Patience Building Black Beans and Rice

June 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm 3 comments

After a weekend of such decadent food, I knew that my family and I needed a lighter, fiber-rich recovery meal. What could be better than rice and beans? I love this vegetarian staple because it is simple, healthy, and cheap. However, sometimes it is a little bit too simple. Last night’s goal was to experiment and see if I could make it a little more exciting! I’d say this was a success! Even my meat-loving Dad didn’t complain about the “missing meat” at dinner! I also enjoyed the leftovers cold for lunch today – though I wish I had thought to put it over lettuce for a hearty salad. Always trying to keep leftovers interesting!

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For anyone new to brown rice, don’t be afraid of this grain. It takes longer to cook than white rice and definitely has a heartier texture, but it adds a nice dimension to rice and beans. Plus, it is so much healthier than refined white rice. The trick with brown rice is patience (or a rice cooker!) and a lot of water. If you follow the instructions and it still doesn’t feel done, just add more water and let it cook for a bit longer. Undercooked brown rice is the best way to ruin a meal (and trust me, I have done it several times).

Also try making your own black beans! My mom has a pressure cooker, which makes this a really fast process, but I usually just let the beans soak overnight and then let them simmer for about 30 minutes until they begin to soften. Making them on your own is a lot cheaper, allows you to control the sodium, and also gives you the chance to add flavor. (You can add garlic or a bay leaf or other spices to the boiling liquid.) It is not hard and again just requires a bit of patience.

After you have your staples prepared, this dish comes together really quickly. Less than 5 minutes in fact. If you know you have a busy weeknight coming up, take some time over the weekend to prep the rice and beans, and just keep them in tupperware until you are ready to pull everything together for dinner.

Question: Do you have any tricks to making perfect rice?

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Not Just Rice and Beans

serves 8

1 lb dried black beans, rehydrated

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 vidalia onion

2-3 cloves garlic

3 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob

1 tsp cumin

2 cups brown rice

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)

1 tsp dried cilantro

1 roasted red pepper

Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add cooked black beans and cumin and reduce heat. Meanwhile, cook brown rice according to package instructions. Slice the corn off the cob and add to the black bean mixture. Also dice a roasted red pepper and add to the black beans. In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, lime juice, and cilantro. During last 5 minutes of cooking, add this dressing to the rice. This way, the liquid and flavor absorbs into the rice. Stir and season rice to taste with salt and pepper. Finally, mix the rice and beans together. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary. Serve warm or cold!

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Entry filed under: Recipes. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Wedding Weekend Chef Nicholas

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  June 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Looks wonderful! I wouldn’t miss the meat either.

    Reply
  • 2. Chelsea  |  June 14, 2011 at 10:19 am

    This was delicious. I’m looking forward to making this when I go back to school in my new kitchen, though I’ll probably replace the dried black beans with canned ones and use minute brown rice. I know, I know, I’m a simpleton.. but time is valuable!!

    Reply
  • 3. Lose those Leftovers – Part 2 « homemadeadventure  |  June 21, 2011 at 9:05 am

    […] Tags: vegan, healthy, salad, vegetarian, lunch, leftovers, easy, beans, rice, mango Remember those rice and beans from last week? And remember my issues with leftover boredom? Well here is a completely different […]

    Reply

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