I’m sure everyone has some version of a recipe for black beans and rice. It’s so easy to make, the ingredients are inexpensive, the dish is filling, healthy and, most importantly, delicious. This recipe is based off a dish my aunt made for a family reunion years ago, after some members of the family became vegetarian. My sister used to make this for me during the two years we spent attending the same college, and it has always been a food staple for me. I make sure to have the basic ingredients on hand all the time because this is such a quick, easy dinner. My boyfriend has never been a fan of this dish until last night. He declared it to be the best black beans and rice I have ever made; therefore, I had to record what I did so I will remember it in the future.
Cuban Black Beans and Brown Rice
For the rice:
1 c brown rice (preferably soaked all day or overnight to boost nutritional value and cut down on cooking time)
2 c water
1 tsp chili powder (opt)
For the black beans:
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 bell pepper(s), diced
2 cans black beans, partially drained
4 Tbls apple cider vinegar
Italian seasonings, to taste
Cumin, to taste
Fresh cilantro or parsley
Diced raw onion
First get the rice cooking. Rinse the rice and put it in pot or rice cooker with water. The chili powder is optional, but seasoned rice is so good.
Add about a Tbl or two of olive oil to a pot over med-high heat and sauté onion and garlic until soft and translucent, a few minutes. Add the bell pepper and sauté a couple minutes more.
Add the black beans, apple cider vinegar, about 2 Tbl of Italian seasonings, about 2 tsp of cumin, reduce heat to med-low, cover and let simmer about 15 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If there isn’t enough liquid when you go to stir it and the beans are drying out just add some water to m0isten things up. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
Before serving, I added some zest from small lime, squeezed out the juice and stirred in some chopped parsley. I wish that I had cilantro instead, but oh well.
To serve, just put some rice in your bowl, then top with beans. I prefer a little rice and lots of beans, about 1/4 c rice to about 1/2 c beans.
You can top with cheese, sour cream, raw onion, and/or salsa. I eat mine plain with a fork, but my boyfriend likes to add salsa and scoop his up with tortilla chips.