I try to plan our meals a month in advance. I know, that sounds crazy, but I like to make sure the month is well-rounded and that I don't forget our favorites or to try new things. We ALWAYS have Black Bean Burgers, Falafel, cold salads, pizza, some sort of pasta with sauce, and lots and lots of beans. The whole family loves beans. All beans. Black, navy, lentils, chickpeas, aduki, pinto… you get the idea.
I love to cook with dry beans, they're cheaper and don't take much to prepare. Just soak them overnight in a large bowl and then toss into a slow cooker, with enough water to cover an inch over the beans, during the day. In a pinch, I buy canned beans that don't have BPA in the liner. Like, Eden Organics or Native Forest.
Raising little kids puts a lot of responsibility and worry on my shoulders. I worry a lot about their nutrition and whether they are getting enough of this vitamin or that mineral. Beans are so kid-friendly and are already packed with so much goodness. Their versatility and nutrition content make them a super food in my book. Beans are loaded with fiber, water, and protein, and are high in antioxidants and low in sugar. That means, they will keep the kiddos full until bed time, and me, too!
BUT beans can get boring pretty fast, if you let them. My family and I love lots of spices, especially cumin. So I cooked some black and navy beans in the slow cooker and added A LOT of cumin, and veggies. Wow, were these beans flavorful and ridiculously delicious.
To make this meal easy, just add in the chopped veggies with the beans and spices in the slow cooker. If you want to saute them and then add the cooked beans, that works, too. Also, if you don't own a rice cooker, you should. Mine is my saving grace some nights. Before I purchased one, my family was victim to too many soggy or undercooked rice dishes. No more! In this dish, I cooked the brown rice and rainbow quinoa together in the rice cooker and they both came out perfect, and saved me a whole lot of time and worry.
Cumin Spiced Beans with Rice and Quinoa
Cumin Spiced Beans
2 c navy beans, soaked over night and rinsed
2 c black beans, soaked over night and rinsed
4-5 tbsp cumin (more if desired)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
Let's get started!
Place all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, set it to 6 hours and let it do it's thing. OR cook just the beans in a slow cooker. (or use canned), then saute the veggies and spices in a large pan. Add in the beans after the veggies are translucent.
Get your rice and quinoa going
3 cups brown rice, cooked according to package
1 c rainbow quinoa, cooked according to package
(I used my rice cooker for both)
Spoon some rice/quinoa into a bowl and cover with the Cumin Spiced Beans and scarf it all down!