Welcome to my first episode of The Uphill Chomp.
The purpose of this blog series is to give meal ideas to people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and/or other conditions that limit mobility or functionality. Each recipe will have a price range and a spoon meter for accessibility purposes, along with notes and ideas for ingredient replacement, allergies, or cooking utensils.
Also? No huge blurbs about my nana’s best friend who was taught this recipe by a wolf in the Netherlands. Just the recipes. I know I don’t have the energy to scroll past all that bullshit when I’m just trying to get dinner finished before my legs give out.
Today, I didn’t eat until 2:30p. I did prepare some Spanish rice for my girlfriend, so I put the leftovers to use. This is a great recipe for when you fuck up your rice by making it al dente and you’d rather die than eat slightly crunchy rice. Before we begin: Very few of these recipes will align with any traditional cooking. They do not purport to any cultural accuracy; they’re just meant to be easy and edible.
Rice ‘n’ Beans Smashwich
You will need:
Rice (approx. 3 cups)
Tomato sauce (8 oz can)
Refried beans (1 can)
Cream cheese (optional)
Shredded cheese (optional)
Stirring & Scooping utensil (Spatula or Spoon)
If you have a rice cooker and energy to make your own rice, start by putting the dry rice in a strainer and rinsing it under cold water so it isn’t extra starchy. I used 3 cups of rice. I can’t tell you exactly how much water to put in, because different types of rice and different rice cookers require different amounts. Do your best (google it), but don’t worry if the rice comes out a little hard. We can rebuild it.
Open an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, and add whatever seasonings you like. Pour this into the rice cooker with the water and rice and stir well. If you need to take a nap while waiting for the rice to be done, your rice cooker should keep the rice warm until you wake up.
I try to make big batches of stuff, so I used the full can of refried beans and added about 1 cup rice, leaving me with 2 additional cups of rice to microwave at midnight later.
Mix the beans and rice together while keeping the heat medium-low. Since I undercooked the rice, I added half a cup of water and covered the pan so it would steam. This also helps thin the mixture if you have strength/mobility issues in your hands or arms. Stir every coupla minutes. If you need to sit down, I recommend setting a timer, especially if you get drowsy or easily distracted.
While waiting for the mixture to steam, I put two gluten-free corn tortillas and in a dry fry pan and warmed them until they were slightly golden on each side. I don’t recommend sitting down at this step, or you risk burning your tortillas. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long.
Optional: If you like creamier food, add 3 tablespoons of cream cheese to the rice and beans. Stir until melted.
Spoon your beans and rice onto one crispened tortilla. Put shredded cheese on top, and smash it between a second crispy tortilla and eat it like a sandwich. I chose to do it this way so I didn’t have to use a fork, since I didn’t have energy to wash one.
If you don’t have a rice cooker, just get an instant mix – stovetop or microwave depending on your energy level and what appliances you can access.
Corn tortillas can be replaced with tortilla chips. If you have a clean fork, you can also eat it by itself. Note that if you choose to eat with chips or a fork, you’ll have a bowl to clean afterward.
This can be made in smaller quantities in the microwave.
Ratings & Notes:
SPOONS: 3 / 5 – This can be lowered to a 1-2 spoon recipe if you microwave it instead of cooking on the stovetop.
PRICE: $ / $$$$ – I paid under $2 for the beans and tomato sauce. I highly recommend getting a bulk bag of rice if you can afford it. The tortillas were under $3. I already had cheese in the fridge, so I only spent $5 to make this meal.
CLEAN-UP: Mild-Moderate. The fry pan won’t need cleaning if you didn’t get anything stuck to it, but the sauce pan and spatula/spoon will, and you’ll have to rinse out both cans. Reduce clean-up by eating on a paper plate or napkin.
ALLERGY: Gluten free. Vegetarian. Cheese can be omitted for lactose-free diets.