Rice n beans

Humble rice and beans, a mainstay of Latino cuisine, and far more tasty than their humbleness suggests….

This healthy, filling dish can be made up of either white or brown rice with any kind of bean, although red beans or black beans are most common. It packs a heart protein punch, and will keep you going on days when you need a long-lasting burst of energy.

I love to make rice n beans the centrepiece of a dish (why relegate this delicious combo to side-dish status?!) that incorporates a feast of flavours and textures that dance on the palate while comforting the belly. Some of my favourite accompaniments are charred corn salsa, some avocado slices dressed with lime, olive oil, salt and cracked black pepper, and a small serve of crispy cassava chips.

Here’s how to whip up the ultimate comfort food treat for those long winter nights and those days when you know you’re going to need lots of energy…

Flavour: Savoury & moreish

Serves: 4 as the centrepiece of a meal, or 6 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice (any kind is fine, including brown rice – I like to use jasmine rice)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (see here for my recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • quarter teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup black beans, soaked & pre-cooked (see here for prep instructions)
  • half teaspoon salt
  • generous grind of black pepper
  • Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook rice in 1 and a half cups of vegetable stock (see here for perfect rice prep)
    • Amateur tip: if you opt for brown rice, you will need more water
  2. While your rice is cooking, fry off the onions in a large saucepan over a medium heat until they are translucent and starting to colour up – this shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes
  3. Add the garlic, cumin seed, and cayenne pepper, and cook for 2 more minutes
  4. Stir in your black beans, the rest of your salt, and the rest of your vegetable stock
  5. Turn the heat up high, and cook until the liquid has reduced, and you’re left with nice soft, fragrant black beans – then turn the heat down to the lowest setting
  6. Once your rice has finished steaming and your black beans are ready, stir the rice into the black bean mixture, and take off the heat
  7. Transfer your rice n beans to a serving bowl, top it with fresh parsley, and serve piping hot with the accompaniments of your choice – enjoy!

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