Jamaican Jerk Eggplant Wraps with Black Beans and Rice

I am a bad blogger.  I have been eating and cooking, but no blogging.  At the moment I am trying to resist getting a cold.  I am also preparing for my first trip overseas.  Next week, my husband and I are flying over to England to attend the wedding of my dear friend.  We will also be traveling to London to see the sights.  I can’t wait!

A lot of what I have been cooking this past week involved cleaning out the fridge.  I still have an eggplant and a large head of purple cabbage that I might have to give away because I don’t think I will be able to cook it before we leave.

However, these delightful wraps were made last week and they are very simple.

To start with, I sliced the eggplant into half inches slices.  I also sliced up some yellow bell peppers and green onions.  I marinated all the vegetables in this jerk sauce for about 6 hours while I was at work. I am sure that amount of time is unnecessary, but I would let it sit for at least an hour The sauce is tasty, but it contains high fructose corn syrup, something I usually avoid.

Next, I lugged out my largest cast iron frying pan and poured the marinade and the veggies in to the pan, covering it with a lid. While the veggies simmered, for about 20 minutes, I started the rice, using about 1/2 a cup of dried rice. I have to be careful with rice, as I always cook to much. Even 1/2 cup of dried rice makes too much for just me and Mark to eat.

I use a royal blend of rice because I like it, but brown rice also works well. As the rice cooks, I started the beans. I could live on canned black beans forever, provided I had enough spices on hand. To make my beans, I heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan and then I add two or three cloves of crushed garlic and let the garlic cook down for a bit.

I then add the beans. I only use Goya black beans. I don’t drain the beans completely, as I like to leave a little bit of liquid to act as a sauce. While the beans are heating on medium heat, I add all of the seasonings I like:

Sazón Goya . This is the particular Sazón I use, but feel free to try others.
Cocoa powder. Try it! It brings a richness to the beans. I use about 1/4 teaspoon
Garlic powder.
Cayenne powder.
Splash of Frank’s hot sauce.

I let this all simmer until it gets kinda goopy. Yes, this is a technical term in my kitchen. When the rice is cooked, mix the beans into the the warm rice and give it a good stir. By this point, the eggplant should be nice and tender.

I used garlic and herb wraps, carrot ribbons, and baby spinach for the wraps and veggies, but I think other veggies would be just as good. This makes about 4 or 5 servings, so it is good for dinner and then lunch the next day.

The next time we talk, I will be telling you about my tomato vegetable soup that was borne from needing to clean out the crisper drawer. Have a great day and keep cooking!

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