Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Leftover Beans & Rice in the fridge?

Here's a dilemma I commonly run into being that one of my favorite food combinations (along with most of the world) is
rice and beans. The only problem, is that there's always some left over after you make them - which is not a problem to you anymore because I have 4 ideas of how to transform and reinvent your B & R - making them all the more economical and budget savvy.

1. South Western B & R Bake


  • 2 cups of cooked rice (you could start w/ uncooked rice here, just make sure you cook then add it)
  • 2 cups of cooked pinto beans (again, you could start w/ dry pintos, but make sure you cook then add)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp olive/vegetable oil
  • Around 4 finely chopped Garlic Cloves or 2 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 8 oz. of canned, frozen or fresh corn
  • 1/4 cup chicken/vegetable broth - or water
  • 4 tablespoons of rough chopped parsley
  • 1/4 Smoked chipotle salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Preheat your oven to 350. Start by adding your oil, and once heated, add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the garlic, salt, cumin & oregano, and keep stirring. Add the beans, corn, chicken broth, and rice. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Take your pot away from the heat. Add your parsley.
  •  In a medium sized baking dish, gently pour out the mixture using only half - and now add evenly as a layer, your chipotle salsa and about half of your cup of cheese. Resume pouring the rest of the mixture, and finish with the rest of your cheese!
  • Bake for approximately 20 - 25 minutes; you'll know it's ready when the cheese is browning & bubbly, and of course the smell of all those wonderful ingredients. 

2. The obvious: Bean & Cheese Burritos
The catch: to freeze & pull out when you're ready for them!

3. Serve B & R again - but with some attitude!
For Christmas Dinner this year, it was my first time cooking the special meal for my husband and I - so what I did was a whole Mexican American Food themed night. Long story short, I had all kinds of fresh ingredients left over that I decided to do the dinner again, very similar, but with some adjustments.
On a plate, I had fresh cilantro, finely chopped yellow onions, along with sour cream, fresh guacamole, spicy salsa and cheese - and it was arranged in rows, so it had  unique presentation.
For the beans, place them in a baking dish, and cover with tons of cheese. Broil at the last few minutes to get a bubbly crust.
For the rice, transform it to Cilantro Lime Rice by adding for every 1 cup of rice, 2 tbsp of Lime Juice freshly squeezed & 1 tbsp of Cilantro. Sprinkle in some salt!
Serve with hot tortillas!
A pico de gallo here would be real tasty, I just didn't have the tomatoes or the peppers.

4. B & R served along with 'Lentil Meat Tacos'
Lentils, along with all types of other legumes
& beans are a highly cost effective way to
achieve a healthy diet.
It sure sounds odd, but after my dying curiosity of all the fun things to do with Lentils because of their amazing Nutritional content and price - 1 lb is always around 1 dollar. So after some tinkering, and some inspiration of chefs who have done the amazing thing of transforming Lentils into a meat substitute (this recipe, is going to work for Burgers, Taco Meat - you name it! Whatever you can get creative with. I'm sure, if you increased the amount of binders, so maybe the eggs, you'd be able to achieve something like a 'Lentil Meat Loaf'


  • 2 cups of Lentils - cook them based on the instructions on the bag, but add 2 bay leaves to the water. Tip: I've been told many times to not add salt during the cooking process of many legumes & beans because they toughen them - so if you're going to salt your lentils, do it after they are cooked.
  • Around 1 cup vegetable juice/tomato Juice 
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 of bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, etc.
  • 2 whole carrots - grated
  • 4 tbps of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the tomato juice and oil. You should use the tomato juice in small increments, adding it to the mixture as you need to to make it a ground beef consistency. Use the oil in your frying pan (I highly suggest non-stick) The mixture cooks very similar to preparing ground beef. 
  • * If you were to do patties to make burgers, shape into flat spheres and cook for a couple minutes on each size then serve on buns with lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes - whatever you like on your burgers!

See you guys soon! - BCB

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