Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Beans and rice are a pretty obvious vegan staple. They are delicious, healthy and full of protein yet fat free. Beans and rice are virtually the perfect dish, and I'm always trying new ways to prepare them. This recipe is one that I found online quite a while ago and never got around to trying until this week. The recipe simply didn't sound that interesting and I was never inspired enough to make it. This week, I was looking for a quick weeknight meal after staying late at work one day and I figured it was the perfect opportunity for this recipe. We were very surprised! Even though this dish has very few ingredients and is a breeze to make, it has a whole lot of flavor that adds a freshness and zip to the regular rice and beans combo.

First cook 2 cups of brown rice. This will give you more than you need for this meal, but I find that I can always find ways to use leftover rice. (A lot of people think it's strange but I even like it for breakfast.) Bring 2 cups of brown rice and 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Lower the head and simmer the rice until the liquid has evaporated down to the same level as the rice in the pan. Put the lid on the pan and cook the rice over very low heat until cooked and fluffy. This whole process should take about 45 minutes, so a lot of times I put the rice on as soon as I walk in the door. That way it will be ready whenever I need it.

Next, assemble and prepare the remaining ingredients:
1 large red onion, chopped
1 medium anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt to taste
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

You can probably substitute another kind of pepper for the anaheim. I like this one because it is easily available in my grocery store and it's kind of half way between a sweet bell pepper and a spicier chile. Saute the onion, pepper and garlic in a lightly sprayed pan until tender. Add cumin, oregano and beans and cook until warmed through and the flavors have combined. Mix in the salt, vinegar and cilantro and remove from heat. Serve the bean mixture over rice with a squeeze of lime juice. We couldn't believe how much flavor was in this dish. J requested that I make it again next week and I think it's going to become a staple in our house. It's extremely easy and the only ingredients in the whole dish that aren't always in my pantry already are the pepper and cilantro. Hooray! I love it when easy things turn out well!


  1. Thanks Robin! One of Adam's favorite meals is Rice & Beans and I've been looking for a good Cuban recipe...I think I'll give this a whirl next week! I'll let you know how it goes.

  2. Wow- this sounds yummy, and I have a can of black beans in the front of my pantry. I'll have to try it.

  3. I'm glad you like it! Please do let me know what you think if you try it. So easy, but soo good!