Because rice and beans is, in my opinion, a staple of a whole-foods vegan diet, I’d like to share with my homies another variation that, while not Megan-simple, is still delicious and will still please everyone — and it also happens to be pretty healthy. So here we have: Rainbow Brite rice and beans.
We call this “Rainbow Brite” beans and rice because it uses all different sorts of vegetables that give you a nice array of bright colors.
What you’ll need:
- One 28-oz can of petite diced tomatoes (save the can, because you’ll also need an empty can’s worth of water)
- One orange bell pepper, diced
- One 15-oz can of yellow corn
- One bunch of cilantro
- One yellow onion, diced
- One cup of brown rice
- One 15-oz can of black beans
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of chili powder
- 2 tablespoons of cumin powder (or 1 tablespoon cumin powder and 1 tablespoon cumin seeds)
- One very large non-stick skillet or pot
- Sour cream
- Tortilla chips
Place the beans and the corn in a colander and rinse them. Rinsing off the goopy stuff that it was sitting in helps the beans to make you less gassy and the corn to be less salty.
Over medium high heat, warm the olive oil until it’s hot enough to sauté the onions (you can test this by adding one onion and waiting for it to crackle, or by wetting your fingertips and flicking them into the oil. If the water crackles, it’s ready). Add the onions and sauté until they’re translucent, about five minutes or so.
Next, add the diced bell pepper and the rinsed beans and corn. Sauté for another five minutes, or until the veggies have slightly softened.
Now add the diced tomatoes, a 28-oz can of water, the brown rice, and the chili and cumin powder. Stir everything together and wait.
It’ll take about an hour for the water to absorb into the rice. Keep stirring occasionally while everything is cooking.
You’ll know the dish is done when the rice is soft and everything has a thick, stew-like texture. Chop up the cilantro and mix it in once the dish is done. Now it’s ready to serve once it’s cooled down.
Being vegan, I usually use it as a dip with tortilla chips, but the ‘rents like to add Mexican blend cheese and sour cream on theirs. My mother insists on putting the cheese on the plate first, then the Rainbow Brite beans and rice, and then the sour cream. This is her trifecta of flavor.
If you want to add vegan cheese, I cannot recommend Daiya brand highly enough. You can get mozzarella or pepper jack flavors at Hannaford’s and cheddar flavor at Whole Foods (Whole Foods has the other two flavors as well). Through trial and error, I have found this to be the tastiest vegan cheese, but if any Homies have any other favorites, I’d love to hear of them!