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Mexican Black Beans and Rice with Lime Jalapeño Vinaigrette

April 10, 2013

by Elizabeth

Or, how to turn leftovers into something “inventive.” As I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to get better about cooking with what I have on hand more often. And more often than not, I have leftover rice and beans in the fridge. We eat a fair amount of mexican at home (healthier than going to Mi Cocina 3 times a week I tell myself), hence the rice and beans surplus. Plus they are easy and healthy sides. Generally, we just reheat them and eat them as they are (shocking, I know).

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But the thought of eating just beans and rice for a meal is awfully boring. Inspired by this month’s Bon Appétit, I decided to fancy up the leftover beans and rice for an easy lunch. Of course feta and avocado make everything better, but the best part of this dish is really the dressing. The tangy lime and spicy peppers really added the missing zap of flavor beans and rice beg for. This lunch was actually filling and satisfying than I expected, even for a die hard protein at every meal girl like me.

Mexican Black Beans and Rice Bowl, inspired by Bon Appétit

serves 2 – easily split

2 cups cooked black beans (see below)

2 cups cooked brown rice (see below)

1 avocado, chopped

4 tablespoons feta cheese

quick pickled onions (soak 1 sliced red onion in 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt)

Lime Jalapeño Garlic Vinaigrette (below), to taste

Really complicated. Divide the warmed beans and rice into two bowls. Top with the avocado, feta, onions and vinaigrette.

Lime Jalapeño Garlic Vinaigrette

(enough for 2 servings)

2 small cloves garlic, minced

8 slices pickled jalapeño, minced

zest of one lime

juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons lime olive oil (regular olive oil will work too)

Black Beans à la Liz

Drain most of the liquid off of one can of black beans. Pour into a small pot. Add approximately 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and smoked paprika. Heat until warmed through. For thicker consistency, I sometimes mash about half of the beans up with the back of a spoon or fork. Taste, and add more seasonings if necessary.

Brown Mexican Rice à la Liz

For 1 cup quick cooking brown rice, add to cooking liquid (chicken broth is better than water): 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon onion and garlic powder. A dash of cumin is nice too. For boil in bag varieties, I at least double the amount of seasonings, since not all of the water needed is absorbed into the rice.

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