Tuesday, September 15, 2015

the easiest dinner after a day of apple crisp making: hearty chimichurri rice and bean soup

I needed a dinner option last night that was easy. And vegetarian. And that everyone would enjoy. And that could be made with minimal effort...

Now on the tenth (!) year as a back-to-school tradition, we'd spent the morning making apple crisp for the boys' teachers, the afternoon swimming at a friend's, and the early evening chauffeuring to physical therapy for one, cross-training for the other. By the time we rolled home-- at dinnertime-- I really wanted/needed someone else to tackle dinner.

Trader Joe's to the rescue. The boys sampled this while we were picking up our (zillion pounds) of apples and both claimed it was really good. Three ingredients into a pot? Sounds good to me too.

Special bonus that all the ingredients can be kept on hand in the pantry and freezer. So, whether you find yourself in need of a night off of cooking because you made apple crisp for 20 families, or just because you're a fan of the quick and easy, this one's a keeper.

Trader Joe's Chimichurri Rice and Black Bean Soup
recipe credit going to the nice lady giving out samples in the Darien, CT store
(4-6 servings; can double)

one 32-oz carton Roasted Tomato-Red Pepper Soup
one or two 14-oz can(s) black beans, rinsed and drained
one 16-oz bag Chimichurri Rice (freezer section)
optional - sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
optional - avocado

Place soup, black beans and rice in a pot. Heat over medium-low until warm. Serve with sour cream, Greek yogurt, and/or chunks of fresh avocado. Leftovers can be frozen.

For posterity's sake, I'm including a few photos from the apple crisp making as well. Each year I think, "should we do it again?" And each year, it's the one cooking project the kids really look forward to. So, I embraced the happy chaos again, and hope that this token of thanks for all their hard work in the year ahead is enjoyed by each teacher's family.

I know it drives some of you crazy that we don't use a recipe for our apple crisp. I linked a few apple crisp recipes here in this post from 2009. This pic from later in 2009 always brings a smile. And I recall that back in 2013 we attempted to apple pick before embarking on the project. Lesson learned that apples aren't really in season when school starts here in CT.  


  1. Looks like you all had fun baking all those apples. Speaking of which,,,would you mind if I painted that foto of your apples.....I would love to do a watercolor of them.

    1. Sure, go ahead. you may absolutely do a watercolor of those gems. Thank you for asking.

  2. Thanks,,,,when I post it to my blog I will link to your blog.

    Happy Eating.........


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