Easy Rice & Beans

Rice & Beans is the ultimate budget friendly dish! Inspired by the Caribbean-style version of this classic, plain white rice is expertly seasoned with cumin and chili to provide a fresh and delicious flavour profile to this simple budget staple.

Rice & Beans is an often forgotten about frugal dish that is made from every-day pantry items. There is a reason this dish shows-up in various forms across the globe. It is accessible, affordable, delicious and is a complete meal in one bowl. It’s a vegetarian/vegan friendly dish that is also gluten free so it can accommodate nearly everyone’s special diets! Did I mention it is SUPER easy to make, too?

I am very excited to share with you my version of rice and beans! It comes together in just over 20 minutes and can feed a family of 4 for under $4.00 Canadian. Yep, it really is that cheap.

I’ve been very fortunate to travel quite a bit in North and Central America. Nearly every winter my Husband and I escape to somewhere warm. Each trip, Rice & Beans shows-up multiple times on the various menus. My first time trying this dish was in Cuba in 2011. 6 years ago my diet was so very different than now as I was the world’s pickiest eater (more on that here) who hadn’t explored the culinary world at all. I literally lived on homemade soup and Mini Wheats. Anyways, the first time I tried Rice & Beans was after a picturesque hike in the Cuban hills in their equivalent of a Provincial Park. To say I was nervous when the dish was placed in front of me is an understatement. The dish was served with a spiced chicken, fried plantains,  tomato and cucumber. Thankfully, one bite and and I was hooked! It was flavourful yet so simple! I nearly ignored the other food on my plate and enjoyed every bite of the (what I thought was) exotic dish. Over the years I have had the opportunity to have Rice & Beans in many other countries and I love how different it is everywhere I go!

For my version of Rice & Beans I worked with two flavours that I love: cumin and cilantro. This gives the dish a bit of a Caribbean flair and it is so fresh, but not overpoweringly so.  I brought out the flavour of the cumin (and a wee bit of chili powder) by adding the spices in two steps. First, I toast half the spices along with the rice to start the recipe off. I then finish it off with a bit more cumin near the end, once the broth has been added. This technique makes a huge difference in the flavour of the rice itself and truly layers the flavour. Flavour is key when you are making a simple dish, so don’t try to cut corners by not toasting or layering your spices!

Print
Easy Rice & Beans
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

Rice & Beans is the ultimate budget friendly dish! Inspired by the Caribbean-style version of this classic, plain white rice is expertly seasoned with cumin and chili to provide a fresh and delicious flavour profile to this simple budget staple.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 cup white rice (not minute or quick cook rice)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken, if preferred)
  • 2 cans black beans, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped, washed & dried optional
  • lime wedges for serving optional
Instructions
  1. In medium sized pot, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. 

  2. Add garlic, white rice, chili powder and half of the cumin and toast mixture for 1 minute while constantly stirring. 

  3. Add broth and increase heat to high to bring mixture to a boil. Boil for one minute while stirring. Once boiled, reduce heat to low and cover the pot for 15 minutes. 

  4. Remove lid, bring up the heat to medium and add rinsed black beans and remaining cumin. Mix well and cook for an additional five minutes. 

  5. Remove from heat and mix-in cilantro. Spoon mixture into bowls and garnish with extra cilantro, lime or hot sauce.

 

3 Comments

  1. I just made this! Really simple and tasty.
    Thanks, Amanda!

  2. Pingback: Peppers & Pennies: Easy Rice and Beans | ChrisD.ca

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