Here's a recipe for Megan-simple taco beans with rice. This is something that will please everyone, veggies and meat-eaters alike, and it's SO FREAKING EASY. It also stores and saves well, so you can dish up three or four portions and stick them in the fridge and you have lunch for part of the week.
To make the taco beans
What you'll need:
- Four standard size cans of beans — I like a mix of different types, like garbanzo, black beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed beans, and this way you'll have leftovers you can store
- 2 cups of water
- 2/3 cup of olive oil
- 4 taco seasoning packets
- A large non-stick skillet or pot
Place the beans in a colander and rinse all the juicy/goopy stuff off that was in the can — this makes the beans easier to digest and you'll be less gassy.
Throw the beans in the non-stick skillet or pot, and add the water and olive oil. The amounts I list here are what the particular brand of taco seasoning I used called for — some brands have you use ¾ of a cup of water per packet, and some brands don't call for oil. I would recommend replacing a small amount of water with oil anyway to make the seasoning stick to the beans better. My general rule is that if it calls for 2/3 cup of water, do 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup oil, and if it calls for ¾ cup of water, do ½ cup water and ¼ cup oil. And if you're making a larger batch, like I am here, you may want to adjust it so there's even less oil (which is what I did).
Now, place the lid on the pot and wait for it to come to a rolling boil.
While the beans are getting to a boil…
To make zeera rice
What you'll need:
- Two cups Basmati rice
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- Three teaspoons of cumin seeds
- Four cups of water (if you're not using a rice cooker)
If you're using a rice cooker, mix the cumin seeds with your Basmati rice using your fingers to make sure the cumin seeds aren't just sitting on the top and not spreading the flavor throughout the rice. Then add however much water your rice cooker calls for, add the olive oil, and turn your rice cooker on. If you don't have a rice cooker (which you should, just ask Ariel), then add the rice, cumin seeds, olive oil, and water into a pot and bring to a rolling boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer until all the water is evaporated.
Now, back to the taco beans. Once the taco beans come to a rolling boil, add the four packets of taco seasoning and stir. Continue to stir occasionally on medium heat until the taco mix has a thick, soupy texture. It doesn't have to be super solid, because it will firm up once you take it off the heat, but you don't want it really watery either. Here's what it should look like before you take it off the heat.
Once the rice and beans are done cooking, you're ready to serve! I love mixing them together in a big bowl and eating it like a mixed curry, but you can stick it on a plate and serve separately. Alternately, the taco beans make a great substitute for meat if you're eating tacos, and you don't even have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy them that way — was meat too expensive this week? Taco beans! I also like eating them as a dip with tortilla chips.