Black Beans and Brown Rice

November 17, 2009

We have a couple friends who spent some time in Kenya, and when they came back to the States they resolved to eat rice and beans once a week in an effort to simplify their lives and diets. This recipe is based on the delicious recipe those friends served to us on occasion. The bacon is optional – it adds great flavor, but you could replace it with a couple tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. You could also use a can of rinsed, drained black beans instead of the fresh beans – just stir them in with the green bell pepper 15 minutes before the end of cooking.

  • 1 C dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 C brown rice
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 ½ C chicken broth (gluten-free)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 large tomato or 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • handful of chopped cilantro or flat parsley

Cook the soaked black beans in enough water to cover by a couple of inches for about two hours. Drain beans in a colander.

In a large pot cook 4 strips of bacon over medium heat. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Crumble the bacon when it has cooled. Add the diced onion, garlic, cumin and celery to the remaining bacon grease and sauté for about 8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the brown rice and cook for another minute. Add the cooked beans, salt, bay leaf and chicken broth. Cover and bring the beans and rice a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 45 minutes, then stir in the diced green bell pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more. Turn the heat off and let it steam for another 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover, squeeze on the lime juice and mix in the diced tomato, crumbled bacon and the chopped cilantro or parsley.

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