I've now made this dish for two Ash Wednesdays. It's the perfect start for the beginning of Lent. I found this recipe in Celebrating the Faith: Lent and Easter in the Christian Kitchen by Laurie Navar Gill and Teresa Zepeda, available from Emmanuel Books (I highly recommend the whole series). Mrs. Gill’s reasoning behind this dish: “This is a tasty dish, but in my opinion, canned black beans with their purplish liquid are fitting for this day of sackcloth and ashes.” She even slips a tiny teaspoon of ashes from the burned palms after it is all cooked. It doesn’t change the taste, but another Lenten reminder.
I highly recommend this cookbook, especially if you’ve got food allergies and can’t seem to find inspiring meatless meals that don’t incorporate cheese (or wheat or eggs). But the cookbook has more than abstinent menuse. There are also other Lenten ideas, bread recipes, Holy Week and Easter Season recipes.
We found this meal tasty, and even better the next day, and I only made a few changes. The spices and veggies reminded me of tacos, so I served this with taco shells and brown rice (this year I might serve with polenta). It serves 8, so I reduce the recipe to fit my family. I've shared my adaption below, although I didn't change the measurements:
Black Beans and RicePin It
3 cans black beans
1 green pepper, thinly sliced (I omit)
1 red pepper, thinly sliced (I omit)
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinkly sliced
1/2 cup picante sauce (or tomato salsa)
1/2 cup water (or vegetable stock or white wine)
white wine (optional)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
a few dashes Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for pan
Cooked brown rice
In a family size skillet, heat olive oil and then saute carrots for 3 minutes. Add peppers, onions, garlic, celery, picante sauce or salsa, water or stock, and spices, mix together and cover. Depending on liquid amount and desire of flavor, add 1/4 cup or so of white wine for flavor. Cook for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse beans, add to skillet, cook 5 more minutes. Serve over rice and/or in taco shells with a salad.