Jollof Rice and BeansRice and beans are a combination as basic as air and breath, right? Is a recipe necessary? I saw the “Jollof Rice and Beans,” from Robin Robertson’s Vegan Fire & Spice: 200 Sultry and Savory Global Recipes, and was motivated to use the recipe as a launch point for a satisfying meal. I went ahead and distorted the earnest vegan recipe by adding two links of cooked sweet Italian turkey sausage to my rice. Canned diced tomatoes are always lovely, but I would never drain them, as this recipe suggests. More tomato moisture could never hurt a rice dish. I used only 1/8 tsp. of cayenne in order to produce a kid-friendly meal. I cooked the rice for 20 minutes and added 2 tsp. of salt to the mix. This bowl of thick rice and beans is full of good flavor.

Asparagus, Peas, and BasilAsparagus is such a beautiful beacon of Spring. I’ll always celebrate the simple pleasantness of this vegetable. My dining partner, Dave, however, is asparagus-wary, though who knows why? The “Asparagus, Peas, and Basil,” from the April 2008 issue of Gourmet, delivered a magnificent flavor combination of butter/basil/asparagus that even Dave approved of. I used frozen peas without any regrets. Pairing peas with butter is a basic, indisputable path to happiness. I needed only one shallot for this recipe. I cooked the vegetables for 10:30 and added an extra 1/2 tsp. of sea salt. You’ve got the simplest of pristine food elements here in this recipe. Use them and relish them and serve them with pride.

RECIPES: rice and beans + lots of green = a fully satisfying meal
white rice will cook in less than 30 minutes; vegetables will be ready in less than 15 minutes
make a thick, tomatoey stew and indulge in the verdant pleasures of asparagus and peas

For my next meal, I will indulge in another from the April 2008 issue of Gourmet, “Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce.” I’m excited about this one! Come back to my site on Thursday, June 26, to see my results.