Mexican red rice & black beans

with avocado purée

I’ve tried many versions of this famous dish over the years. It makes a filling, nutritious and cheap meal which can feed lots of people. It’s also a great complete meal for vegetarians as it contains all the essential amino acids and it’s a great protein fix too. My favourite version is one I tasted in a vegan cafe in Bali, Indonesia. They grew organic red rice there so I ate it almost every day! It was so zesty, delicious and energising. It didn’t leave me lethargic or in a food coma like I usually feel from eating too much white rice. I created this healthy and hearty version to feed my craving and I’m pretty happy! Hope you like it as much as I do!!! It’s perfect comfort food without the guilt.

rice:

  • 1 500gr pack of Camargue red rice

  • 1 handful baby spinach, roughly chopped

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced, white an green parts separated

  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced

  • 2 punnets organic cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tbs organic tomatoes puree

  • 5 sun-dried or sunblush tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 2 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 ts smoked paprika (or normal)

  • 1/2 ts cinnamon

  • 1/2 ts chilli powder ts chilli

  • 1 chipotle chilli (I buy dried and soak for 10 minutes before) or 1 red chilli, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic crushed

  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed 

  • 2 tbs olive oil or rapeseed oil

  • 1 large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • salt and pepper

avocado purée

  • ripe avocado1

  • Juice of 1/2 lime

  • Pinch of salt

  • Olive oil

Ingredients (serves 6)

Method

Cook the rice according to the pack instructions. I usually place the rice in a large pan of salted water, bring to the boil and then reduce heat, place a lid on top and simmer for 40 minutes till tender but still with a slight bite. Stir occasionally. Check the rice regularly as you don’t want to overcook it. When it’s cooked stir in the chopped spinach till it’s wilted.

While the rice is cooking, prep the beans. Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Add the onion and white part of the spring onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes on a medium heat. Be careful not to burn the garlic or it will become bitter. Add the tomatoes, carrot, chilli, and spices. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes before adding the stock and tomatoe puree. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the black beans, the green part of the spring onions, half the coriander and half the lime juice. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the rest of the lime juice and season well with salt and pepper. Keep warm till ready to serve.

Cut the avocados in half. Remove the stone. Scoop out the flesh and roughly chop into cubes. Place in a bowl and mash with a fork till almost puréed but still chunky. Add the lime juice and salt. Mix well. Drizzle with olive olive and mix again. Keep in the fridge, covered, till ready to serve.

Tips

I usually make a big portion to keep in the fridge and then use it as a base for my lunchbox salads and Buddha bowls for the next 3-4 days. If you can’t get hold of red rice, wild or brown wholegrain rice will work well too.

Place the rice in a large bowl. Pour over the beans and sauce. Garnish with coriander leaves and season with black pepper. Serve with the avocado purée and lime wedges.