Monday, November 21, 2011

Cooking for my Bestie

A few weeks ago I visited my best friend, Ruchi in St. Louis, where she attends med school. We checked out the gorgeous fall foliage, ate frozen custard, went on a brewery tour at Anheuser-Busch, attended a lovely Thanksgiving potluck and even attended a boot camp class. The trip was especially fun since I lived in St. Louis for a few years when I was in junior high but haven’t been back in years, so everything felt both familiar and new at the same time.

18 years of friendship 

While I was there, I had a few opportunities to play in Ruch’s kitchen. For the Thanksgiving feast I made my brownies (by request) sprinkled with sea salt. The second dish was a bit more of an adventure…

The life of a medical student is pretty much filled with studying, class, and more studying, so I decided to save Ruch some time by making her food for the week. The requirements? Healthy, vegetarian and preferably with veggies. Also, whatever she happened to have with her kitchen. I ended up making something that was healthy, filling and colorful that looked and smelled as delicious as it tasted. I enjoyed it when I came home I recreated it in my own kitchen. And best of all? It’s easy. Recipe and photos after the jump. 

Hearty Healthy Beans and Rice

What you need…

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning (hot)
  • 8oz salsa (medium)
  • Chopped veggies (for this version I used 6 mini yellow and orange peppers and 2 tomatoes)

What to do…

  • Cook brown rice based on directions
  • Heat black beans (with liquid) in small pot
  • Add taco seasoning and salsa, stir
  • Simmer black bean mixture until it starts to thicken, remove from heat
  • While rice and beans are cooking, chop veggies
  • Once rice and beans are done, add bean mixture to rice
  • Add veggies and stir; heat from beans and rice will cook the veggies slightly

This dish can be eaten alone, as filling in a tortilla, or topped with cheese.

Gorgeous fall colors

Ruch making mashed potatoes for the potluck

Making brownies

Cooking the beans and rice

Working with found items in the kitchen

Mmmmm....taco seasoning

Beautiful chopped veggies

Beans ready to be added to the rice

Finished product

Proportioned for med school lunches

Yeah, we had some fun


  1. Katie wanna come to my house and make some food?? :-) This is Mika btw.