Monday, February 28, 2011

Rice & Bean Bowls

This is an exciting dinner for me because not only do we love Mexican food, but this is a healthy option that is delicious :)  For those of you who are sick of eating so much meat and would like to cut back, this is a wonderful meal that can satisfy the need for protein because we are combining a grain with a legume.  I recently learned this, that in most cases, when you combine a grain with a bean, you have a complete protein.  I promise your husbands will be satisfied with this one and not complain that there isn't any meat!

Bean & Rice Bowls

Layer the following ingredients in this order:
Brown rice, cook acccording to package directions
Black Beans, canned or see recipe below
Cheese, shredded
Salsa or Pico de gallo
Sour Cream

First step, get your beans going if you're going to make them.  Next, start your brown rice.  While those things are cooking, make your pico and guacamole.  By the time you're done with those things, dinner will almost be ready!
You can enjoy the bowls just like this, or dip with baked chips!  My kids like to use their chips as spoons.  If you make the bean recipe below, it makes a lot, so you can freeze the leftovers.  I also like to make extra brown rice because it takes so long to cook as well (45 minutes).  That way, when you have a busy night, you can just thaw your extra beans and rice, and dinner's almost done!

Some healthier options are to make your beans instead of using canned beans, use baked chips instead of fried, homemade salsa and guacamole vs. store bought.  Limit your sour cream & cheese.

Pico de Gallo 
4 tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. chopped purple or yellow onion
1 garlic cloves, pressed or diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
salt & pepper to taste
Fresh Guacamole

4 avocados, mashed
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt, to taste
(or if you made pico de gallo, just add a little of that mixture to the avocados)

Homemade Jalapeno Black Beans
3 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 t. oregano
1 t. cumin
1-28 oz. can diced stewed tomatoes
3 c. dry black beans
7 c. water
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1-3 fresh jalapenos, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste

Saute garlic and onion in olive oil.  Add oregano, cumin, tomatoes, water and beans.  Pressure cook on high for 50 minutes.  Remove 2 cups of cooked beans & puree, if you like them smoother.  Add back to cooker, adding cilantro, and jalapenos.  Salt and pepper to taste. 
This is the electric pressure cooker I use.  I love it for beans, stews, and grains.  It cuts the cooking time in half.  Even longer for roasts.

If you don't have a pressure cooker, soak your beans overnight, reduce the water to 6 cups and follow directions.  Your beans will probably take an hour or so to cook.  It depends on how hard the beans are. 
This is a large batch of beans, but I like to make them this big so that I can freeze portions for later use.  It will probably feed my family at least 3-4 times for these bowls, burritos, etc..

Bon Appetit


  1. Came across your blog on Ashlee's. I love the idea of someone who loves food looking for ways to keep it healthy. This sounds great and I think we'll have it for dinner Monday. (the next time I cook in our dinner co-op) Thanks,

  2. Just had this for our Sunday dinner. It was easy and very delicious. Great with chips as you recommended. Thanks for the great recipe!