Cooking For Baby: Beans Are My Savior

red beans by cookbookman17 -flick

One of the biggest challenges of being a mother is having enough time to cook a meal from scratch. More often than not I find myself reaching for easy recipes like rice and beans.

I grew up on rice and beans (as does every Puerto Rican) and Little B simply loves this combo. I like to make enough to have leftovers that we can enjoy for lunch the next day (another mommy trick: always have leftovers in the fridge!).

This is my grown up version of rice and beans made without any artificial colorings commonly found in Latin spice blends. I like to add a touch of turmeric and cilantro for freshness.

In our home we serve these beans with a side of rice, avocado slices and a tomato-cucumber salad. Sometimes we throw tostones in the mix if hubby is home and can watch the baby while I cook.

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe. You can double it and freeze it so you can have Puerto Rican beans available anytime.

Puerto Rican Stewed Beans with an Indian Twist
2 cups of cooked beans (any variety)
1 small potato, cut into small cubes
1/2 of a carrot, cut into small cubes
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1/4 piece of jalapeño, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped finely
a bouillon cube or chicken stock
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Sauté the onions in a saucepan over medium heat until translucent.

Add the garlic and jalapeño. Sauté briefly then add the potatoes, carrots and bouillon cube. Pour just enough water or broth to cover the vegetables and cook for five minutes.

Now add tomato paste and cooked beans to the pot. Add just enough water or broth to cover the beans. Simmer over medium heat until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Finish by adding the chopped cilantro to the pot and mashing a few potatoes to thicken the sauce. Serve with rice.

Note: When I don’t have homemade stock on hand I like to use all-natural vegetable based bouillon cubes that are gluten free. You can find these at any natural foods store. Always read labels to make sure you are purchasing bouillon cubes without artificial ingredients or preservatives.

Image via Cookbookman17/Flickr

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