I’ve been craving something nice and warm and comforting as the weather gets colder. I’ve also noticed that I have quite the stock of canned beans in my pantry that need to get eaten, so it’s the perfect time to make black beans and rice. Usually black beans and rice recipes use peppers but 1. I don’t have peppers right now and 2. I decided to go with a more traditional Louisiana flavor of using celery (which I actually had in my fridge) instead. This recipe requires minimal hands on time so it’s the ideal meal to cook in the middle of a week full of midterms and papers. Also-though I don’t really like to toot my own horn-I’m not ashamed to say that this one was so good I might have licked the bowl.
P.S. I did some math and it cost $5.94 to make this meal, coming out to $ 1.49 per serving (assuming 4 servings)! Of course every area and grocery store have slightly different prices but you can see how much inexpensive it is to cook a healthy and delicious meal.
Black Beans and Rice
Time: about 10 minutes of prep, 1 hour cooking time
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion (white, yellow or red), diced
- 2 stalks celery
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 3 cans (15 oz) black beans
- 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- white or brown rice (1/4 cup per person)
- If you don’t have celery you can use 1-2 peppers (green, red or yellow)
- If you don’t have chicken broth, use ½ cup hot water with about ½ tsp bouillon (or a bouillon cube)
- White vinegar is just an addition, if you don’t have it don’t let that stop you from cooking
Put your large pot on the stove, add the olive oil and turn to medium heat. Take the skin off of your onion and dice. Toss it in your pot. You want to cook the onion until it becomes translucent, about five minutes. Make sure that they onions do not caramelize (caramelizing means cooking until they’re brown).
Meanwhile, dice your celery. You want to get the flavor of the celery but not really realize that you’re eating it, so really try to dice small.
Once the onions are translucent, add the celery. Let cook for 3-4 minutes or until they just start to get soft. Add your chicken broth. Bring to a gentle simmer (not boiling, just a few bubbles). Let cook for about 25 minutes or until celery is soft.
Open your cans of beans and add to the celery and onion.
I added another ½ cup water because most of it had evaporated while the celery was cooking. Bring to a simmer. To thicken the sauce, take a spoon and crush some of the beans against the side of the pot. Add vinegar, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Meanwhile, start your rice (note: white rice takes about 15 minutes while brown will take 45 so plan accordingly). Keep heat low and mix often to make sure beans aren’t sticking to the bottom of your pot.
Once rice is ready, serve (either on top or mixed) and enjoy!