Archive for August 17th, 2012
Rice and beans are made for each other. Vegetarians love this combination because together they become a complete protein source.
I grow up thinking rice and beans was an invention of my country of birth, Ghana in West Africa. It very well may be, although rice and beans is now a staple in many parts of the world.
It is very likely that this food combination was brought to the Americas by salves from West Africa according to Richard Wilk’s Book – Rice and Beans: A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places.
In Ghana the most popular version is called Waakye. It is made with black-eyed beans and rice with a secret ingredient from the millet plant that gives it a rich dark burgundy color.
I like to use black beans because it packs more protein, fiber and anti-oxidant than the black-eyed beans. On average, a cup of black beans has about 15 grams of both protein and fiber. It has about the same amount of protein that is in 16 – ounces of milk, but milk has no fiber. Researchers have found at least 8 different flavonoids in the black bean’s color coat. Flavonoids are color-producing phytonutrients pigments that have great anti-oxidant potential. They work together with vitamins to help the body avoid oxygen-related damage.
This deliciously nutrient packed dish is very easy to make, simply by cooking beans till it is almost done and adding rice to finish cooking. I served it just as it is done in Ghana with spicy stewed tomatoes and Shito sauce (Consists primarily of oil, ginger, dried fish, tomatoes, garlic and spices) but it can be served with your favorite sauce.
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