Santa Fe Beans and Rice

This recipe takes me back to my Jesuit Volunteer Corps days when we ate a lot of beans and rice.  It was a pretty common staple in our apartment because it was cheap, it was healthy, and it was simple – which was part of the point of JVC (to live simply).  We did try to get a little fancy every once in a while, but it was very rare.  That reminds me – I have a very good vegan bean taco filling that I should probably make sometime over the next few weeks.  That was another staple that I made a lot when I was in JVC.  We each took a night too cook (there were five of us) so except for weekends, we were covered.  It was great.  It was my first real foray into cooking.  Even though I had an apartment my last two years of college, I didn’t cook that often.  I still had a meal plan and actually ate most dinners in my dining hall or in the a la cart dining hall.  Occasionally, I would eat the simple dinner in my apartment but it was very rare.  I also cooked a lot when I lived with roommates after finishing JVC because both of my roommates were pretty picky eaters and they were also teachers so they had a very different schedule than I did.  Living with roommates forced me to cook – I didn’t have a choice when I was in JVC because we all agreed to cook for another and after, it was a matter of survival.  Now, it is a fact that I plain like cooking.  C and I both like cooking and it is fun to cook for one another because we’re both adventurous eaters.  We’ve both dated picky eaters, which really isn’t all that much fun.  The fact that the only thing he doesn’t really eat is raw onions and peppers and I won’t touch asparagus, we’re doing pretty well.

There is nothing more comforting than beans and rice.  I think that Rotel is becoming my new favorite diced tomatoes.  I’m starting to sort of see what the fuss is about.  They’re ordinary, but it seems that there is something special about them that I can’t put my finger on.  I probably would have used less rice next time.  I used how much the recipe called for, but it seemed to be too much rice in proportion to everything else.  I probably would have also used hot salsa.  It’s kind of like when you make con queso with Velvetta.  You use hot salsa because medium just doesn’t cut it enough.  And I am not a huge fan of super spicy stuff.

We’re looking forward to experimenting with vegetarian food for Lent, more than just not eating meat on Fridays.  We love fish, so this is a good opportunity to have more, but unfortunately, even though we live in Maine, fish can get expensive.  I’m looking forward to the quinoa cakes tonight and I think we’re having a curry at some point later in the week.  We both ADORE Indian food so that will be great.  Stay tuned to our adventures!

Purging started today.  I am holding off on packing because, well, I hate packing.  I tend to get out on the earlier side on Fridays if I play my cards right so I can always pack stuff then.  Two weeks until we close.  This is all very exciting.

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