THE WASHINGTON POST – My husband and I have an I-cook-you-clean arrangement. But that doesn’t mean that after cooking, I sit down and relax while he handles the entire mess. No, it’s really more that I cook, and we both clean. I try to keep the mess under control as I’m chopping and sauteeing, and after we eat I put away the food and tidy up while he washes the dishes.
Occasionally, when I bring him too many pots and pans that don’t go in the dishwasher, or when something is particularly crusty, he makes his displeasure clear with a sigh or a groan or a well-placed eye roll. I don’t always react well in the moment, but when I reflect on it later, I vow: I’m going to try to avoid recipes, especially on weeknights, that trash the kitchen.
The promise of just one vessel to clean was the first thing that caught my eye about this recipe, from Jessica Prescott’s Vegan One-Pot Cooking. Bake it in a Dutch oven, and it’ll stay hot for a good long while even once you take it out of the oven, meaning you can serve it whenever you’re ready – a bonus when you’re juggling the day’s last Zoom meeting with dinner prep.
PUMPKIN AND BLACK BEAN BAKED RICE
Active time: 25 minutes | Total time: one hour
Four to six servings
This one-pot dish is hearty and filling, and gets its spark from a quick fresh salsa. If you can’t find a one-and-a-half-pound squash or pumpkin, cut off part of a bigger one to use, and reserve the remaining squash for another recipe.
1 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) long-grain white rice
Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One large red onion (12 ounces), chopped
Three garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
One small winter squash (1 1/2 pounds), such as butternut, acorn, carnival or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups cooked or no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and rinsed (from one 15-ounce can)
One teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
Two tomatoes (eight ounces total), stemmed, cored and chopped
One jalapeño chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped, plus more for garnish
One avocado, peeled and diced
One lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup vegan or dairy sour cream
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, cover the rice with water by three inches and whisk for 30 seconds and drain off the cloudy water. Then repeat once or twice, or until the water is mostly clear. Drain off the water again.
In a large Dutch oven or large ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add three-quarters of the chopped onion and the garlic and cook, stirring, until it starts to become translucent, about three minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the rice, squash, water and beans and stir to combine, pressing the mixture so the rice is barely covered by the liquid. Increase the heat to high to bring the liquid to a simmer, then turn off the heat, cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the water and the squash is tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the remaining chopped onion with the tomato, jalapeño and cilantro. Taste, and season with salt as needed.
Divide the baked rice among serving bowls. Top each serving with the salsa, slices of avocado, a squeeze of fresh lime and spoonfuls of sour cream. Serve hot.
Calories: 432; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 423mg; Carbohydrates: 71g; Dietary Fibre: 10g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 11g.