Black Beans and Rice

Hello from Chicago O’Hare airport! I would like to take this opportunity to say how really terrible the international terminal is here. I feel like I’m surrounded by very angry people that have been waiting in a bunch of very long lines to take very long flights. Whoever thought that having one terminal where you put ALL the long-haul flights together was silly. Very silly. I miss JFK and that’s something I never thought I’d say.

Anyway, I have to sneak in one more blog post before I’m off to Ireland! 

I feel like a lot of my posts are about using leftover stuff. They aren’t “I went grocery shopping today” posts, they are “I went grocery shopping 5 days ago and have no money until payday” posts. In that way, this one could be called “How to use up one pepper, one tomato, and one onion and feed 2 people for 3 days right before you go on vacation for a week and you need money for the pub.” 😉

Black beans and rice! Easy, only one pot required, and goes a long way. Good on its own or in a burrito! Would be better if I had cooked it all in the bean broth instead of water, but I had cooked my beans a few days before and so didn’t have the broth. If you’re cooking the black beans prior to making this, use the broth! Or, if you’re using canned beans, don’t drain them before adding to the rice, put the liquid in too!



2 cups rice of your choice

3 1/2 – 4 cups water or broth (depends on the rice, read the back of the bag)

1 red pepper

1 onion

1 large tomato

1 jalapeño

2 cups cooked black beans

1 lime

1 garlic clove

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon agave

Olive oil


Chop the onion and pepper up pretty small. Heat up a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot with a lid and throw in the onion and pepper. Let them cook for a few minutes while you dice the large tomato. Add in the tomato and mince in a garlic clove. Let that cook for a few, until the tomatoes have cooked down at least halfway. 

Meanwhile, finely dice the jalapeño. Remove the seeds to reduce the heat level. I usually partially deseed, but leave some in.

When the tomatoes have cooked down and it’s starting to get saucy in there, add in the jalapeño and the black beans. Then add the spices: cumin, chili powder, paprika, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and a tiny squirt of agave. Don’t worry about exact measurements! Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lime. Mix that all around and then throw in the rice. Mix again and let the rice toast for a few minutes. Then add in the water or broth.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer until all the water is absorbed.

Taste and adjust spice levels to your liking. Squeeze the juice from the other half of the lime over and add fresh cilantro if you have it before serving. 

Ok, now I’m off on vacation! Enjoy y’all!


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