Spanish Titled Recipes

Good morning! Last week I posted a whole meal made of four recipes from Lindsay Nixon’s new cookbook Everyday Happy Herbivore.* Today’s post is about the basics. Whether you’re an herbivore or an omnivore, nothing beats the cheap and quick combo of rice, beans, plus a vegetable. It’s my go to “nothing’s in the house meal.” When I noticed the Happy Herbivore’s recipes for Arroz Amarillo (p162) and Skillet Frijoles Negros (p176) I thought it was time to spice up my old standby a little. For a green side, I simply steamed some collard greens and kale.

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I must admit I was pretty distracted while I was cooking. I was on the phone with a couple of friends and then I was snacking on chips and salsa. My inattention in the kitchen had its consequences. The rice wasn’t completely cooked, probably because I kept taking the lid off and looking at it. I have this problem where I want to look at and touch everything I’m cooking (Mike always tells me not to, but he wasn’t home). Anyway, the flavors were definitely an improvement over regular brown rice and the beans were absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely be cooking both recipes again!

For those of you wondering whether I’ll be reviewing any other cookbooks any time soon, the answer is yes! I got some great cookbooks as early Christmas presents from Mike’s parents (Thanks again!). I’m trying out recipes from one of those books this week, so you can expect some posts from that soon!

Do you feel compelled to take the lid off pots and pans or open the oven even when you shouldn’t? Can you talk on the phone while you cook? Do you snack while you cook? 

*Forgive me, I keep forgetting to add this to posts. Full disclosure, Erin works for the publishing house which publishes the Happy Herbivore cookbooks. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own: I love these cookbooks!



  1. I haven’t made brown rice very frequently, but the number one rule of making plain steamed rice is don’t take the lid off! 🙂

    Random tip: If you find yourself using a lot of the same spices, it’s usually sooo much cheaper to buy them from the bulk section at an ethnic grocery store. We have Italian grocery stores around here (which also stock a lot of Mexican and Polish goods) that you can buy a big container of cumin, or garlic powder, or dozens of other spices for like $3. Versus the tiny little McCormick ones that are so overpriced.

    1. Haha I don’t know why I feel compelled to look at it and fork the rice.

      Good tip on the spices! I’ve heard that elsewhere too. I have a few Indian groceries around the corner I’ve been meaning to venture into. Most of the spices I bought when we were only cooking occasionally, so I bought the tiny ones because I didn’t want to waste. Now that I cook more often I’m running through them. I’ll definitely check out the Indian grocery when I run low.

  2. Debbie, that’s exactly why I bought a rice cooker. After all those times failing, it was easier to just suck it up and buy a cheapish rice cooker, and start buying giant bags of normal rice, instead of the little boxes.

    1. I have a rice cooker and maybe a dumb question. Can I cook rice with seasonings (such as in this post) in a rice cooker. I thought it was only for plain rice and veggies. I guess it would make sense to put it all in the rice cooker.

      1. As we discussed today, I think yeah, you can totally do this. When I put the rice and water in, I always stir them up together. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t add spices to the water and then mix it all together. It might not get as pretty as the stovetop rice (I think the rice cooker uses less water?) but I think it would taste just as good!

  3. I generally don’t have a problem keeping the lid closed. My problem is with checking whether meat is done (particularly on the grill where overcooking leads to tough, dry meat). If you want a cheap ($10!) and small rice cooker, we use this:
    It’s just a plastic container with closable vents that you put in the microwave. It seems to work pretty well for us, and you can use it to steam veggies in the microwave too. It’s dishwasher safe, doesn’t have it’s own plug, and is happy to be shoved in a cabinet like tupperware.
    Remind me to show you our Colombian cookbook over Christmas. It has an entire chapter dedicated to rice recipes.

    1. I do the same thing with meat! That’s why Mike usually cooks it.

      See my response to Erin above about the rice cooker.

      I definitely want to see the Colombian cookbook! I can’t wait to try the recipes too!

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