Mom! Are you out there?! Are you reading this? Cuz this one’s for you. My mom makes a mean Spicy Rice & Beans dish that my dad absolutely loves (I think he could probably live on it for the rest of his life). Today, I’ve got a new twist on an old favorite for her and for all of you, too.
I discovered this recipe from an old post on Naturally Ella, a blog written by a lovely, über talented gal named Erin. I don’t know what’s better, her recipes or her photography. Both are outstanding. In fact, just browsing her site makes me both depressed (by my lack of photography skills) and motivated (by my lack of photography skills). I know my photos aren’t horrible, but when you compare them to photos like Erin’s, well, there’s just no contest. At all. Ah, someday.
Now that I’ve whined about my sucky photos, let me give you some happy news :) I’m SO thrilled that I tested this recipe because it is AWESOME. So awesome that I’ve made it twice in the past week. I love this new (to me) twist on traditional rice and beans. What’s the twist? Sweet potato! Not to mention Erin’s choice of seasonings and preparation, which results in a spicy, flavor-infused plate of yum. It’s also super easy and versatile. You can serve it as is with a side of tortilla chips for dipping, rolled up in tortillas with guacamole or in a wrap with greens and raw veggies.
Hubs said he could eat this just about everyday. Sounds just like my dad.
SERVES 4 to 6
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 small hot pepper, finely diced* (I used a jalapeño.)
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed with garlic press
1 cup vegetable broth (Use gluten-free if desired.)
1 medium sweet potato, chopped into about ½” cubes
1 tsp. thyme (I didn’t have any, so I used oregano.)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. red pepper flakes*
1 cup black beans
1 large tomato, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: chopped avocado, vegan sour cream, vegan shredded cheese, guacamole
If you’re not a fan of spicy food and/or you’re making this for kids, I would suggest either omitting the hot pepper and red pepper flakes, or cutting the quantity in half.
In a medium pot, bring tomato sauce and water to a boil. Add rice, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until rice has absorbed all the liquid. (As you can see in the photo, my rice is really red – it’s because I used leftover pizza sauce instead of tomato sauce. Also, the original recipe called for less rice, tomato sauce and water, so that’s why there’s not much in the pan. I doubled those portions for you in the ingredients list).
While the rice is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and garlic to the pan and sauté.
When onions and peppers begin to soften, add vegetable broth, sweet potato, thyme, cumin and red pepper flakes to pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat until sweet potatoes are cooked through.
Add in beans, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice. Continue to heat mixture for another five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, I like to add the veggie/bean mixture to the rice and combine all together, but you can also leave it separate and serve the mixture over a bed of rice. Up to you. Top with optional toppings and enjoy!
p.s. Thank you to all of you who have entered my Stella & Dot Giveaway that I posted last week! I get so excited when I see all the new comments, tweets and fb likes!!! You guys rock. I can’t wait to draw a winner later this week :)