I had two extra kids yesterday, which is wonderful---it meant my kids were happy and entertained and I could do the things that I've been meaning to do, but haven't gotten to since school has let out.
Having two extra kids also meant that I couldn't go to the store to shop for elaborate ingredients for dinner, and needed to use what I had on hand in the house. Which was pretty much nothing.
CrockPot cooking rocks for pulling together a meal when you don't have a meal planned. Some of my best soups and meat dishes have come from dumping in a can of this, or adding some herb that I had never used before. I feel safer experimenting with the crockpot than I do on the stove or with the oven---the flavors mellow and I have so long to taste and prod the food, that if the dish needs and extra something-or-other, I can throw it in and nothing is wasted.
--1 can of black beans --1 can of pinto beans
--1 cup of rice (we were low on brown rice, so I needed to use a bit of arborrio to round out the cup) --1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes
--1 T olive oil
--1/2 t kosher salt
--1 t Italian seasoning
--1/2 T dried onion flakes
--put the 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot, and add the rice. Swirl the rice around in the olive oil, until it is coated nicely.
--drain and rinse the beans, and add them
--drain the tomatoes, but reserve the liquid in a measuring cup. I got a little under a cup of tomato juice. Add the tomatoes.
--add water to the measuring cup with tomato juice. You need 2 cups of liquid.
--add seasonings stir well, and cover.
Cook on low for about 6 hours, or on high for 3-4. My beans and rice cooked in an oval 6qt Smart Pot for 3.5 hours. It is done when the rice is tender. Brown rice or wild rice will take longer to cook than white rice--- I was surprised at how quickly it cooked. Our dinner was ready at 3:30. oops.
This is a very nice clean-out-the-pantry dish. It's been hot here, and plugging in the crock and then going out in the sprinklers is a great way to spend the afternoon. I liked how the meal was "free"--because last year I would have ordered take-out as a "reward" for having extra kids, and because it was warm out.