Is anyone else ready for a simple pot of rice and beans? I know I am, not just as a counterpart to more festive and celebratory holiday fare, but also because this is the food I crave when I’m busy, stressed, distracted, whatever. (Come to think of it, I crave this food all the time, but especially when I need grounding.) I make a lot of rice and bean dinners, but lately I thought to use my turmeric rice recipe as the base. This one pot turmeric rice, beans & greens dinner is the happy result. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s quick, nutritious, and good, and that’s more than enough for me.
Turmeric rice has become a bit of a staple around here, a dish I make for bowls, burritos, and a lot more. As it turns out, the rice works as nicely in a cohesive dish as it does as a side or a component of a meal. I changed the recipe slightly here: the onions are thinly sliced and caramelized, rather than chopped and sautéed, which adds a little more flavor to the dish. I increased some of the spices in order to flavor the beans and greens as well as the rice. And I finished the dish with both lemon and lime juice, so it’s a little more tart than my original recipe.
Once the rice is cooked, the rest of this meal is as easy as stirring in some cooked beans, wilting in spinach with an extra splash of water, and then seasoning to taste. If you use white basmati or long-grain white rice, the whole thing is ready in about 30 minutes. If you use brown basmati (or long-grain brown rice), it’ll take closer to 40, which isn’t bad for a complete meal. Serve the rice with yum sauce for a serious treat (and double the golden color), or top it with toasted nuts or seeds for some crunch.
In place of kidney beans, feel free to use black beans, pinto beans, black eyed peas, or chickpeas, and you can also play around with the greens. I like using spinach for one pot meals because it cooks so quickly, but chopped kale, chard and collards would all be great in the dish, too.
“I’d be more than happy with rice and beans.” This is something I’ve smilingly said to friends who are fretting about what to cook for a vegan when I come over or stay with them. I’m trying to assure them that I love simple food and that veganism isn’t complicated, but it’s a genuine statement about my tastes, too, because I love rice and beans in pretty much any form. This flavorful, colorful mixture will definitely be a new go-to for me.
Hope you enjoy it, too, and I’ll also be back later in the week to share a hearty, wintery, Mediterranean-inspired soup. Till then, be well.