want to soak the rice paper so that it is a little sticky but not super gelatinous. I usually can tell when it’s wet enough just by touching it.

I pull it out and place it on my “assembly plate” and stick another one in the “soaking plate”. By the time I’m done assembling one, the one soaking is usually ready to go.

Assembling the spring roll

I like to assemble them with the herbs on the bottom. So, I layer up, starting with a few leaves of Thai Basil, then a slice or two of thinly cut chicken followed by the veggies and a pinch of noodles (I usually use tongs to get them out of the bowl).

I still haven’t mastered getting a tight wrap, and I try to wrap them “burrito style”, folding two sides in first and then rolling, which I’m not sure is correct… lol!

Making the spicy peanut sauce

I’ve been experimenting lately with PB powder. My South American husband isn’t really a fan of peanut butter (gasp!), and the consistency I find at the store is just too sticky for the toddler. With the powder, I can use any liquid to make it the consistency I need, and I love it!

Here’s how I do it:

2 scoops of PB powder

1 tablespoon of MCT oil

1 tablespoon of Hoisin Sauce

1 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce

1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

You can adjust that however you like for your particular tastes. I have friends who prefer to use crunchy peanut butter bc of the nice crunchy texture.

So, there you have it!

I’d love to hear how you make them!