A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Friday, June 7, 2013

Food Friday - Red Beans and Rice, Spinach Salad, and Carrot Cake

This week is a little bit of a mish mash but I've made this meal plenty of times and it's a favorite in my house.

Red Beans and Rice

1 pkg. dried red beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chili powder
2 ham hocks (you can use 2 c. chopped ham or 2 c. chopped cooked bacon)
Hot sauce, if desired

1. Soak the beans overnight. Drain water. Place beans in a large pot and cover with water up to an inch over the top of the beans.
2. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, chili powder, and ham hocks. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until beans are tender. Times vary but I always start checking it at half an hour. Stir occasionally.
3. Prepare rice as it says to on the package. Place rice on a plate and top with red beans. Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you wish and enjoy.

Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 pkg spinach, rinsed
1 pkg spring greens, rinsed
10 strawberries, sliced
1/2 c. sliced almonds

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 small onion, chopped
1 T soy sauce
3 tsp honey
1 T white sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

1. Mix salad greens together with strawberries. Sprinkle almonds on top.
2. For the dressing, place everything except the olive oil in a blender. Puree on high, gradually adding the olive oil. Puree for another 2 minutes, or until thick.

Carrot Cake

2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 c. white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/3 c. vegetable oil
4 c. grated carrots
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. dried blueberries (you can use raisins, craisins, or another chopped dried fruit)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 baking pan. Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together eggs and sugar. Add the oil. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Once everything's mixed together, fold in carrots, walnuts, and dried fruit. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
3. Bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with your favorite cream cheese frosting. (I cheat. I use canned frosting and mix in drained crushed pineapple for my frosting.)

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