Beans and rice, basically an essential in all diets, am I right? While in the traditional sense these might be two boring foods, these Zesty Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice are anything but bland. The best part? It is literally a NO FAIL recipe… the hardest part is waiting for the rice to steam without peaking under the lid (seriously, DON’T DO IT if you want it to be fluffy and soft).
Zesty Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice came together as a make-shift plant-based bowl from one of many Mexican themed dinner parties at my mom’s house. When I stopped eating meat, I simply went for the “sides” at dinner and found I didn’t miss the excess protein one bit, since both the beans and rice pack a flavor punch. Plus, when topped with the Ultimate Guacamole, I could literally eat a bottomless bowl of this dinner.
While of course both of these recipes could simply be used a side dish for any other meal, it’s totally unnecessary since black beans are a nutritional powerhouse all on their own, packing 8g of protein per half cup, in addition to equal amounts of fiber, and 10% of your daily iron needs, an extra benefit for vegans, as iron is harder to come by without meat. With over 30% of RDA per half cup, these legumes are also a good source of folate, a B-vitamin used to help produce white + red blood cells and convert carbohydrates into energy. If you haven’t been a fan of beans to date, I promise, you need to try this Zesty Black Bean recipe!
While white rice doesn’t add a lot of nutrition, I am determined to debunk the myth it’s “bad” for you. White rice actually has less calories and fat per serving, while only lagging brown rice in .8g of protein per cup and 2g of fiber… both unconcerning if you get your protein and fiber from other sources- like beans! Plus, white rice is the ONLY starch that doesn’t create gas you in your stomach, and is the most easily digestible food in the world. (Which is why it’s been eaten amongst cultures across the globe for thousands of years).
I hope you enjoy this simple yet flavorful meal as much as I do- I can’t wait to hear what you think!
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
Zesty Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- 2T avocado oil
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 4 cups water
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 tsps sea salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- Zesty Black Beans
- 1-2T avocado or olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 bell pepper - any color you prefer!
- 4-5 cloves garlic - crushed
- 2 cans black beans - drained and rinsed
- 2 tsps oregano
- 2 tsps red wine vinegar
- sea salt and black pepper - to taste
For the Cilantro Lime Rice:
- Heat 2T of olive oil in the bottom of a medium sauce pot. Add the rice, stirring to coat in oil. Allow the rice to "toast" for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly, until the rice is shiny and starting to turn translucent.
- Add the water, cover the pot, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 15-18 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE LID. Still covered, remove the pot from the heat, and allow to "steam" for 30 minutes to create extra fluffy rice.
- While the rice is steaming, juice the lime and stir the salt into the juice. Finely chop the cilantro. Once 30 minutes has passed, stir the juice, salt, and cilantro into the rice to evenly combine.
For the Zesty Black Beans:
- Heat oil in a medium sized pan. Add the diced onion and peppers, cooking until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add drained and rinsed black beans, cooking about 2 minutes. Crush the garlic into the pan, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Finish with oregano, red wine vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Cook until beans are soft. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve warm.
Serve the Zesty Black Beans over the Cilantro Lime Rice with slices of avocado or a dollop of guacamole. Perfect served alone or alongside another "main" dish.