Spinach and White Bean Stew with Red Cargo Rice


A little fresh spinach goes a long way and after utilizing it in two different recipes now, I still have enough leftovers for an additional meal. One of my favorite ways to cook, especially when I have a fridge full of stray vegetables, is to dump an array of ingredients in a Dutch oven or slow cooker and hope for the best. Yesterday, I once again utilized my handy slow cooker to do just that with the spinach. I also had a couple of Great White Tomatoes on hand, thanks to my lovely neighbor, and those were dumped into the pot as well. This recipe makes enough leftovers for a few days worth of lunches or can be portioned out and frozen for quick and easy weeknight dinners.

As a side, I cooked Red Cargo rice for the first time and although the texture is very different from the Basmati and brown rice I’m used to, we both liked the chewy mouth feel and nutty flavor of the rice. I’m definitely going to have to research this native Thailand rice further to see what other inspirations I can come up with. Plus, I am just in love with the color!

Spinach and White Bean Stew 

Ingredients:

1 cup dried small White Beans, rinsed and sorted of any debris

2 Great White Tomatoes, chopped

1 garden fresh Tomato, chopped

1 med Sweet Onion, chopped

1/2 Red Bell pepper, Chopped

1 sprig Fresh Rosemary, stem discarded and leaves chopped

1 clove Garlic, crushed

1 dried Chili de Arbol, optional

3 to 6 cups Water or Vegetable Stock

2 to 3 loosely packed cups Fresh Spinach, reserved

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 cups cooked Red Cargo Rice, recipe follows

Method:

Preheat a slow cooker to high heat. Add to the slow cooker the chopped tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and dried chili, if using. Pour in 3 cups water/stock. Next add in the cup of white beans, stir, and cover with the lid. Cook on high about 2 hours. Check the beans for tenderness and add additional water/stock as needed. Continue cooking until the beans are completely tender, about 2 additional hours. Just before serving, stir in the spinach and continue to stir until the spinach has just wilted. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with Red Cargo rice, or side of choice.

Red Cargo Rice

Ingredients:

1 cup Red Cargo Rice

2 cups Water

1 tab Butter, optional

a pinch of Salt

Method:

In a mesh colander, rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Set aside. In a small dutch oven or saucepan with a tight fitting lid, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the salt and butter until dissolved. Add the rice and bring back up to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and serve immediately.

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