Step 1: I'm constantly on the lookout for new recipes. Most of the food (75% at least) I make is straight from a recipe. The other 25% is made up of old family recipes, recreations of things I've eaten in restaurants, and a litttttle bit of imagination. I mean, you can't cook without ANY imagination--come on!
That's pretty much it. I pin a TON of food stuff (I have multiple food-centric pin boards--sweet, savory, breakfast, ice cream, pie, and grown-up beverages) and generally build my grocery list around dishes on my pin boards. I also keep a bunch of items in my stock that just make me smile--namely beans, rice, quinoa, sausage, and chocolate. Always chocolate.
Even with all of this preparation some nights I just like to wing it. Nothing on my list sounds particularly appealing and I want to walk off the beaten path. That's when dishes like these are made and I thank God for these moments :).
Cajun Black Bean Rice
-hot pork sausage
-cajun black beans from trader joe's
1) Start preparing your rice. I don't buy instant rice because it's a lot cheaper that way so it takes about 20 minutes for the rice to cook. Make however much your heart desires--I was cooking for myself so I just made a half a cup.
2) While your rice is cooking, you can brown your sausage in a medium-sized saute pan. Cook on medium-high heat and stir frequently so the sausage breaks up into delicious little crumbly bites of sausagey heaven. Once your sausage is cooked, add a can of cajun black beans and mix it all up. Turn the heat to low.
3) When your rice is finished cooking, pour it into the pan with your sausage/bean mixture and mix everything up one last time.
The spices in the cajun black beans and the heat from the pork sausage totally make this dish. It's SO simple to make and can act as the perfect side dish for so many meals. It's also a pretty balanced meal on its own--you've got your grains, protien, and meat all in one go! Sounds like a win to me.
Next time someone tells me I'm a master chef I'm going to chuckle and think about my real process in the kitchen. If I can do it. so can you!