I felt a little off today...I'm trying to start running again, but I still feel really weak and lacking in willpower. (Did I mention that instead of the freshman 15 Andrew and I have both gained the newlywed 5? Is it the end-of-workday beer? The fact that we're both 30 now? The passion for baking? Curse you, no-knead bread!) Thank goodness I had already defrosted four cups of beans to use for dinner. I love cooking beans myself instead of using cans. It makes me feel ultra-frugal, it leaves me with lots of easy dinners, and it doesn't actually take much time at all.
This meal was colorful and felt healthy-but-not-punishing. The beans are adapted from a Deborah Madison recipe. Of course, the logical complement of Negra Modelo renders it somewhat less healthy...as does my breakfast of tarte tatin! But with the way the ALCS is going, it's a good thing I have the beer for Andrew.
Today I learned that gypsies cook pheasant by packing it in soft clay and then roasting the whole thing, so that a sealed clay pot bakes all around the bird. That is all.
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start a pot of brown rice (1 cup rice, 1.75 cups water, dash of olive oil, dash of salt). Wash and peel 4 sweet potatoes. Chop into roughly 1 inch dice. Toss with 1 or 2 tbs olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake for 30 minutes.
-Prepare chopped cilantro and crumbled or grated feta (I used ricotta salata) for garnish. Finely chop a small onion and a fat clove of garlic. Chop half a 28 oz can of tomatoes (or less...I used what I had left over, which was half a can). Chop a chipotle chile packed in adobo.
-15 minutes before the sweet potatoes are finished, saute the chopped onion in 1 tbs neutral oil in a pot large enough to hold the beans and tomatoes. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes; add the chopped garlic clove and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, chipotle chile, 4 sprigs of cilantro, and 4 cups of black beans with some of their cooking liquid (or 2 cans of black beans, rinsed). Season with 1.25 tsp salt, bring to a simmer, and simmer 15 or 20 minutes.
-Everything should finish at about the same time. Serve the black beans on top of brown rice, garnished with cheese and cilantro. Serve the sweet potatoes on the side. This made enough for our dinner plus 1 large or 2 small lunches tomorrow...if I had doubled the rice it would be enough for two lunches.