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Bring the hostages home.

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Red Beans and Rice

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I love Cuban Beans and Rice and always make the recipe with black beans. Checked my shelves, where I always stocked black beans—and none were there! One can of small red beans sat on the shelf. Sighing, I picked up the can and read the label—a recipe for Red Beans and Rice was there.  While I used to sniff at recipes on labels, I came to realize that usually they were very good as the manufacturers want us to like their products. I am a fan of Goya products and so I took a chance! I added a few of my own touches (cocoa is an absolute for me with chilis and beans and rice dishes!) Absolutely fabulous. Thank you Goya! I made a simple version and froze a few quarts. I prefer a basic recipe that can be varied, such as here adding meat, cheese, other vegetables or spices to make it hot! Try the Red Beans and Rice in tacos, burritos or simply plated. A delicious and budget friendly dish with variations to suit your table and mood.

Foodie Lit

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Visions of the past intrude upon Katherine MacLeod’s day. She hears conversations and sees people and places. More than that, she feels the emotions of those she sees, which intrude on her dreams and awake times. What is she seeing? Piecing together her dreams and visions, her research and help from her friends, she puts together a story of the Underground Railroad that operated near her house, while connecting the past with the present.

With few neighbors, main character Charlotte and her family needed to be self-reliant, fully prepared for the seasons and to live a life that, like our own, has its difficulties and its joys.  Barbara Bull has expertly developed characters who themselves were slaves or who helped these individuals to freedom. Come By Here is a story worth reading. 

Red Beans and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons of fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon cocoa powder (not cocoa mix!)

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 15.5-ounce can small red beans with liquid

1 cup basmati or favorite rice

1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Warm oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until onions are transparent. Add garlic and stir for 1 minutes, being careful not to let garlic burn.

  2. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, coriander and cocoa. Stir. Add bell peppers and stir to coat.

  3. Drain beans, reserving liquid in a measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 3 cups.

  4. Add liquid to skillet and stir. 

  5. Add beans, rice and sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. The cooking time will depend also on the kind of rice you are using. Brown rice will take longer to become soft.

  6. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 additional minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  7. Fluff rice in skillet and serve. Garnish with a lime wedge



Add 1 pound ground meat

Add 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Add 1 tablespoon Sriracha or hot chili peppers for spicy, hot flavor

#Vegan  #Main  #Cuban

Expandthetable suggestions
Leek: for a milder flavor, use 1-2 large leeks, minced in place of onion. To avoid an allium such as onion or leek, use 1 bulb fennel, chopped finely
Add other veggies (this is a great way to use up leftover vegetables!):  With bell peppers, add other veggies such as: carrots, small chopped; chunked zucchini; celery, minced; cherry tomatoes, halved; kale or collards, chopped;  corn, fresh or frozen.
Meat: Add ground meat such as beef or chicken after spices. Stir and cook until slightly browned. Then continue recipe.
Gluten Free: Use quinoa in place of rice

Adapted from 

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