Have you ever had one of those things that you simply cannot get out of your head? A silly song, a singular word (ok my family looked at me weird when THAT one happened!), a particular food? That’s happened to me so many times but after a week of obsessing about something my sister said, I finally caved.
My sister and I are 8 years apart. Growing up I wasn’t particularly nice to her all the time and, somehow, she has forgiven me and we are so super close now that it is sometimes scary. This is despite the fact that we live on the opposite sides of the globe from one another…..but let’s not talk about it as it only results in tears and tantrums!
My sister has also developed a gluten intolerance (so has my Mother as a matter of fact which is why my teenagers are hoping and praying that they have inherited their Dad’s “guts of steel”). We talk and email almost daily and encourage each other to live our lives to our greatest capacity and be healthy. We share A LOT of information with each other and often find we have the same ailments and concerns at the same time. It’s spooky! She is an incredible Mom to three very energetic little girls and I’m so grateful for my sister I can’t even tell you (How do I NOT have a picture of the two of us together???!)
But, back to the evil and recurring seed she planted in my head. My parents are visiting my sis in VA this weekend and she was pre-planning menus to ensure no nasty allergens were present. Sis sent the menu plan to me to peruse and one dish just jumped out at me……..chicken with black beans and rice. The chicken I could live without this week but beans and rice? Obsessive compulsive disorder kicked in and I went hunting for black beans but in the absence of time to get to the specialty food wholesaler, I decided that Cuban style red beans and rice would do just fine, thank you very much. It was at this point that another stupid recurring thing came into my head from word association. In my head, Cuban immediately equalled the episode of “Seinfeld” where Kramer has Cubans in his apartment in a cigar mix up but the question became, were they Cubans or Columbians? This has confirmed two things: 1. I stand by my point that any life situation can be identified with either Seinfeld or the Simpson’s and, 2. my brain really needs to be able to redirect to other thoughts (like the studying I am STILL supposed to be doing!)
This recipe is amazing and, while I was reluctant to serve to the head culinary tester of the house, it was very well received and has earned its place in the family’s menu rotation. It’s super low fat and low WW points so feel free to enjoy with a pile of veggies or salad as well as a gluten free roll.
Slow Cooker Cuban Style Red Beans & Rice – (yields 4 servings)
1 onion chopped
½ cup uncooked rice
1 & ½ cups of gluten free chicken stock
1 x 400 grams can of red beans drained and rinsed
1 x 400m grams of diced tomatoes
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp Mexican seasoning
½ tsp cumin
1 Tbls red wine vinegar
Chopped fresh coriander to serve
Coat the slow cooker with light cooking spray. Place the chopped onion in the microwave for 2 minutes to soften slightly.
Place the uncooked rice, chicken stock, tomatoes including the juice, drained beans, red wine vinegar and all spices in the slow cooker. Add the onions (you could also add garlic here if you wish), stir and cover.
Cook on low setting for approximately three hours. I did stir it occasionally so that the rice wasn’t always settling to the bottom.
Chop the coriander and serve on top.
- Slow Cooker Cuban Style Red Beans & Rice - (yields 4 servings)
- 1 onion chopped
- ½ cup uncooked rice
- 1 & ½ cups of gluten free chicken stock
- 1 x 400 grams can of red beans drained and rinsed
- 1 x 400m grams of diced tomatoes
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp Mexican seasoning
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 Tbls red wine vinegar
- Chopped fresh coriander to serve
- Coat the slow cooker with light cooking spray. Place the chopped onion in the microwave for 2 minutes to soften slightly.
- Place the uncooked rice, chicken stock, tomatoes including the juice, drained beans, red wine vinegar and all spices in the slow cooker. Add the onions (you could also add garlic here if you wish), stir and cover.
- Cook on low setting for approximately three hours. I did stir it occasionally so that the rice wasn’t always settling to the bottom.
- Chop the coriander and serve on top.
I absolutely love the slow cooker as the days warm up so that the house isn’t heated unnecessarily. The fragrance from these red beans and rice is divine which is a bonus using the slow cooker rather than standing over the pot in the heat. I hope you enjoy this spicy recipe but, if you’ll excuse me, I’m sure my sister is trying to communicate with me telepathically and I also need to expunge my brain of the latest bean related random thought……..and I’ve never even WATCHED the entire “Blazing Saddles” movie!!!