Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beans and Rice

I feel sure that I've complained before that it is literally impossible to find canned black beans in Denmark, at least where I live.  So when I was in the U.S. last December I decided to do the next best thing.  I brought back a huge bag of dried black beans that I picked up in the bulk section at Fred Meyer.  Way easier to transport in a suitcase than cans, even if they aren't as convenient and cooking-ready.

Since we are trying to eat less meat and more veggies and whole grains, I thought of something I hadn't made in a long time:  beans and rice.  It seems there are countless variations of this budget-friendly dish, and in most cases it's easy to prepare, healthy, and filling.

And after doing some checking around on the internet I ran into some great info about cooking pre-soaked beans in a pressure cooker.  What a fantastic and time-saving tip.  Instead of boiling for hours--and even then sometimes I still end up with slightly chewy beans--I simply steamed for 20 minutes and arrived at soft, perfectly cooked legumes.

I served the beans and veggies over white rice but next time will take the time to prepare a pot of brown rice for even more fiber and health points.

Beans and Rice

4c. prepared rice (brown or white)
1T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4c pimento-stuffed (or not) green olives, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 16 oz. cans of black beans (or four cups home-cooked)
2T white or red vinegar
Tabasco to taste (or your other favorite hot sauce)
2t dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

optional garnishes:  sour cream, avocado, salsa

1.  Heat oil in large skillet.  Saute onion and bell peppers for 5 minutes until soft and nearly translucent.

2.  Add garlic and olives and saute an additional 1-2 minutes.

3.  Add beans, vinegar, and Tabasco or hot sauce (less if you like it mild, more if you are keen on spices).  Mix well and cook 1-2 minutes until well combined.

4.  Remove from heat, stir in oregano, and season with salt and pepper.  Serve over rice and with toppings such as avocado, sour cream, and/or salsa.

Serves 4.


  1. I think this sounds like a very nice dish. I´ll try to make it in the future. Healthy and budget friendly you can´t go wrong with:-)

    I don´t understand why you bothered to bring a bag of dried beans back from the States. You can buy them in Løvbjerg, Superbrugsen and lots of other supermarkets. But maybe they are way cheaper there....

  2. Even black beans? I've had trouble finding them but perhaps I haven't looked hard enough or in the right places. I remember once finding them in an ethnic market in Viborg but will look here in Hobro again. :-)