These original recipes are from Greece and Puebla, Mexico. Maralyn knows about the delicious foods from Puebla fist hand. Her mole is a classic.
My friend Lois is also an international home cook. She enjoys cooking from original sources and adding her own twist to tradition.
Beans and rice, especially when made from scratch, are one of my go – to comfort foods. My son and I experienced many versions on our recent voyage to South and Central America. I like Lois’s recipes since they are inexpensive, healthful, vegetarian, and simply delicious.


2 cups dry black beans soaked in water overnight
one large onion roughly chopped
cilantro stems chopped fine, reserve leaves for salsa (from a healthy-sized bunch of cilantro)  parsley can be used for salsa if you don’t like cilantro
Tbsp. salt
Tbsp. garlic powder
Tbsp. Mrs. Dash
Add ingredients to large pot and cover with water with about 2″ above beans, water can be added as needed. Boil for 1 1/2 hours, taste a bean for done-ness after that time.  Cover when done.  Beans can be stored in fridge covered in remaining liquid and scooped out and reheated with small amount of liquid as needed.
Rice:  2 cups converted rice made in the Greek method.  Can also be stored covered in fridge and put in a saucepan with small amount of water to reheat. Second portion can also be made later if needed, you’ll probably have more beans than rice, but I like to make the rice twice rather than store twice as much all at once.
Method: Brown 2 cups converted rice in 1 – 1/12 sticks butter (I use Smart Balance with Olive Oil as a heart-healthy alternative) stirring briskly until it achieves a beautiful caramel color and grains fall separately when dropped from a spoon, add 1 can broth (I use Vegetable, but chicken is the original ingredient), bring to rolling boil and cover for 15 minutes then let stand until all liquid is absorbed…water can be added if moister rice is preferred).

Happy Salsa

1/4 small onion diced fine (or to taste)
tsp. garlic powder or crushed clove(s) to taste
juice from 1/2 lemon
capers to taste and a little of the brine from bottle
cilantro leaves chopped fine (I use scissors)
1 1/2 – 2 ripe tomatoes
happy colored peppers chopped (I get the pkge. of little yellow, red, and orange and use 3 or 4…they’re very pretty)
salt to taste
chopped jalapeno can be added for heat according to taste – I leave it out these days for a milder salsa
Add everything to glass or ceramic mixing bowl and stir…then I take kitchen shears and cut cut cut to make it finer and also blends it together. Taste a tiny bit to make sure it’s seasoned the way you like it…flavors will blend.  Let sit in fridge to blend flavors.  This will make approx. 1 1/2 to 2 cups of salsa.
Keep it fresh!  Use fresh, beautiful ingredients for fresh, delicious meals!
I start the beans and cook for 1 1/2 hrs.  Then I start the rice and keep the beans on low heat or, if done, just cover…rice generally take 20 – 30 minutes.  I make the salsa after the beans start cooking and before I start the rice so it has time to blend in the refrigerator.
When everything’s done, scoop out some rice, then beans, then either sour cream or, as everyone I know now prefers vegan, top with salsa.  Dig in!
Storing each item separately allows you to serve with other meals in other combinations as side dishes; i.e. beans with a Spanish omelet (with salsa and feta cheese inside), rice as a side-dish with shrimp or fish, etc.  Shrimp, capers, and cocktail sauce can be added to rice for a delicious Spanish rice, and a favorite in the Yucatan is fried egg over rice…sounds strange but very delicious!