Monday, February 23, 2009

Ash Wednesday Beans

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, printed by 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 provides another Lenten reminder.

I highly recommend this cookbook, especially if have special food needs 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 Rice

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.
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  1. Thanks! It looks like I have my recipe for Ash Wednesday!

    I'll probably serve it with tortillas ... and make my life just a bit easier!

    Blessings for a happy, holy Lent

  2. Thanks Jenn!! I was just looking through this cookbook last week and made a note about that recipe! We will be trying it on Wednesday!

  3. yummy I think we will try this Wednesday as well....although I don't see carrots or olive oil in the ingredients but they are in the you recommend this??

  4. Erin, I'm sorry I didn't see your comment sooner! I forgot to write in the carrots. I have adjusted the recipe above to reflect the changes. I use olive oil in the pan, soften the carrots, then add the other vegetables. I didn't have any peppers and our family isn't too fond of them, so I omitted those also. Yesterday I made this with just white wine as my liquid, instead of adding it in addition to the other liquid.

    I served a spinach salad, and mixed it with brown rice before filling our taco shells, with sour cream and grated cheese and salsa as condiments. We find this to be a filling meal, which is nice after a day of fasting.