Thursday, July 12, 2012

Black Beans and Rice with Cantalopy Guacamole

I'm not a vegetarian.  I did dabble in flexitarianism in college, before I got married.  Much to the husband's chagrin, however, we eat meatless 2-4 days a week in our home.  His most commonly used phrase when I ask him how he likes a certain dish is, "It would be better with meat."  Poor man.  But, it is how it is and he bears it well.

There are a number of reasons I tend to stay away from meat: personal taste, budgetary restraints, environmental concerns, health, and food safety to name a few.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that part of the reason I eat less meat than the average American is that I think it is cool.  There, I said it, I think vegetarians are cool.

 Whenever I find out someone is vegetarian it ramps up their coolness factor in my mind.  And when I hear someone scoff at vegetarianism or eating meat in moderation they start to seem...cavemanish?  It's a problem that I might need to work on.  But with meals like this, maybe I won't bother.

Beans and rice is a classic combination.  Together, they have all the amino acids to make a complete protein.  The high quanitity of protein and fiber in black beans benefits your digestive tract, regulates your blood sugar, keeps your heart healthy and more.  In addition numerous studies have shown that the high concentration of flavanoids and antioxidants in black beans reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, most notably colon cancer.  Black beans continue to add a nutritional punch when it comes to their high amounts of folate and iron, which everyone needs but is particularly beneficial to pregnant women and nursing mothers. 

So, whether your vegetarian, pescetarianism, flexitarian or none of the above, this meal is delicious and a nutritional powerhouse.  Topped with my delicious cantalopy guacamole it's pretty hard to resist, too.

Black Beans and Rice
serves 5
adapted from: natural moms recipes

3 cups cooked brown rice*
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups, cooked black beans, drained (or 2 cans)
2 tbs vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce (or to taste.  We love Chipotle Tabasco brand sauce)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
 Salt and pepper to taste 

1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add onions and bell pepper to skillet and saute for about 4 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and saute for an additional minute.
2. Add black beans, vinegar and hot sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in oregano, rice, salt, and pepper.   
3. Serve topped with cantalopy quacamole.

*cook brown rice using your preferred method.  My mom always used a pressure cooker and that is a lovely idea.  Personally, instant brown rice in the microwave is my dirty little secret.

Cantalopy Guacamole
makes about 1 cup
a balancing the table original 
1/2 cup chopped cantalope 
1 chopped avocado 
1/2 jalapeno, minced and seeds removed 
1/2 red onion, diced 
Juice of 1 lime 
2 Tbs cilantro, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients, mashing avocado lightly  and chill.

 What the husband thinks: That this is an acceptable way to eat brown rice (he's not normally a fan but didn't even notice until I told him after dinner).  He says beans and rice dishes have really been hitting the spot lately.  He didn't even say it would be "better with meat," although I'm sure he thought it.

What the kid ate: Broccoli Fritters (muah ha ha!), recipe to come.  He wouldn't even try the beans and rice.  Beans are just one of those things he won't even put in his mouth.  Sigh!


  1. Yum I am defenilty going to try this

  2. :). We eat veg most of the time, too. The reason? Easier. That's it. But if it makes me cool, even better!

    1. That is another good reason. Much easier.

  3. Love your writing, haha. Glad you started this up makes you feel not so far away.