“Rainbow Brite” beans and rice recipe

Guest post by Aurora

Have you noticed we’ve been featuring a lot of beans lately? Apparently Homies love cooking with the magical fruit. So here’s another bean-filled recipe!


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

Optional toppings:

  • Cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips

RinseBeansandCornPlace 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.

SauteeOnionsOver 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.

SauteeEverythingElseNext, add the diced bell pepper and the rinsed beans and corn. Sauté for another five minutes, or until the veggies have slightly softened.

AddTomatoesRiceandSpicesNow add the diced tomatoes, a 28-oz can of water, the brown rice, and the chili and cumin powder. Stir everything together and wait.

AddCilantroIt’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.

CheeseServeIf 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!

Comments on “Rainbow Brite” beans and rice recipe

  1. Hiya! This sounds pretty awesome, but as a European, I have a question. Is cilantro coriander? I think it is, but I don’t know anyone to double check with!

    I make a veggie chilli with almost the same ingredients – only I cook the rice separate to serve, and have an extra green and orange pepper in the mix, and a bit more chilli powder. It is in no way an authentic chilli, but it tastes good, and doesn’t take quite so long 🙂

    • Here in the states we call the cilantro seed “coriander”. Do other places call the plant “coriander” too?

    • I’ve always been under the impression that cilantro is the leaf part and coriander is the seed part of the same plant.

    • In the US and Canada (and maybe other places), we call the leaf “cilantro”, and the seed “coriander”. However, in many other places (Europe, I believe Thailand, probably India), both the leaf and the seed are called “coriander”. My best guess is that “coriander” and “cilantro” were words from different cultures, and that those who call it “cilantro” only used the leaf, whereas the cultures that call it “coriander” use both the leaf and the seed. Pure speculation here, but it seems likely to me that “cilantro” is a South American term, whereas “coriander” might be from South-East Asia, based on where I’ve heard the words.

  2. I HATE cooking rice separately (I even have a rice cooker- it’s a mental thing), so this recipe is fantastic for me. Thank you for sharing!

    It also looks like this could be a one-pot burrito filling recipe!

  3. In the UK we call the whole plant coriander. So we have fresh coriander leaves, coriander seed and ground coriander. I’ve had many a discussion with my American sister-in-law about this!

  4. I am an American and living abroad in a dorm in Austria right now, and I make beans and rice about once a week, because it is cheap to make. The other students tease me a bit though because I make mine from dried beans instead of canned (no can opener, don’t want to buy one). But they seems to think it is tasty.

  5. We’ve been a bit on the broke side lately and existing purely on rice & beans, potatoes, and oatmeal. This sounds super yummy! I’m going to make some to brighten up our rainy day today (the like, eighth in a row).

  6. Infinite thanks to the OP!!! This is such an amazing recipe and such an eye opener for me! It’s become an almost weekly staple in our house!! (I am making it right now and figured I owed you some thanks =o) )

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