It was so good to finally get back in the kitchen and cook a decent meal after not really cooking for a couple of weeks. It's therapy for me.
I used my own blog tonight for inspiration. After scouring through some past entries, I remembered how good the black beans and brown rice and grilled chicken meal was. I'm telling you, the curry in the black beans is amazing. Don't be afraid of curry. At least not curry powder. It adds a slight sweetness to the beans. I planned ahead and soaked dry beans a couple of days ago, so no canned beans tonight. I used TJ's Island Soyaki Marinade for the chicken and made a huge batch of brown jasmine rice.
I got to put my new Christmas present to use for the first time; a slicer/shredder attachment for my Kitchen Aid (thank you David!). I shredded a block of raw milk cheddar cheese in about 20 seconds! Awesome! I used the cheese to top off the chicken, which topped off the black beans, which topped off the rice.
I also had some lovely sweet potatoes courtesy of the last CSA box that needed to be used and I found the best recipe online for Maple glazed roasted sweet potatoes.
These may have been the best sweet potatoes I've ever made. I don't know if it was the cooking method or if they were just really good potatoes, but they were so soft and buttery. They tasted just like those terrible sweet potato patties you buy at the grocery that are full of buttermilk, corn starch, and food dyes. This version only had two tablespoons of butter; that's way less than I normally use. I'm sad to say there's no leftovers of those babies.
I'll probably use the black beans and rice again for lunch tomorrow; maybe even scramble an egg into them for some protein.
I got a little inventive with dessert as well. While the boys, David included, made build you own ice cream sundaes, I took a healthier route. I made my own version of one of my favorite desserts found at Thai restaurants; Sticky Sweet Rice with Mangoes. It may sound weird, but trust me; it's amazing. I'm normally a chocolate or cake person, but I tried this dessert at a local Thai place and have gotten it ever since. I've never attempted to really make it myself. Everytime I've asked a server if it's difficult to make, they've all said yes. I figure I'll leave the real thing up to the experts.
My knock off version wasn't so bad, though. I took some of the brown rice from dinner, topped it with sliced mango, and poured a little TJ's organic sweetened condensed milk over the whole thing. Not bad at all. It satisfied my sweet tooth!
I love brown rice! I'm considering having it for breakfast tomorrow. Maybe I'll top it with maple syrup and pecans, just like I do oatmeal.
On a side note, a sweet friend gave me a cool cookbook she found at Anthropologie called Apples for Jam. It's got some great recipes in it and I'm getting really inspired to start cooking away.