Beans & Rice

by Dan Efran

This is our basic “Mexican food” recipe. It is very flexible–add or subtract anything you like, or change the proportions. This reheats very well. You can use leftover beans, leftover rice, or any appropriate leftover vegetables you happen to have. To make at least 4 main-dish servings, you will need:

  • 45 oz. canned or about 3 cups cooked beans: black, kidney, pinto, red, and pink beans all work well.
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • optional ingredients: fresh or canned tomato chunks or 1/2 to 1 cup salsa, canned or frozen corn, 1/2 cup jack or cheddar cheese, etc.
  • chili powder
  • crushed garlic or garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper (ground red pepper)
  • 2 or 3 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • olive oil or other cooking oil
  • a very big frying pan

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and stir occasionally, until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, open cans and drain liquid. Put beans into colander and rinse thoroughly. (This prevents them from giving you gas.)

Add the beans to the pan. Stir frequently until beans are hot.

Add garlic, chili powder, and other seasonings; mix well.

Meanwhile, dice the bell pepper and any other vegetables and the cheese.

Add the vegetables (not counting tomato/salsa) and keep stirring.

When everything looks cooked–the vegetables not overcooked–add the cheese. Stir until it melts.

Add tomato or salsa. Stir until it’s hot.

Add the rice, if it’s cold and there’s room in the pan. Mix until it’s hot. (Alternatively, heat it separately and serve the beans over the rice.)

Serve by itself, as a burrito or taco filling, or on a salad.

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About 'Becca
author of The Earthling's Handbook, about the environment, parenting, cooking, and more!

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