Monday, January 10, 2011

Rice and Beans a Billion Ways

There are endless ways to prepare rice and beans. I usually prepare rice and beans when I have leftover rice from a previous meal. I then add whatever beans, fresh vegetables and herbs I have on hand. Here are four variations I have recently prepared:

1) White rice, kidney and white beans, onions, garlic, grape tomatoes; seasoned with salt, pepper, and parsley

2) Brown rice, garbanzo beans, kale; topped with fresh tomatoes and green onions; seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon

3) White rice, cannellini beans, onions, yellow peppers; topped with fresh tomatoes; seasoned with lemon and fresh mint

4) Brown rice, black beans, onions; seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder; topped with fresh avocado, tomatoes, and homemade tostones

For all of these recipes, prepare your rice and beans ahead of time. If you use canned beans, rinse them thoroughly with water to rid them of salt. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil, then add other vegetables such as bell peppers. Season with salt, pepper, lemon, and/or any other dried spices or herbs. Then add your cooked rice and beans, and season again accordingly. Add any fresh herbs you choose. When plating, top with fresh tomatoes or avocado; feta, goat, or any freshly shredded cheese; serve with lemon or lime wedge, depending on seasonings used.
I'm always looking to cuisines of other cultures (Mexican, Cuban, Greek, Italian, Indian) for ideas on how to flavor my rice and beans. Please feel free to leave me a comment with suggestions.


  1. I love it and love all the variations! I am thankful to have a wonderful chef of a wife :)

  2. We do black beans and rice, made with whatever spices float your boat, and topped with homemade canned salsa. I make my beans in the crockpot. I take dried beans, rinse them, but a cup of beans in the crockpot and fill with water almost to the top. Let them cook all day while I am at work. Then I have beans for a couple of meals. Beans are so filling and a great way to get a hearty meal on a budget.

    I really like your variations. We're going to have to try some!

    I also make chicken azteca in the crockpot. I add chicken breast, black beans, salsa, onion, cumin, chili powder, and whatever other seasonings you want. Cook all day, shred chicken, and serve with rice or noodles. You can also add cream cheese when you shred the chicken for a creamy version.

  3. Courtney, I don't know why I never thought to cook my beans in a crockpot. Great tip! Now I never have a reason to buy canned beans again.

  4. I felt the same way. Canned beans are so convenient but I hated that I had to drain and rinse them to get that nasty sludge (as I like to call it) off the beans. So one month I took the plunge and got 5lbs of black beans through co-op, determined to figure them out. I tried on the stove but couldn't get them the right softness. The crockpot works great! They are soft and yummy. Remember not to add any seasonings or salt to the beans while they cook. Only season after they are cooked. Its so easy!