Here was the scenario: I had been setting up a small birthday celebration for my son all day. Then we had a sugar loaded mid-afternoon snack of cake and sorbetto. It was 6:30pm, we were suddenly starved, equipped with a fully loaded pantry and newly spruced up kitchen, but with the energy of…well, a single mom who had done all of that crap all day.
MOST parents would have reached for the frozen pizza or micro meals. We don’t operate like that around here.
Instead, I decided to go a more healthful route and make abichuelas quisadas- stewed beans. It’s a traditional Dominican recipe (my daughter is Dominican and her spoiled father had the delight of me learning how to cook his traditional fare), and it is typically eaten with rice, a vegetable (usually corn), and sometimes, chivo (goat).
We skipped the latter.
The best part is that this is pretty adaptable, and there are few set rules. It takes about 30min max, and is very kid-friendly. I put it in my kids thermos for lunch today as leftovers. Here’s what you’ll need:
1 can or roughly 2 cups kidney beans and soaking liquid
1 small onion chopped, preferably a red one
1/2c celery chopped
a clove of garlic grated or a tsp of jarred diced garlic
1 green pepper chopped (optional)
a bouillon cube
1T tomato paste
a pinch of oregano
a dash of Adobo, red lid (optional)
Heat your pan on medium high and add some oil. Brown your onion. Add your green pepper as well if you prefer. When it’s almost done, add your garlic and cook until browned, about 1-2min.
Add your bouillon cube, cilantro, thyme, oregano, and celery. Stir around for a min or so.
Add your water, and beans with soaking liquid. Then add your dash of Adobo and tomato paste. If you prefer the dish a little less sweet, you can sub tomato paste for plain tomato sauce.
Once well combined, take a masher (yes- a masher) and smoosh everything. Make sure you get most of the beans. It should be thick and stewy. Cook over medium, stirring often, until celery is softened. It should be thick like beef stew. Add more water if it thickens too quickly.
Serve over rice with a side of veges.
When I put this in my daughter’s lunch thermos, I put the corn on bottom, then I put the red beans and rice, slightly mixed, over the corn.