South of the Border Beans and Rice

2015-07-13 18.13.59RECIPE #18, DAY #15

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Salsa Beans and Rice,” from Desperation Dinners, by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross*

TIMING: 20 minutes, plus the time it takes to steam rice or cook it however you cook plain rice

DIFFICULTY: Easy. Again, my ten-year-old made it

TOOLS: Typical kitchen tools, although I highly recommend a rice steamer or rice cooker

COOK TYPE: Stove top

2015-07-13 18.14.04HEALTH: A very healthy vegetarian meal. Beans, veggies, grain. All in one, too.

EXPERIENCE: My daughter has spent many of her summer evenings volunteering to cook dinner. I don’t blame her. She’s, yes, a little bored, but she loves to cook. Since I also love to cook, I understand.

I knew we were using beans for dinner and no meat, so we turned, as usual, to the spreadsheet to come up with something. My daughter quickly settled on this recipe, which I was happy with because it comes from Desperation Dinners, a cookbook I would not praise for being fancy, but for being extremely accessible and with all recipes under 20 minutes, to boot.

I helped gather tools and ingredients and then my daughter pushed me out of the kitchen.

We have had this before, and while I won’t exactly sing its praises, I would recommend it for a fast, easy, healthy dinner, especially on a busy weeknight.

NOTE: You may notice in the photos that we did not garnish with cheese or sour cream, as one of us is still on that dairy-free elimination diet.


  1. Steam 1 1/2 cups rice in 1 1/2 cups water until cooked light and fluffy. Or cook the 1 1/2 cups rice however you cook it. Brown rice is a great option, here.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add 1 chopped yellow or white onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Add 2 cans of either black, pinto, or red beans (or a combination), 30 oz canned diced tomatoes, 1-2 cups sliced green olives (nice and tangy Spanish ones), 1 cup corn kernels, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover and let simmer on low until rice is done. Taste for salt and pepper and serve over the rice or mix the rice right into the beans and then taste for salt and pepper.


Serve with hot sauce, and perhaps with a little cilantro. Top with Mexican cheese (like fresco), cheddar, Monterrey Jack, and/or sour cream or crema.

*Recipe has been changed from the original.


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