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Rainbow rice and beans

October 12, 2010

What a whirlwind of a week it’s been—and it’s only Tuesday! This is my last week at work, and my excitement is growing every day. I’m positively tickled by all your well-wishes for my upcoming training at the 105 Degrees Academy. Thank you again! It also sounds like everyone found my Vegan Treats cake downright droolworthy, and trust me, it was. By Sunday night, there was but a single sliver remaining. My waistline may not be terribly happy about it, but I sure am!

Since the creamy broccoli-mushroom bake from Vegan Yum Yum was such a hit, I tried another recipe out of the book shortly thereafter. It originally called for vegan Worcestershire sauce, but I hate the stuff (Worcestershire reminds me far too much of burgers and barbecue and other yucky-to-me foods), so I replaced it with teriyaki sauce. Quite a departure, eh? With that contribution, this beans & rice meal became perplexingly eclectic—Indian rice? Mexican black beans and corn? Asian sauce and preparation method? Indian and Mexican spices? And an all-American dollop of margarine? It’s a head-spinner, for sure, but it made a great meal nonetheless.

1 cup brown basmati rice (dry)
1 Tbsp canola oil
½ small onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp crushed red pepper
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup prepared teriyaki sauce
3 Tbsp soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos
2/3 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup frozen corn
1 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish

Bring rice and 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 35-45 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, to steam for 10 minutes. After that, you can remove the lid, fluff it, and let it cool.

Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the onion. Sauté for 3 minutes, until softened. Add the carrots and cook, stirring, for 2-3 more minutes. Add the garlic and all spices (through mustard seed) and stir to combine.

Cook and stir for about 1 minute to toast the spices (but watch out for popping mustard seeds!). Add the beans, teriyaki sauce, and soy sauce, stir to combine, and turn the heat to medium-low. Add the frozen peas and corn.

Cover the pot to let the peas and corn steam for a couple minutes, then uncover and add the cooked rice. Stir well to combine, adding another squirt or two of teriyaki sauce if it seems dry, and cook until heated through, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. To be really indulgent (and since this dish is so low-fat on its own), stir in a glop of Earth Balance at the end.

Serve garnished with parsley or cilantro if desired. Somehow, all those crazy international flavors do come together into a unified whole in this savory, salty, satisfying dish. It’s like fried rice, arroz con frijoles, biriyani, and American beans ‘n rice all rolled into one. Puzzling, but delicious!

Yield: 4 servings.
Per serving: 385 calories, 8.4g fat (2g sat), 66.1g carbs, 11g fiber, 13.1g protein.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2010 12:12 pm

    Very colorful indeed! Looks yummy!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 12, 2010 3:25 pm

      Ah yes, I forgot to note that it does live up to its “rainbow” moniker!

  2. October 12, 2010 12:30 pm

    wow this looks so yummy!!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 12, 2010 3:25 pm

      Thanks! A little on the strange side, but definitely yummy!

  3. October 12, 2010 2:05 pm

    Sounds great – fusion cuisine, right? I love how close Mexican and Indian flavors can be brought together (although I’ll never forget an Indian classmate when I was at school in California shaking her head at Mexican food and saying ‘you do not eat rice and roti together!’)

    Dare I ask: wouldn’t coconut oil be better than earth balance in there?

    Also, I know it’s extra work, but to me, beans made from scratch (i.e. soaked overnight and then slow-cooked) are so much more digestible – not to mention cheaper. But this sounds really good – clean, clear, not mushy, but complex and flavorful.

    Know what you mean about whirlwind week and it’s only Tuesday!


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 12, 2010 3:34 pm

      Yes, I think this does qualify as “fusion cuisine”!

      Coconut oil would be healthier than Earth Balance, definitely. I’d probably lean towards using a refined one rather than unrefined, though, as I’m not sure how this would taste if the oil lent it a coconutty quality. However, it’s been a long time since I’ve purchased refined coconut oil, plus I had a stray tablespoon of E.B. sitting listlessly in my fridge, so I put it to use. 🙂

      I completely agree with you about cooking beans from scratch. I admit I don’t do so often enough. I haven’t lately because I don’t want them sitting in my freezer for 2 months while I’m at 105 (though I’m sure they’d be ok there). As soon as I return, I’ll have to remember to cook up some big batches of black, kidney, and garbanzo beans.

      Do you include baking soda in the water when you soak or cook your beans? I’ve read such conflicting stuff on that. On one hand, it does increase the digestibility, but on the other hand, I’ve heard that it causes the beans to release some GOOD nutrients along with the difficult-to-digest anti-nutrients. What’s your take?

      • October 12, 2010 3:39 pm

        Love that visual about the EB sitting listlessly in the fridge!

        I haven’t tried cooking beans with baking soda, although I’ve heard that’s one way to do it. I tend to put in a piece of ginger and/or a piece of kombu (kelp) – and those tend to take care of things. Also, I change the water after soaking, and again after pre-boiling.


        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          October 12, 2010 3:46 pm

          Hehe, I think I tend to personify food more often than I realize 😛

          Water-changing is a must for me, too. And I’ve heard of people using kombu, but not ginger—GREAT idea!
          Do you think a pinch of dulse flakes would do the same trick as the kombu? I don’t keep many sea vegetables on hand, but I do have some dulse.

          • October 13, 2010 3:37 pm

            I don’t know – I think the kombu is so big and thick and hearty, it’s kind of absorbent. But presumably it’s partly the polysaccharides in the kombu that do the job, so maybe dulse would work too (but maybe you’d need quite a lot).

            • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
              October 13, 2010 3:38 pm

              Gotcha — thanks, Ela!

  4. October 12, 2010 3:07 pm

    What a pretty dish, and it sounds sooooo good! This will be something my husband will eat also!! :o)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 12, 2010 3:35 pm

      It IS pretty, isn’t it? 😀
      And hooray, another man-pleaser meal! Hehe.

  5. October 12, 2010 9:30 pm

    You know what? I’m actually glad we’ve found at least one point of difference… I love woscestershire sauce 🙂 We need to hold onto these things so that we don’t get confused about which of us is which, I think. 😀

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 13, 2010 10:44 am

      Hehe, true. You cling tightly to that Worcestershire sauce! 😛

  6. October 13, 2010 8:34 am

    Wow, this is like a veggie jambalaya.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 13, 2010 10:45 am

      Oh, you’re so right! I was trying to think of something more accurate than “American beans & rice,” but was drawing a blank. It is definitely jambalaya-like, and in fact I think it’d be great with kidney beans.

  7. October 13, 2010 9:05 am

    This has some of my favorite flavors/ingredients: rice, vegetables, even black beans. Very colorful – I’d eat this in a heartbeat.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 13, 2010 10:49 am

      Beans, rice, corn, cumin, and oregano are some of my favorite ingredients and spices, too. 🙂

  8. October 14, 2010 7:22 am

    what a colorful and healthy meal!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 14, 2010 9:04 am

      It is quite healthy! Lots of fiber and protein 😀

  9. October 14, 2010 7:24 am

    So colorful! I absolutely love it–it’s great to have a rainbow of food staring up at you from the dinner plate 🙂

    PS–you gave me a good laugh last night in my NyQuil stupor when I read about the word verification craziness going on on my site!

  10. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
    October 14, 2010 9:06 am

    I love food rainbows too 🙂

    Hehe! I’m glad I could give you a laugh 😛 Hope you feel better!

  11. spoonfulofsugarfree permalink
    October 14, 2010 9:24 am

    This looks amazingly delish!! Gosh, can you cook for me??

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 14, 2010 10:35 am

      Hehe, thanks! I’d love to be a chef-for-hire 😀

  12. October 14, 2010 10:16 am

    So many colors! So much good stuff! I love all the variety of flavors here, rice and beans don’t ever need to be boring! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 14, 2010 10:37 am

      So true! The possibilities are endless when it comes to beans and rice…that’s one reason I love ’em.

  13. October 16, 2010 8:39 pm

    Looks yummy! Vegan Yum Yum has a couple recipes I haven’t been all that fond of, but most of them I have loved! The creamy brocc bake was incredible – you were right!! Good luck at Raw Chef school – can’t wait to hear about all the cool stuff you will be making!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 18, 2010 9:37 am

      Ahh, I’m so glad you tried the broccoli-mushroom bake! 🙂

      And thanks for wishing me luck! Only 6 days left…

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