# Calories of Rice And Beans?May 8, 2011 4:18 PM   Subscribe

How many calories (ballpark) would there be in this bowl of rice and bean?s

I am trying to save some money by eating rice and beans for lunch. However, I am also on a diet and having a tough time calculating how many calories there are in the rice and bean meals I am preparing.

I did not take this photo, but it is pretty much exactly like what my rice and bean meals look like: medium bowl of plain black beans, white rice, and tiny bit of onion, and some taco seasoning.

Obviously you'd just be guessing, but how many calories do you think there would be in that photo?
posted by Spurious to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

WolframAlpha can answer this kind of question. The default servings for white rice (1 cup) and prepared beans (130 g) yield 389 kcal. If you know the amounts more specifically, you can type them into WolframAlpha.
posted by grouse at 4:23 PM on May 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

Looks like about a cup and a half of rice and a cup of beans. Using this and this, I get:

rice - 363 calories
beans - 220 calories
(the onion and the seasonings are free)

So about 575 calories, but remember that the beans have tons of fiber, and are really good for you.

If you want to make it healthier, invert the proportions of rice and beans, or have no rice at all.
posted by rossination at 4:27 PM on May 8, 2011

You really need to measure your portions. We can't tell from the photo how big the bowl is, which means that we're just guessing how much is in it, which could throw off your estimates by several orders of magnitude. That bowl could be 200 calories or 400 or 600 or more, depending on what size "medium" is. At least for a little while, use measuring cups to determine how big your portions are, so that you can know how much you're eating. That's the only way to get an accurate count.
posted by decathecting at 4:33 PM on May 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

I think rossination's guestimated quantities are way high, but we can't really know. Measure.
posted by jon1270 at 4:35 PM on May 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just a note on "healthier" (per the suggestion above to leave the rice out): beans + rice are a complete protein, whereas beans alone would be missing some of the amino acids. If you're otherwise eating a varied diet, it's not a big deal (complementary proteins don't need to be eaten all at the same sitting and if you're eating meat/dairy/eggs, those are also complete proteins), but that is generally why both are included.
posted by lysimache at 5:18 PM on May 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you want to make it healthier, invert the proportions of rice and beans, or have no rice at all.

Rice and beans together form a complete protein, I wouldn't leave the rice out -- or, on preview, exactly what lysimache said.
posted by hermitosis at 6:36 PM on May 8, 2011

I would replace the white rice with wild rice, though. Slightly more expensive, but a lot healthier. Mmm, fiber!
posted by jrockway at 8:21 PM on May 8, 2011

I'd give a knee-jerk estimate of ~450. If you're dieting it's best to round up all of your calories, so I'd say go with 500.
posted by Evernix at 9:33 PM on May 8, 2011

I'd use brown rice rather than wild rice (which, interestingly isn't actually rice) and isn't more expensive. It's far more nutritious - and there's a load of interesting stuff on WWII POWs in Asia and how their mortality rates were affected by whether they were fed starvation rations of white or brown rice.
posted by rhymer at 12:25 AM on May 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

My guess would be about 400, about 200 each for the rice and beans, unless that spoon is oddly bigger or smaller than an average spoon.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:23 AM on May 9, 2011

Yeah, no way to tell without having some sense of scale. Does that bowl hold 1 cup of food or 2? My first reaction was that that was a 1 cup bowl like I have downstairs, which would put that in the 250 calorie range.

When I was dieting, 500 calories felt like a lot to throw at lunch, but then I preferred having snacks during the day. I'd cut that with some veggies if possible, since they're healthy and take up valuable stomach space. :-)

Also @lysimache/hermitosis: Protein combining is largely discredited.
posted by rouftop at 5:00 PM on May 9, 2011

It should be noted, it is discredited only as far as not it is not necessary to combine the proteins in one meal, which lysimache did point out.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:27 PM on January 13, 2012

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