When we were in Bend, Oregon over the 4th of July weekend, we had an amazingly simple, yet fantastic lunch one day from a little restaurant tucked inside a large shopping area. I have been craving the lunch since that time, so I decided to recreate it in my own way for tonight's dinner...black bean bowls filled with slow cooked black beans, fresh vegetables, and ooey-gooey toppings like sour cream and cheese. First you want to make a big pot of black beans. As usual, you will have lots of beans left to freeze or to use for other meals throughout the week (yay!).
As dinner time approaches, cook your rice (color is your preference...I always prefer brown for it's texture and nutty flavor, David always prefers white) according to the package or bin directions. I now keep all of my pantry staples on an open wire shelf displayed in jars so I've been shopping exclusively from the bin sections at our markets...my rule of thumb for cooking rice is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of boiling water. I just keep an eye on the rice during the cooking process, stirring occasionally, and stop the cooking when the water is gone and the rice is ready to fluff with a fork- about 20 minutes for white, 45 minutes for brown.
Add rice and black beans to a nice-sized bowl. Then, go wild with your toppings...we chose black olives, avocado which along with the black beans adds creaminess to the bowl, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, steamed and lightly salted broccoli, and lots of hot salsa.
Eat with a few corn chips and salsa and an icy beer. And, remember to enter my blog contest for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate! Contest ends Wednesday night.