I’ve been trying to make these damn beans for a week and finally our plans didn’t change! The weather was getting cooler and it was nice to just stay in and let the beans cook. They take a couple of hours on the stove, so I generally only do them on weekends or other days off. Now, let me tell you, Viva Vegan is an amazing book and we’ve loved every, single recipe we’ve made from it – and we use it fairly often. We even prep a few of the recipes ahead of time and take them camping with us to cook on the grill in the woods. Anyway, the beans are a two-part process – making the sofrito and pre-cooking the beans and then putting it all together and letting the magic happen. The basic onion-pepper sofrito recipe used here is really simple – just a bit of chopping – and is so good you won’t believe it was that easy. I like to put the beans in the pot, chop the peppers and onions and then put the sofrito on to cook so it finishes at about the same time the beans are done pre-cooking. Once everything is ready to go, I just put it all in the pot together and let it cook until it’s done and yummy. While the beans are on the second round of cooking, I put the rice on and sit back and relax. OK – I clean up the prep dishes and have a beer. Same thing. I like the rice extra garlicky so I add a few extra cloves to mine, but that’s just me. We like to serve this meal as sort of deconstructed nachos. Seth makes fresh salsa and we make a big pile: rice, beans, lettuce and salsa, all surrounded by chips. Yum. We normally have enough rice leftover to make two healthy lunches. The beans recipe makes a ton, so I freeze the rest and we use them later for quesadillas or enchiladas or some other yumminess.