Are you looking for a vegetarian or vegan dish that plant-lovers and meat eaters alike will enjoy? Well look no further because this rice and bean dish is loaded with veggies and can be spiced up or down for the likes or any taste buds. I promise, you won’t even miss the meat! Beans and other legumes are staple in many cultures, and for good reasons: 1) They are very affordable 2) They are filling and high in fiber 3) A fun fact is that at least 1 cup of beans per day are consumed by people who live in the “Blue Zones”, which are the areas of the world where people live the longest and are the healthiest. In case you were wondering, the five noted “Blue Zones” are: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California. You can read more about that here.
This recipe is:
Fiberfull (okay I made that word up)
Versatile (eat plain, mash some guacamole on top, with chips, or in a tortilla)
Please note that the emphasis of this recipe is on the beans and vegetables, NOT the rice, so it may not be as rice-heavy as other rice and bean dishes you have eaten in the past.
Step 1: Start cooking rice (brown or white) according to package instructions but use vegetable BROTH instead of water to add more flavor. I suggest NOT using the cheap minute-rice type products; longer grain rice take a bit longer but tastes SO much better.
Step 2: While the rice is cooking, start chopping all your vegetables and opening and rinsing the cans of beans.
Step 3: Sauté carrots, celery, and onion for about 10 minutes (covered) and then mix in garlic and about 2 cups of chopped spinach. Add the rest of the spices and salt/pepper and cook for 5-10 more minutes until the spinach cooks down a bit.
Step 4: Mix in 2 cans of beans followed by 2 cups of cooked rice. Stir in 2 tablespoons of hot sauce (more or less to taste)
Step 5: Add additional spices to taste. I suggest serving with a make-shift guacamole (avocado mashed with lime/salt/garlic).
Step 6: Devour