aka SOUL FOOD WILL GET YOU THROUGH
|Ready to eat - my version of Red Beans and Rice|
I don't know about you, but the past few weeks have been wearing for me - finishing off a lot of classes, difficulties with the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program logistics - really, just life saying not so gently - no, don't go this way, but rather this way. Sometimes it takes a great deal of surrender, but I have found over the years that there is always a higher reason and if I just breathe deep and become still enough, not hold on so tight to what I think is the right way, it always works out. Don't get me wrong - I love teaching and classes, but I'm at that tired point right now but fortunately I have some space, time now to plan for program and logistics for the WNFCTP - no place to be, nothing else to plan for and it's heaven. I'm going slow and cooking slow (and in some cases, thinking slow if the truth be told).
|onion, spices and vegetables ready to go|
I want to go and listen to these guys but that would mean I would need to catch a plane and head east and right now I don't really want to go anywhere !!! I'm so loving being at home and BEING IN MY home, feeling it's walls and space holding me. But if I was there in Bellingen, I'd like to go also and get my goat on and who could resist going to a gallery called " Everything That's Beautiful Galley" - not me. I'd go, I'd spend and I'd be really wanting to get one of Jay's glorious vegetable embroideries. Yup. But, I'm not - I'm here loving and being at my desk, at my pace, in my home. But I need soul food and nothing says that more than Red Beans and Rice. Like perfume that brings a memory to consciousness, eating this I am immediately back in the French Quarter at a funky vegetarian cafe I've long since forgotten the name of. Red Beans and Rice is classic New Orleans soul food - honest, nourishing, cheap, easy and above all delicious - even Michael Franti has a song about it. Traditionally made on a Monday (washing day) it just does it's thing simmering along ready for you at the end of the day. There are hundreds of versions, my favourites include those by Bryant Terry (I can heartily recommend both his books - Vegan Soul Kitchen and the new one The Inspired Vegan). This recipe here is a variation from the original in my book Coming Home to Eat - Wholefood for the Family, but I've chosen to highlight it here as I think many people just might overlook it. I've cooked mine this week with chicken stock I had in the freezer and I would recommend this if you have any digestive issues. It is also a classic example of frugal cooking - deeply nourishing and cheap home made bone stock ensures that you can utilise more of the protein in those beans.
|Your beans are cooked when they yield a soft, creamy centre to gentle pressure from your finger. The two in the front are cooked, the one at the back not at all.|