Black Beans and Soaked Brown Rice
These black beans and brown rice are both high in fiber and together make a complete protein and are completely vegan. Often beans and rice can be bland and boring, but these are anything but. And with an array of toppings (and a little bit of planning ahead), it’ll become your favorite week night, low budget, nutritious dinner.
Several years ago, I was introduced to the delicious world of black beans by a friend who had lived in Brazil for a couple of years. Until then, I’m not sure I’d ever tried them. Well, maybe other than at Chipotle or Café Rio. So after eating a filling-but-not-full dinner at their house of home cooked black beans and rice, I decided I needed it in my life.
After a lot of researching authentic and not-so-authentic recipes, I started to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t. I needed something that was really flavorful while being vegetarian/vegan, cost effective, eliminates phytic acid as much as possible, and easy to make. And I think I’ve come with that solution for you. This recipe takes a little thinking in advance, but only enough to dump the dried rice beans in one bowl, the rice in another, cover with warm water, and leave it on the counter. The next day you pretty much dump it in the slow cooker and rice cooker and leave. (If you don’t have a rice cooker or slow cooker, look here and here for stove top cooking methods) Not too bad, right? And leftovers freeze really well so you can make a bunch now and have an easy peasy dinner for another day.
I make this dish probably weekly and we never get tired of it. And with proper soaking of the rice and beans, there’s no resulting discomfort or bloating that’s often associated with brown rice and especially beans.
- 1 pound dried black beans
- about 1/2 cup acid (fresh lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar are best)
- Enough dechorinated water* to cover the beans completely by 2 inches for soaking, and again for cooking
- 1 piece of kombu (roughly 6 inch square piece)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 large onions, diced small
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 3.75 cups (5 rice cooker cups, if using a rice cooker) long grain brown rice
- 4 cups very warm water, preferably purified and dechlorinated* (for soaking)
- 1/2 cup acidic medium (fresh lemon/lime juice or raw apple cider vinegar)
- 4 cups water, preferably purified and dechlorinated (for cooking)
- 1/4 cup ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 teaspoons fine sea salt, seperated
- avocado, sliced
- tomatoes, diced
- green onions, sliced thinly
- sour cream or whole milk yogurt
- The night before you plan to eat the beans and rice for dinner, put the beans and rice in separate large bowls. For the beans, cover with warm water by 2~4 inches and add 1 tablespoon of acid for every cup of water used. For the rice, cover with 4 cups warm water and 1/2 cup acid. Let soak overnight or up to 24 hours.
- In the morning, drain and rinse your beans. Add them to the crock of your slow cooker, cover with water by 2~4 inches, add the onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and kombu. Turn on high heat and let cook for 4~6 hours until tender but not mushy. Once cooked and the heat is turned off, add the salt and let steep for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat with the ghee or oil. Add the onions, garlic and a teaspoon of salt and sauté until soft and translucent. Drain and rinse the rice and place in the bowl of a 5 cup capacity or larger rice cooker. Cover with water to the 5 cup brown rice line, add the remaining salt and the cooked onions and garlic, making sure to scrape out all of the browned bits and oil/ghee. Turn on the rice cooker and cook as usual.
- To serve, Place desired amount of rice and beans in a bowl and serve with your favorite toppings.
- *to dechlorinate and purify water, simply boil for 20 minutes and let cool to room temperature.
- Both the rice and beans freeze well, so make a lot and save for later.