Spicy Beans and Rice with Kielbasa

My husband, who has a love of all things Mexican/spicy/taco related… LOVES beans and rice. Especially red beans and rice. I, personally, am kind of picky when it comes to beans. I’m all about a certain texture. Some  beans have a “weirder” texture than others. Black beans are ones that I actually like/tolerate better than others. SO… when I decided to make this dish, I had to swap out a few ingredients… and then I spiced it up a bit! Usually rice and beans is quite mild, but I thought… let’s make it a bit spicy for my hubby! It turned out delicious too! I will give options for those who do NOT want the extra heat in the dish and prefer their beans and rice on the milder side.

This dish… literally… took me 15 minutes to cook. That’s it. Start to finish. 15 minutes, DONE.  My husband took the kids and the dog on a walk, when they got back, dinner was done! That’s not hard, right?! Who needs a processed and prepackaged voila meal when you can make something like this so quickly?! AND you know all of the ingredients and sodium etc. content, because you put it in there! (Except for the kielbasa… but I get the cleanest, most natural kind I can possibly find… and the Turkey version!). So… give this one a try, you busy busy families! You won’t regret it!

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Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 package (14 ounce) All Natural Turkey (or regular) kielbasa, sliced
  • 1/2 small sweet yellow onion diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14 ounce) black beans, rinsed well
  • 2 mini sweet yellow peppers diced (OR half of a bell pepper)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (SKIP if you want MILD rice and beans)
  • 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning like: Emeril’s Bayou Blast (IF you want MILD, try using 1/4 tsp of turmeric!! Beautiful color and MILD taste!)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel or similar) — for mild, use the diced tomatoes w/out the chilis
  • salt and pepper, to taste

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Directions
  1. Start the rice in a pan or the rice cooker. RINSE your rise until the water runs clear. I use a mesh colander. Place the rice into a pan, or rice cooker, and fill until the water covers the rice and rises to the first crease on your finger if you are BARELY touching the top of the rice…. Make sense?? If not, follow the directions on the bag. 🙂 Press COOK on the rice cooker if you have one… and move on. Otherwise, follow rice instructions on the bag.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high. Add the kielbasa and onion; sauté until onions become soft and translucent (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic, beans and peppers and stir for about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the cooked rice and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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This was full of heat, and flavor, and makes my mouth water thinking about it!!

YUM! The leftovers definitely were enjoyed!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

The Dalai Lama has a Message for You. {13 Quotes to Steer your Life by} | elephant journal

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Cajun Seared Salmon topped with a Simple Guacamole

I always forget how simple and easy fish is to make. I just always have to remember to thaw it properly in enough time for dinner! Ha! Luckily, yesterday, I remembered to put the frozen salmon into the fridge to slowly thaw the fish! I then ran it under WARM (not hot) water just before I cooked it while it was still in the vacuum sealed pack… just to finish the thawing. Once that was done… Dinner really took 20 minutes. Start to finish. How lovely is that?! Even if you work full time and need something quick to eat when you come home, this is a great answer! Serve this over a bit of rice, orzo pasta…. with some chips or… as is! I ate this with a few corn chips, and it was the perfect and filling dinner! I couldn’t even finish my portion of the salmon! DELISH though!

Salmon and a Simple Guacamole

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INGREDIENTS

1-2 lbs salmon (I did 2 salmon steaks of sockeye salmon – wild caught)
1 TB olive oil (I used light extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Emeril’s Bayou Blast Cajun seasoning
2 TB butter
1 tsp black pepper
2 TB lemon juice

For the Simple Guacamole:

1 avocado, sliced
1 green onion diced
Juice from 1/2 of lemon
1/2 cup frozen corn (or fresh) slightly heated up and set aside
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TB chopped fresh parsley

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INSTRUCTIONS

Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon and rub the Cajun seasoning over and into the top of each salmon steaks. Place in fridge until ready to cook. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cast-iron grill pan onto the stove and heat to medium-high. Salt the grill pan lightly.
Combine the avocado, green onion, parsley, lemon juice, corn and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well, chill until ready to use.
Grill the salmon skin side down on grill pan for 4 to 5 minutes. Top the salmon with pieces of the butter and the lemon juice and place into preheated oven (still on cast iron grill pan… make sure yours is oven safe!) And bake for 5-10 minutes to desired doneness. It really depends on the thickness of the salmon steaks. (I baked them for approximately 8 minutes.)
Top with some of the simple guacamole and enjoy!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

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Oven Roasted Broccoli and Spicy Shrimp

So, I haven’t posted in a while… we very spontaneously went out of town to visit my husband’s grandfather. We have been asking him if we could visit him for a while and he would always come up with a reason we couldn’t visit: hurricane season, ebola… etc. You get the gist. Well, my hubby was talking to him and he said we could come and visit, but only of we came before June 1st (hurricane season)! So… we packed up and drove 8 hours and spent the weekend with him! He is 95, and we felt like… you never know how many more visits we will be able to make, so we went down to visit him! I did cook quite a bit while I was down there, but did not document any of it… but these are a couple of dishes I made before and after the trip!

Oven Roasted Broccoli and Spicy Shrimp

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Ingredients:

1/2 lb peeled and deveined wild Caught Shrimp (I used TJ Argentinian Red Shrimp)
2 TB unsalted butter
1-2 cups frozen (or fresh) broccoli
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (Emeril’s Bayou Blast is great!)
1 TB lemon juice drizzled over top
Parmesan cheese if desired

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet (that has a raised lip… like a cookie sheet) with tin foil and either grease with a bit of butter or cooking spray. Put raw shrimp and broccoli in a bowl and toss with the ingredients until well coated. Spread so there is a single layer out on the baking sheet. Place in oven for 12 to 15 minutes until shrimp is cooked thru and no longer translucent, but also not over cooked. Remove and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over top and serve immediately.

Enjoy! This one is a quick and easy filling dinner. Serve it over rice, as is, or with a bit of fruit! This one was delicious!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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