We’re in week six of ” Covid-19 Stay at Home” and it’s raining again, but at least the lights are back on for nearly everyone in Hamilton County. I’ve lost count of how many days it’s been wet and gray here in East Tennessee, but I do know that it’s been 11 days since Easter evening when a series of deadly tornados swept through. So, that makes any day without tornados a good one.
What I really feel like doing is taking a long nap, but it’s mid-afternoon, and even if I am not hungry right now, I will be in a couple of hours, and cooking tends to wake me up. The challenge is trying to cook relatively simple, nutritious meals, that don’t begin with a can of soup, and don’t end up as one more example of brownish-something-or-other casserole.
Today I am going for color, flavor, crunch, and more than one texture. Also something that won’t produce a week’s worth of leftovers which I will be tempted to freeze and lose in the next inevitable spring-storm-power-outage. Since there are only two of us, I’ll be cooking half this recipe and reserving the rest for lunch tomorrow.
Note: It’s not low calorie. It’s not low carb (though it is gluten-free). This is comfort food. You can skip breakfast tomorrow.
To make it, you’ll need dried or canned pinto beans, rice, corn tortillas, onion, fresh (or reconstituted dried) tomatoes, a meat/protein source and southwestern spices, I’m using a pork blade steak, but I’m thinking a lamb shoulder steak or a piece of beef skirt steak, or cubed tofu would work just fine. Or maybe even chicken thighs,
All the toppings are optional, but all will provide additional color, flavor and texture.
2 cups cooked, drained pinto beans
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water or stock
1 cup chopped onion, divided (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
8 oz pork, boneless cubed (or chicken, lamb or beef)
2 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil) divided
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
12 corn tortillas
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup grated cheese (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
1 cup chopped avocado (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. If you’re using dried beans, cook them. An instant pot is great for this. If using canned beans, drain and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven.
3. Liberally season the meat with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
4. In a deep casserole or oven proof skillet, sear the meat in the 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Set aside. Reserve the remaining oil for frying the tortillas.
5. In the same pan, sauté the garlic and 3/4 cup of the onion until translucent. (Reserve the remainder of the onion, and the tomatoes)
6. Stir in the rice and cook briefly to lightly brown.
7. Add the beans, seared meat, spices and the water or stock. Cover tightly and bake for one hour in the pre-heated oven.
8. Meanwhile, lightly fry the tortillas until golden and crisp.
9. At the end of an hour, stir the meat, beans and rice. Fluff with a fork.
10. Stir in the reserved onion and the tomatoes. Adjust the seasoning.
11. Spoon the filling onto the fried tortillas, top with salsa, nuts, sour cream and/or cheese, if desired.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (16.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
Recipe Type: Beans and Legumes, Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat