How many ways to do rice and beans
July 3, 2020 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Looking for interesting, fun, preferably easy but not necessarily, ways to do rice and beans. Any good ones?

I've been expanding my cooking repertoire while at home during COVID as I assume a lot of people have. I'm mostly doing vegetarian recipes (kind of out of habit as I'm not vegetarian though was at one point), so I've been trying to find good rice and beans recipes as a sort of staple/one direction to go.

Some good examples in case you too want to make rice and beans, or to give you an idea of what I'm going for...

- Mujaddara with spiced yogurt (I added roasted veggies on top):
- A sort of spanish/Mexican beans and rice base topped with pickled onions, jalapenos, and carrots as well as baked/roasted corn and peppers
- curried lentils with greens and sweet potatos

Sorry couldn't find links for the two last ones.

Anyway, I want to expand to new kinds of beans! Or new spices/flavor combos.

Bonus points if you happen to have good kale power salad recipes as well...

posted by knownfossils to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 107 users marked this as a favorite
Khichri / Khichdi
posted by domnit at 2:51 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Rajma is an Indian curry using kidney beans that is so comforting. You can do it quickly if you have a pressure cooker, but that's optional. Almost any recipe on the linked site is a winner, btw. Highly recommend.
posted by jeremias at 2:57 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I make a Jamaican Dirty Rice and Beans. Not exactly sure where I got the recipe:

1. 1 tbs butter
2. half onion, chopped
3. 1 tbs dried thyme
4. 2 cloves garlic
5. 2 cups rice
6. 2 cans of small red beans, drained, save the bean water
7. half can of coconut milk
8. 4 cups liquid: coconut milk + saved bean water + water.
9. 1 stick of cinnamon
10. 4 cloves
11. 1 bay leave
12. salt to taste

heat pot
put in step 1+2, saute until soft
put in step 3-6, saute for 3 minutes
put in 7-12, bring to boil
turn down to simmer and cover
should take 20 to 25 minutes to done

If you like a drier style, use only 3.75 cups liquid (coconut milk + bean water + water)

And this is my favorite Kale Salad.
posted by gloturtle at 3:06 PM on July 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

- If you REALLY want variety in your beans, I recommend growing heirloom varieties. There are so many beautiful beans out there!

- For grocery store beans, flageolets are beautiful.

- Chocolate beet hummus: Standard hummus minus garlic, plus cocoa powder, chili powder, pinch of asafoetida, and a small beet. Best served at social gatherings, though.
posted by aniola at 3:06 PM on July 3, 2020

Beans Cubano, as found on the back of a can of Goya black beans:
1 large green pepper, chopped
pimientos ~ 7 ounces (198 grams)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 16-ounce cans of Goya black beans
½ teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons malt vinegar

Sauté pepper and garlic in oil until softened. Add other ingredients. Cover and simmer until heated through. Season to taste. Serve over rice.

To thicken, mash 2 tablespoons of beans and stir into the rest.
How long this takes depends on the rice, which we always start before the beans. Stands alone or great with a salad.
posted by kingless at 3:12 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

I made a modified version of this recently, and it was extremely delicious, and fairly easy (not hard, just time-consuming).

Rather than make it in a crock pot, I just made it in a regular pot on the stovetop. I sauteed the onion, garlic, celery, and peppers in olive oil as a first step. I didn't use the black pepper (doesn't agree with me) and added some smoked paprika. I also added a carrot because the tomatoes seemed too sour. I served the finished beans over plain steamed white rice.

The flavor of this dish seemed like traditional New Orleans red beans and rice, that just happened to have black beans instead of red. It was fully as good as any such dish I've had in a restaurant.

You can of course leave the sausage out if you want to continue with the vegetarian dishes, but the andouille sausage I used was delicious in itself and blended perfectly with the beans and rice. I think the smoked paprika would be really good to use if making it vegetarian since it gives the suggestion of that traditional smoked meat flavor.
posted by nirblegee at 3:15 PM on July 3, 2020

Yesterday I made lentil risotto with bacon in the Instant Pot. Kind of mashed up several different source recipes.

1 cup dry lentils, soaked overnight or quick-soaked by cooking for 10 minutes on Manual (high pressure)
1 cup Arborio rice
3 1/4 cup broth or water
1 onion, chopped
4 slices bacon
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
Optionally: Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
A couple tablespoons of sherry vinegar

Cook the bacon on Sauté mode until it’s crispy. Take it out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

To the hot bacon fat, add the chopped onion. Continue to sauté until onion is soft and starting to brown a bit.

Add the dry rice to the pot. Toast, stirring, for a couple of minutes.

Add the soaked lentils and broth. Crumble up the cooked bacon and put it in there, too. Stir to mix. Put on the Instant Pot lid. Turn to Manual mode, High pressure, and set to 7 minutes.

When the timer beeps, do a quick release. Stir in the cheese if using, and add salt, pepper, and sherry vinegar to taste.
posted by snowmentality at 4:21 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I make an Ethiopian lentil stew with a spice mix called berbere and serve it over rice. I don’t see my recipe online, but there are lots of recipes if you google it. Because I am lazy, I buy a premade berbere spice mix instead of making my own. The one I buy is from the Teeny Tiny Spice Company. They have a number of different spice mixes that go well with rice and beans.
posted by FencingGal at 4:36 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I like Greek-style rice with dried cannellini beans (my favorite) that have been cooked up in water with white wine, chicken stock, some onion and garlic, red pepper flakes, and whatever else sounds good to you.
posted by sallybrown at 4:49 PM on July 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

I like making salads that have everything but lettuce in them-- often, rice/grain, and beans.
Red Jasmine rice is very chewy/dense, makes a great base. Or faro, or french lentils (the hard dark green ones, they don't cook down the way basic 'green/brown' ones do). For all of these, use a pilaf method to cook.
Rice is usually a 3:1 ratio (1 cup raw = 3 cups cooked), lentils about 2:1, faro 3:1/nearly 4:1.
Make 2x amount of rice/grain, seasoned as you like (basic salt, or paprika/cumin/herbs d' provence, thyme, bay leaf....chili flakes....) So if you cook 1 cup of this, all your other stuff, below, is in proportion to your finished cooked rice/grain/legume.
While the rice is cooking, get your big mixing bowl out and start to compose.
Add to bowl: .5x cooked beans: chickpeas, or cannellini, or small white beans. Cooked just until tender but slightly chewy.
Chop your veggie base:, about .25x per item: fresh red onion, celery, radishes, sweet bell pepper, both green and red/yellow/whathaveyou.
Chop some more, .1x total combined: hot peppers if you like (Anaheims are great, as are shisito; poblano is nice, hungarian hot peppers. Avoid the very very hot small peppers like birdseye), radishes, steamed green beans or roasted brussel sprouts or sauteed asparagus or sauteed zucchini or frozen peas defrosted but not cooked, or roasted carrots,or roasted sweet potatoes, and/or grilled corn cut off the cob.
Oh, I almost forgot, fresh herbs about .5x: curly leaf parsley, basil, chervil, oregano, mint, dill, shiso, celery leaf.
Mix in big bowl, slurping your favorite summery dressing until it looks coated but isn't swimming.
Eat cold or warm slightly in a microwave, and top with crumbled bits of fresh mexican cheese or shredded pecorino romano. Or a runny egg, or bits of grilled sausage, or leftover grilled chicken, finely shredded scallions, chopped toasted peanuts, cherry tomato halves, sauteed shrimp....chopped hard boil eggs.
posted by winesong at 5:37 PM on July 3, 2020

I like to do an extremely inauthentic gallo pinto, the Nicaraguan black beans and rice dish.

- Start your white rice (best if it's old but ok to cook it at the same time) - you want about the same volume of finished rice as beans.
- Sautée a half of a diced white onion in salt and a third of a packet of Goya Sazon (if you don't have or like that, add stock concentrate or better than bouillon later on - this is giving it umami). Diced bell peppers or jalepeños are good at this stage too if you have them.
- When the onions are translucent, add two cans of black beans, as well as 2-3 cloves of minced garlic. Bring the beans to a boil then turn the heat down to low. Cook them down till the liquid is very thick.
- When both the beans and rice are ready, heat up a tablespoon or so of oil in a big pan. Add both the beans and rice and toss so they are mixed pretty well. Let bits of the rice get a bit crispy.

This goes very nicely with fried eggs, avocado, white cheese, and/or tortillas.
posted by lunasol at 5:45 PM on July 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

Red (adzuki) bean and forbidden rice congee is a classic Chinese food. I think of it as a protein-forward dessert but you can flavor it however you want.
posted by batter_my_heart at 6:23 PM on July 3, 2020

Enthusiastically seconding lunasol re gallo pinto! I like mine with liberal quantities of salsa lizano.
posted by la glaneuse at 7:48 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I would do a two course meal. A cold white bean salad with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and hearts of palm. I get all of those things from Trader Joe’s and I marinate the sundried tomatoes in the liquid from the artichoke hearts. Mix together. Add mozzarella if you are feeling fancy and/or the extra dairy doesn’t conflict with the cream and butter in the following dish.

Second course would be following the serious eats recipe for risotto. You really do not have to stand at the stove and stir forever. The math on the liquid and the time with the lid on is good. Do make sure the heavy cream is whipped before the final step.

(I have eaten so many rice and beans dishes cooked at home that I can hardly bear to make them together or even eat them on the same plate at home. But soon...soon I will want a plate of beans and rice together...)
posted by bilabial at 8:07 PM on July 3, 2020

You can make dosa out of rice and pretty much any kind of bean, although urad dal is standard.
posted by mezzanayne at 9:30 PM on July 3, 2020

For the hot summer months perhaps a Mexican Bean and Rice salad. I use warm rice, cooked black, red or pinto beans. Make a marinade with olive or avocado oil, cumin, pepper, salt, red wine vinegar, chili powder. Mix in warm rice and beans, corn, cilantro, red bell pepper, cheese, red onion. Let sit a few hours. Enjoy.
posted by DixieBaby at 9:37 PM on July 3, 2020

posted by meaty shoe puppet at 9:51 PM on July 3, 2020

I like this recipe for Punjabi style lentils and Serious Eats has a definitive recipe for New Orleans style red beans and rice.
posted by unstrungharp at 10:26 PM on July 3, 2020

Ackee & salt fish can go nicely with rice and beans. I use just any filleted frozen marine fish instead of going through the hassle of salt cod (which I also avoid because the Atlantic fishery isn't sustainable)
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:13 AM on July 4, 2020

.... my favourite ackee YouTube recipe is buried under a billion more recent ones, but they're all pretty similar: cook fish separately, on medium heat, melt a good dollop of butter to fry onions, garlic, chopped red and green bell pepper, half of a scotch bonnet pepper, a few few green onions, a sprig of thyme, add a half a medium sized chopped tomato. You don’t want to cook the life out of this mixture, so about 10 minutes or so is plenty. Add your cooked fish, and finally a drained and rinsed can of ackee. The ackee is fragile, so you don’t stir much after adding it - just let it warm in the mixture. Salt and pepper.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:26 AM on July 4, 2020

I do a really simple red lentil dhal:

1 cup red lentils, rinsed + 2 cups water + 1 diced onion + 3/4 teaspoon turmeric in a pan. Simmer with lid on until lentils break down (about 20 mins).
Meanwhile gently fry minced garlic, chilli and ginger in a few tablespoons of neutral oil until fragrant and add spices (I do garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, mustard seeds, black onion seeds) and fry a little more. Take off heat.
Meanwhile cook basmati rice as you prefer.

Once the lentils are done, stir in the spiced oil and a generous pinch of salt (don't spice the lentils during cooking or they will get tough). Optional: a couple of quartered tomatoes, some spinach or other soft greens like chard. More options if you want to gussy it up: serve with mango chutney, diced cucumber, yoghurt and naan or chapatti.

This can be scaled up or down really easily and makes me feel healthy and a little bit ascetic.
posted by Balthamos at 4:10 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’m partial to Hoppin John, that’s my rubric as posted in a vegan thread, but it also is great with some bacon or sausage.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:30 AM on July 4, 2020

Two super-simple black bean recipes (I would use canned black beans because I'm not fussy).

1. Caribbean style - cook the black beans in a bit of oil with copious amounts of ginger. Add orange juice and simmer down. Can also add corn or onions if you want. Once the beans get soft you can mash them up to make a refried-bean style mixture.

2. Super quick style - cooke with black beans with onion powder and chipotle powder. Makes them flavorful and a bit spicy with no real effort.

For the rice, I like to saute a bit of jalapeno with some oil and a lot of cumin, then add tomato sauce and cilantro, then mix with cooked rice.
posted by mai at 10:00 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Aaah, you all have exceeded my expectations! Thanks so much!
posted by knownfossils at 10:40 AM on July 4, 2020

One of my favorite staples from my Appalachian roots is northern white beans simmer with a ham hock and eaten with corn bread, which you can make as a soup or just as an enhancement to the beans themselves. You can also use any beans (I love it with green beans as well). Recently, I combined white, pinto, and black beans into the same recipe to add to me protein salads and they are so, so good, even reheated.

If you look up "Kentucky Bean Soup" there are a variety of recipes that have a lot of ingredients, but really all I do is buy a smoked ham hock, cans of beans, season with salt and pepper and let them simmer on low until the flavor soaks in (or if you're using raw beans, which is preferable, then until tender).

It's also super cheap (you can get a pack of 2-3 ham hocks for 2-5 dollars) but full of nutrition and calories.
posted by Young Kullervo at 1:46 PM on July 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm late to the party but I tried this recipe for seasoned black beans recently and it was really good. The rare combination of a recipe that's easy, fast, cheap and tasty.

I tend to prefer eating beans with a grain that has more bite, so brown rice rather than white, although lately I've been serving beans with coarse-grain bulgur wheat for bonus chewy nibbliness.
posted by terretu at 3:34 AM on July 6, 2020

In college when I was very poor, I would cook a cup of rice, add a can of black beans and then a jar of salsa. It was very cheap and good (at the time).
posted by bendy at 2:41 AM on July 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

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