Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spicy Black Beans and Rice

There are a few things I almost always have in our pantry, various grains (brown rice, couscous, etc.), dried or canned beans (chickpeas and black beans) and canned tomatoes.  With those three ingredients, ideally supplemented by some fresh vegetables and maybe some type of cheese, you can put together a huge variety of healthy and very economical dishes.

I had a jalapeno in the fridge, and the bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic from the CSA, so I made a spicy black bean dish.

In one pot on the stove, 2 cups of water, 1 cup of brown rice, simmer on low for 30 minutes.  When the rice was done cooking, I stirred in about a 1/4 cup of Mama Pea's Mmmm Sauce.  Kind of like vegan nacho cheese sauce.

In another pot, I heated up a little canola oil and sauteed onion, bell pepper, garlic, black beans, fresh tomato, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin and coriander.  About equal amounts of the vegetables (except garlic and jalapeno), and a teaspoon of each spice.  Put the lid on, reduce to low, and simmer while rice is cooking.  Super easy and super healthy.

I will take a moment to remind you that it is of vital importance to make sure all the jalapeno oil is off your hands before you take out your contacts or touch your face in any way.  You will only need to learn this lesson the hard way once.  I learned it years ago, and went through a phase where I diligently wore plastic gloves while chopping jalapeno, but have gotten lazy.  This jalapeno was apparently extra potent, because even after thoroughly washing my hands, they were on fire.  Stick my hand in the freezer hot.  A quick google search suggested coating them in olive or vegetable oil and letting it sit for a few minutes.  Or soaking in milk.  The olive oil worked pretty well, and after a shower they were good as new, but jalapeno oil is no joke.

Anyway, this dish is vegan, but you can of course add some cheddar cheese and maybe a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt (of course, I did).  Chopped avocado and cilantro would be a nice addition, as well.  Pretty much anything you put on tacos would work.


  1. How do you get the rice to look perfectly moulded like that? A measuring cup?

  2. @theskyandback - Yes, a measuring cup! I used a 1/2 cup measure, but I've also seen people do it with little bowls, too. The sauce also helped keep it together.


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