I read this post over on Google+ yesterday, and it made me really sad.

Why beans made me cry in my car today.

Also pleased in the power of humanity, because it’s really good to see people helping each other out, but really sad because it sucks to be in that position, with no money and hungry people to feed, and no idea what to do with this so-called staple, beans.

As such, I’m going to be reading up on what to do with things like lentils (since I don’t really have a clue what to do with them) and posting some of my findings here.

For today, though, I’m going to share a recipe that I love. It’s easy to make, uses staple foods (beans and brown rice), and is absolutely delicious. It’s also really good for a shared dinner/pot luck, because everyone can add their own toppings.

Bean and Brown Rice Burrito Bowls


  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • Optional: 1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/4 cups water (or 1 cup broth and 2 1/4 cups water)
  • 1 boullion cube (omit if using broth)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans – drained and rinsed, or about 3 cups dried beans, cooked (NOT just soaked)
  • 1 tsp salt and black pepper to taste
  • Optional: ¾ cup corn kernels (canned or frozen and thawed)
  • Optional Toppings: Salsa, sour cream, sliced avocado, cooked chicken or ground beef, corn tortillas


  • Large oven-proof pot or dutch oven

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position.  Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion (and bell pepper, if using) to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and tender, about 12-14 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the chicken broth or water and boullion to the pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the rice and salt, and cover.  Bake until the rice is tender, 65-70 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven and uncover.  Fluff the rice with a fork, stir in the beans (and corn, if using) and replace the lid.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Mix in the black pepper.  Serve in bowls with tortillas and a mixture of toppings. My favorite is salsa and sour cream, but avocado is nice if you can get them cheap. I actually like this recipe better as vegetarian than I do with chicken or beef in it, but it’s certainly OK to add those as a topping too.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Beans and Cornbread

4 thoughts on “Beans and Cornbread

  • January 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Apropos of the G+ link, I have a random daydream about starting a nonprofit that gives people on the food/housing edge a small slowcooker and lessons in what to do with it. Because if both adults in a household are working all day, they can still throw cheap filling stuff in the crockpot and have FOOD at the end of the day instead of buying cheap godawful stuff at McDonald’s. Wonder if our local awesome homeless charity would be interested… /ponder

  • January 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Try a lentil salad! Lentils cook fast and have a nice texture. Just cook them, dress them lightly with lemon juice and olive oil, then toss with torn-up parsley, garlic, chopped shallots, and any seasoning else your fancy indicates. Some carrots might also be a nice addition.

  • January 30, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I first saw this linked by Tami last week. I’ll be putting out a few recipes / ideas as well, not just for beans and rice, but for other things as well.

  • February 2, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I made this last night, and it was delicious! It’s a very versatile recipe, I made some substitutions based on what I had on hand (mung beans instead of black beans, and ground pork) and topped it with avocado (on sale because of the Super Bowl) and a fried egg. Yum!

    Oh, I also just simmered on the stove because I don’t have a Dutch oven (yet).

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