Easy One-Pot Vegetarian Black Beans & Rice
Balance: Protein and Carbs
This recipe goes well with all of your favorite Tex-Mex meals. It is an excellent side dish for enchiladas, burritos, tacos, or chalupas. I also like to serve it as a main dish with any combination of avocado slices, chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, lettuce, sour cream, tortilla chips, and Frank's Red Hot Sauce.
As an entree, this recipe makes about eight servings. As a side dish, it feeds a small army. It also makes a tasty option as a filling in meatless burritos and enchiladas. If you have meat-eaters in your crew, you can easily add chicken, beef, or pork; this is a wonderfully versatile recipe.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup long-grain rice
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
- 2 heaping teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with chiles
- 1 can (15 oz.) low sodium black beans
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a large measuring cup, stir enchilada sauce, lime juice and spices together.
- In a stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in liquid mixture, bring just to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in canned ingredients, and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until rice is the desired consistency.
How to Chop Cilantro the Easy Way
When chopping such things as herbs and green onions, I find it much easier to use kitchen shears than a knife. Below is a video tutorial on how to chop cilantro for those who don't own kitchen shears, or if you simply prefer to use a knife. The clip is short but very useful. Before you begin, wash the cilantro in cold water, then blot dry with paper towels.
Removing the stems can seem daunting and time consuming. As the chef in the video clip mentions, you can use the top part of the stems. All you really need to do is remove the longest parts that don't have any leaves attached. That's what I do; I don't worry too much about getting some of the stem in with the leaves.
Tutorial for Chopping Cilantro
Brown Rice vs. White
Be sure to add at least 15 minutes to cooking time (and extra liquid) if using brown rice as it takes longer to cook.
What's your favorite way to enjoy beans and rice?
Chop Veggies on Bamboo Cutting Boards
I love these bamboo cutting boards, even though they are not as easy to care for as the cheaper, flexible ones. Bamboo has to be hand-washed, as it cannot be put through a dishwasher cycle. Before I knew better, I did just that, and wooden cutting boards and spoons will crack or split after several washes. You also have to occasionally rub down your bamboo cutting boards with a special oil that you can buy specifically for this purpose; conditioning the wood with oil keeps it from drying out. You can use different types of oils, but they must be safe for consumption, so I simply buy a product that is made specifically for use on cutting boards, wooden utensils, butcher blocks, etc. Amazon is a great place to find a variety of brands at various prices, but I imagine you can find what you need at any kitchen store, although the selection might be limited. Another con of using bamboo cutting boards is that they can take on the odor of onions or other foods with a strong smell, but this is easily remedied by rubbing some lemon juice into the wood prior to conditioning it with oil.
Helpful Tips for Best Results
- Brown rice takes a little longer to cook than white. Keep checking the consistency; you don't want your rice under-cooked and crunchy.
- Add a can of corn to make the dish more colorful. You can also stir in chopped green onions just before serving.
- I don't drain the canned goods; it adds more flavor. Also, by the time I add the canned food, the rice usually needs the extra liquid. In fact, you may find that you need to add a little water.
- Red beans work just as well as black beans in this recipe.
- If you're pressed for time, you can skip the second step entirely, if you don't mind leaving out the garlic. You can also skip the scallions and the cilantro, if you don't feel like chopping them up.
Questions & Answers
© 2011 Sara Krentz