LuAnn's Family Favorites Recipes

LuAnn's Black Beans with Rice

I could happily sit down to a bowl of this bright, flavorful combination of perfectly seasoned beans and rice every week! The ingredient list looks a little daunting; but, the recipe can be prepared from beginning to end in less than an hour and your kitchen will smell "divine!" (At least that’s how my daughter described it, coming in from work).

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Yield: about 4 hearty main-dish servings (or 6 smaller servings)

Ingredients

Rice (makes about 4 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy buttery spread (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice (I used Basmati rice)
  • 1/2 tablespoon McKay’s vegetarian chicken-style seasoning or Better Thank Bouillon No Chicken base
  • 1 packet Goya Sazon with Coriander and Annatto (culantro y achiote)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Goya adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Beans (makes about 5 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder or 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon McKay’s vegetarian chicken-style seasoning or Better Than Bouillon NO Chicken base
  • 1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles OR plain diced tomatoes if milder beans are preferred
  • Juice of half a small lime (about 1 tablespoon; save the other half for finishing touch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Finishing touch

  • 2 or 3 avocados, halved, seeded, cut into cubes and scooped from the skin
  • A squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of adobo seasoning

Instructions

To make the rice

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the buttery spread over medium heat. Stir in the vegetarian chicken seasoning, Goya Sazon, onion powder, adobo seasoning, garlic powder, cumin and oregano, then add the rice and sauté in the spices for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the water and stir briefly – just until the seasonings are dispersed through the water; bring a vigorous boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook without stirring for 20 minutes. (Use this time to begin preparing the beans).
  3. When the 20 minutes are up, do not lift the lid, simply set the saucepan off the stove and allow the rice to sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes. (This should be enough time to finish the beans).
  4. While the rice cooks, prepare the beans.

To prepare the beans

  1. Pour the oil into a medium saucepan, then saute the chopped onions and diced bell pepper over medium heat for about 6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in the chili powder, adobo seasoning, garlic and cumin, then continue sauteing for another minute or two.
  3. Whisk in the water, vegetarian chicken seasoning and tomato paste until well mixed, bringing up any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the rinsed and drained black beans, then using the back of a spoon, press and mash some of the beans against the side of the pan which will help thicken the broth as the beans mixture cooks. (I repeat the mashing motion half a dozen times or so – most of the beans should still be whole).
  5. Stir in the tomatoes with green chiles (or diced tomatoes) and the lime juice; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to medium low and continue boiling gently, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. (Use this time to prepare the finishing touches).

Prepare the finishing touches

  1. Halve the avocados, remove the seeds, then with an avocado half nestled in the palm of your left hand, use a table knife (dull blade) to cut through the avocado flesh at 1/2-inch intervals lengthwise and crosswise, creating cubes. Use a serving spoon to scoop the cubes from the avocado, placing them in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining avocado halves.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the remaining lime half over the cubed avocado, then stir lightly to coat the cubes in juice, which will delay their darkening.

To serve

  1. Just before serving, stir the chopped cilantro into the beans.
  2. Serve beans and rice hot. No special rule for serving (beans on top of rice, yummy; rice on top of beans, also yummy; side-by-side, perfect for those who prefer not to mix their foods). This is how I do it: Ladle about 1 cup of the hot bean mixture into an individual bowl. Using a large-capacity (1/2-cup) spring release ice cream-type scoop, drop a generous scoop of rice onto the beans. Top with a spoonful of cubed avocado. Sprinkle the avocado with adobo seasoning. Repeat with the remaining beans, rice and avocados.

Attribution

Recipe by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II, a two-volume collection of family-approved, plant-based recipes; loosely adapted from allrecipes.com.



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