Punsir and I are still recalibrating our budget, because my part time jobs aren't as lucrative as my earlier position. We've always been people who love to eat- both at home and in restaurants- and we've really enjoyed experimenting in our kitchen.
I wanted to share one of our favorite dishes, which makes tons of leftovers, reheats like a champ, and is about as healthy as this butter loving girl can stand.
16 ounces of dried beans, prepared by either the quick or overnight method (I use these interchangably; 16 ounces is one bag)
5.5 cups of water
3 cups of brown rice
Two large onions
One and a half pounds brussel sprouts, cabbage or other firm veggie (we use whatever's on sale, but I cannot eat enough brussel sprouts; they're my favorite by far)
Good dash of olive oil (you know, a glug. Techinical term)
One stick of butter
Lots and lots of fresh garlic (a head? two heads? there's a lot of food here)
Half cup citrus juice, whatever's handy. (Limes make the dish crisp, oranges make the dish a little bit sweeter, lemons are nice cross. If you're juicing the fruit, save the rinds and toss them in the water you're using to soften the beans. And then you can toss the rinds in the garbage disposal to give that a good scrub. Efficiency is ever our watchword.)
Salt and pepper, as you require
Whack the butter in half and melt in two large pans. Chop the onions and throw in the first pan. Chop the sprouts and throw in the second. Cook both until they are lovely and brown (about 40 minutes) over moderate heat. We like to separate these because we find onions tolerate higher heat than sprouts, but it also creates another pan to wash. Split the garlic evenly between the sprouts and the onions. When the veggies are 95% done, toss them into a single pan so everything can play well together.
While the veggies are cooking, bring the 6 cups of water to a boil with the olive oil and add the citrus juice. Lower the heat to medium and add the rice. When the rice is almost finished, toss in your beans and check the salt/pepper levels. When all the water has evaporated, leave the rice on the stove and add the sprouts/onions. Give everything a good toss and correct the seasonings once more.
Serve with a a big salad to you and everyone you've ever met. I'm not lying when I say this dish will feed both of us for a week: lunches and dinners. It also makes great breakfasts; I throw a big spoonful into a pan to reheat (no microwave!) and then scramble an egg into the rice. Protein rich and super cheap. The prep time is mostly inactive: waiting for things to cook and while you can have three burners on, it does make so much food that it's a great summer dish. Enjoy!