Strategy, A Sweet Recipe For Success

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black beans and rice, beans, rice, red bell peppers, healthy recipe, vegetarianEveryone knows that strategy is good for business, but how many actually use strategy for all aspects of life?  I first became aware of the importance of vision and strategy during graduate school when my classmates and I formed study groups and analyzed and created presentations around case studies.  It was then when we learned about SWOT Analysis, a great tool that we used to base our discussions, decisions, and lectures.

School is great for many reasons, but SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis taught me a good discipline that has stayed with me for life.  Today I find myself analyzing from my brand and business, to my personal life, using this concept.  It is a quick, easy and succinct way to study just about everything that requires educated decision-making.

As an entrepreneur, I juggle all aspects of my business and when I face adversity and challenging situations, I often resort to laying down the groundwork on the table and separating the pieces into a puzzle that allow me to plug them into this easy analysis technique.  Working this way lessens my stress and makes my work more effective.

As a consultant, speaker, and teacher, vision combined with strategy helps me before, during, and after a project, presentation, or healthy cooking experience.  Eager clients like creative, educational, delicious, fun, and professional results every time, and SWOT Analysis also empowers me in a happy way.

When I embark on book writing journeys or write columns for magazines and newspapers, strategy is my guiding light.  Investing the time in analysis, gives me comfort, courage, and the patience to tackle tough topics and demanding projects that require months or years to complete; and picking up where I left off is always easier with a well-planned road map.

I use self-analysis and strategy for my own weight management system.  Simple exercise paired with quick and easy delicious healthy cooking has been my lifesaver and what allows me to keep my weight in check. During my healthy cooking experiences, I teach groups about Latin culture combined with super easy cooking techniques and strategies to create their own recipes at home.

Here is a scrumptious healthy recipe that requires a simple strategy in the kitchen. Mise en place, a concept-strategy that teaches good organizational discipline when cooking anything (from understanding the recipe to gathering all ingredients and equipment needed before starting to cook), can be a guiding light for anyone who enjoys investing quality time creating tasty homey dishes.

¡Buen provecho!

ARROZ NEGRO CON CHILE PIMIENTO

Black Rice with Red Bell Peppers

This is an attractive and delicious dish. The black rice contrasts beautifully with the red bell peppers, and the mellow flavor pairs well with grilled meats or any other protein of choice. For a spicy twist, add chopped hot peppers to the mixture.

Serves 4 to 6 people

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper

1/2 cup finely diced Roma tomatoes

2 cups canned black bean broth and 1/2 cup black beans

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Adorno (Garnish)

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup red bell pepper strips (2 inches long), sautéed

In a medium skillet, sauté the rice in the oil with the onions, garlic, pepper, and tomatoes until the rice is well coated with oil (2 to 3 minutes).

Add the black bean broth and beans, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a quick boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered until rice has absorbed most of the liquid (15 to 20 minutes).

Garnish with onions and pepper strips.