We are, officially, in BALI! We've made it to Ubud and are quickly falling in love with Indonesia. After 18 hours on various planes from Hawaii to Denpasar, then an hour taxi up to Ubud, we settled into our temporary home (a hotel/villa) and promptly slept like babies for a few hours. Then, we started exploring! First stop was an organic cafe, which abound here, where we re-fueled with powerful green smoothies and a veggie-full light dinner. Just what we needed! Then we promptly came back and went to sleep, again. Nothing like catching up on a few zzz's!
Today we spent most of the day looking for a permanent place to live — with varying success. We have a few stringent criteria that make it difficult — mainly, we want t 2-bedroom place. We already have multiple people lined up to come visit us (seriously, two friends in the next MONTH are coming here!), and we'd use it as an office when we don't have guests. There are tons of cute little studios and one bedrooms, but we're pretty set on having a slightly bigger space. That said, we saw a great 1-bedroom today with a GORGEOUS garden and pool! Both of those things make it more expensive than we'd like, but we're still thinking about that. Then, there's a great place with a yoga veranda — A YOGA VERANDA!!! — that is really calling my name! The only issue there is that we can't see it until Sunday or Monday. Patience, patience, patience. It's hard.
My first impression of Ubud is that it is HUGE. I wasn't expecting a town this big! Derek keeps insisting it isn't bigger than Hoi An, which I thought was the perfect size, but I'm convinced Ubud is WAY bigger. The internet seems to be on Derek's side... and we all know the internet NEVER tells a lie, so I guess we'd better not tell Derek that he's right. Maybe I'm just not familiar enough with Ubud yet, and so I'm overwhelmed with the business! We've already gone on a run and ridden a motorbike all around town, so we're familiarizing ourselves, but it'll take a while to get familiarized with all the one-way streets and short-cut alleys!
Like I mentioned above, Ubud is BURSTING with amazing, organic, creative, healthy, TASTY, food. This community is very artsy, and has tons of yoga, so the entire vibe feels very healthy. I love it! We've had several meals with amazing smoothie or juice combinations, fresh veggies cooked in creative ways, and flavor combinations I'm sure you'll see appearing here soon. I'm actually really excited to re-create the things we see on menus in town — there's certainly no lack of inspiration for me here!
Although we haven't tried it yet, and it might be a while, I was please to see a taco place on our way into town! YOU KNOW I LOVE TACOS! I've since seen a few more Mexican restaurants, so my love of beans and cheese can still thrive on this lovely tropical island. So, today I bring you southwest refried black beans with eggs! This is a really simple recipe that rivals any comfort food around — at least for me. In the recipe I've specific to start with cooked beans — of course I recommend cooking them from dry yourself, but you can use canned beans if you need to. As for the eggs, they're cooked firm in these photos (partially my mistake, partially my other half who despises runny eggs), but just keep an eye on them and stop cooking when the whites are set and the yolk is runny!Print
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
- 2 tsp adobo sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups black beans, cooked (1 cup of liquid preserved)
- salt & pepper
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup small tomatoes, diced
- 2 green onions, diced white and light green parts
- 4 tortillas
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder and stir together with a spatula. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softening. Add the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, along with the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds before adding the black beans and 1 cup of their liquid. Stir everything together, along with 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon or spatula to crush some of the black beans as they cook again. When much of the liquid is absorbed, add salt and pepper to taste, along with the spinach leaves.
- Just as the leaves wilt, make five divots in the beans and crack one egg into each divot. Cover the pan and let cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking. Depending on how high your heat is, this could take more/less time.
- When the eggs are done, remove from the heat and top with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and green onions.
- Serve with any other toppings (sour cream, hot sauce, guacamole, etc.) you want, on top of tortillas or with tortilla chips.