Saturday, June 30, 2012

In the Kitchen: Bean and Rice Bowls

This is a staple in our home, especially when we are running low on food (i.e. money--you know the whole "plenty of nothing" thing). We are from Oregon and my family loves to go to Ashland, OR for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It is my favorite little town. I would totally live there if the opportunity came. Anyways, there is this little outdoor creekside cafe that serves these rice and bean bowls that are delicious. It starts with rice, with black beans on top, then this is where is can get all creative. You can have grilled chicken, or shrimp as well, then you can add avocado, lettuce, tortilla chips, cilantro, tomatoes---really whatever you think would taste good. Then there is the sauce that is poured over everything. Yum.  We have tried to recreate theses bowls at home. I made up/adapted this sauce a few years ago. We really like it so I'm sure you will. Also, this whole meal comes together in a flash and it is very filling.

Spicy White Sauce
This recipe makes enough for about 2-3 bowls, so I would double this if you are making this for 4-6 people.

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonaise
juice of 1 lemon or 2 small limes (limes are preferable)
1 tsp. dried dill or even better---about a tbsp. fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the yogurt and mayonnaise together. Add in the lemon juice. Add in all the spices, stir well. Taste and add more spice as necessary. Refrigerate until needed---flavors are enhanced in the fridge so allow it to sit in there for at least 15-20 min, longer is preferable.

The bowls are pretty easy to make: cook your rice, heat up some black beans, chop up lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, grill chicken if using, defrost or cook shrimp if using, grate cheese, if using, etc.  You can put together your bowl however you like and then pour on the white sauce! Make sure to mix in the white sauce well. so its flavor gets everywhere. Enjoy!

P.S. Sorry about my lack of pictures.... I meant to take pictures (I even measured out the spices so I could tell you how much to put in the sauce), but then I just forgot.  I will be posting some pictures from the zoo soon, so look for that post in the next day or two!

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