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Old 08-03-2009, 09:15 AM   #1
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Getting more variety in beans and rice

My family likes to eat beans and rice. We switch up the colors of the beans a bit. Mostly black, red and pinto. The end result almost always tastes about the same though.

How to I go about sprucing up the tastes and flavor of recipes based primarily on beans and rice? I need more recipes!

I usually add salt, pepper, garlic and onion to the beans. About 75% of the time I'll add either chicken or pork pieces. We still want beans and rice but we want more flavors.


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Old 08-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #2
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Beans and rice are found in many cultures. vary the spices, herbs to vary the flavors. Try some of these sites:
international beans and rice recipes - Google Search


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Old 08-03-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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Where are you located (just approx is fine)? Small town, big city, suburbs?
No matter how many Bibles he swears on, when a dog tells you he's a vegetarian, he's lying.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:26 AM   #4
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I'm close enough to downtown Denver.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mr_Dove View Post
The end result almost always tastes about the same though.
Originally Posted by Mr_Dove View Post
I usually add salt, pepper, garlic and onion to the beans. About 75% of the time I'll add either chicken or pork pieces.
If you are adding the same meats and spices to the beans then of course they will always taste about the same. Try using different spices.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
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Denver has a large Mexican population. Find a Mexican/ethnic grocery store and look for Goya spice blends. They come in small packets about the size of Ramen noodle flavor packets. Sold in a various sizes (12 packs, 24 packs...) They are the bomb for dressing up bean and rice dishes. They also come in a nice variety.
No matter how many Bibles he swears on, when a dog tells you he's a vegetarian, he's lying.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:18 AM   #7
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For Mexican flavors, Ill use chili powder, cumin, coriander leaves...
For Indian flavors, try Basmati rice, lentils,turmeric,cumin, curry poweder, cardemom
For CHinese flavors do stir fry using day old rice, soy sauce, garlic, peas, bean sprouts...other veggies

these are just a few off he top of my head
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:35 AM   #8
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Here are a few we like. Some don't call for rice, but you can either serve them over rice or put a scoop in the bowl with the beans.


1 pound dried red beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 small smoked ham hocks
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
½ teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt, if needed, or to taste
4 cups hot cooked rice

1. Rinse beans and soak overnight in enough cold water to cover
completely; drain before using.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep pot over medium-high heat.

3. Add onion, bell pepper, & celery; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic and sauté for one additional minute.

5. Add drained beans, ham hocks, black pepper, cayenne pepper,
Tabasco Sauce, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and basil.

6. Add about 6 to 7 cups of cold water, enough to cover all the
ingredients by one inch.

7. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2½ to 3 hours,
stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender; uncover for last hour
to thicken sauce if desired.

8. If sauce needs additional thickening, combine flour in a cup with 2 or 3
tablespoons of the sauce, mix until smooth, and add to pot during the
final 30 minutes of cooking, mixing well.

9. Remove ham hocks from beans; cut off and chop any meat,
discarding fat, gristle, and bone; return meat to pot.

10. Taste sauce and add salt if needed.

11. Stir in lemon juice just before serving.

12. Serve over hot rice with additional Tabasco Sauce, chopped raw
onions, chopped parsley, and lemon wedges, if desired.

Spiced Black-Eyed Peas
with Yogurt & Ginger

1½ cups dried black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, minced
4 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup plain yogurt
salt to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Pick over and discard any damaged peas or stones. Rinse the peas. Place
in a bowl, add plenty of water to cover and soak for about 3 hours.

Drain the peas and place in a saucepan with water to cover by 2 inches.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until almost
tender, about 35 minutes. Drain the peas, reserving the liquid. Set aside.

In a large frying pan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and
saute, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic,
coriander, cumin and cardamom and saute, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, cover and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Uncover and increase the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of the yogurt
and continue to stir until it is fully incorporated into the sauce. Continue in
the same manner with the remaining yogurt, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Add the peas, ½ cup of the reserved liquid, salt to taste, and the cayenne;
cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is very
thick, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer to a platter, garnish with the cilantro and serve over Basmati rice.

This is a great soup, full of flavor. Add a scoop of cooked rice when you serve it.


1 pound dried black beans (2 cups), rinsed and picked over
4 ounces ham steak, trimmed of rind
2 bay leaves
5 cups water
c teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped fine (about 3 cups)
1 large carrot, chopped fine (about ½ cup)
3 ribs celery, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1½ teaspoons salt
6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 1½ tablespoon)
1½ tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from the can of chiles)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
Garnishes: lime wedges, minced cilantro, diced red onion, diced avocado, sour cream

Place beans, ham, bay leaves, water, and baking soda in large saucepan with tight-fitting lid.
Bring to boil over medium-high heat, removing scum as it rises to surface.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beans are tender, 1¼ to 1½ hours (if necessary,
add another 1 cup water and continue to simmer until beans are tender); do not drain beans.

Remove and discard bay leaves.

Remove ham steak, cut into ¼-inch cubes, and set aside.

Heat oil in 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking; add
onions, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly
browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant,
about 3 minutes.

Stir in salt, beans, bean cooking liquid, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, and chicken broth.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer,
uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.

Ladle 1½ cups beans and 2 cups liquid into blender, process until smooth, return to pot. Bring
to boil. Continue cooking uncovered if soup seems too thin.

Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and reserved ham; ladle soup into bowls and serve
immediately, passing garnishes separately.

Makes about 9 cups, serving 6.

Cuban Black Bean Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound chorizo sausage, quartered lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick (see head note)
1 large onion, minced
1 large red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
8 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press, divided
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 pound black beans, sorted, soaked overnight, and drained
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
ground black pepper
Tabasco sauce

1. Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chorizo and
cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl
using a slotted spoon and set aside in the refrigerator.

3. Return the Dutch oven with the drippings to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion,
red pepper, and ¾ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly
browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Add half of the minced garlic, the oregano, and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the broth, water, beans, and bay leaves; bring to a simmer, skimming any foam from
the surface. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook until the beans are tender but not
splitting, 1½ to 2 hours.

5. Remove and discard bay leaves. Transfer 2 cups of the beans to a mixing bowl and mash
with a potato masher, fork, or hand blender. Stir the mashed beans back into the stew.

6. Add the remaining garlic, the lime juice, cilantro, and the reserved chorizo. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco,
and serve immediately.
Doug Collins
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:44 AM   #9
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Yumm Sauce! This stuff is amazing on beans and rice (and lots of other things). And it's pretty healthy, too. This is the signature sauce of a place in Eugene that specializes in beans & rice bowls. Here's my version:

Yummy Sauce:

Also, this cilantro pesto, with beans & rice is a staple for my family:

Beans & Rice with Cilantro Pesto:

Scotch, those black eyed peas sound good too. I'll be trying them out for sure.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:02 PM   #10
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I think I'll try some of those recipes. I just had zatarain's black beans and rice. I'd love to be able to duplicate that with a slightly fresher taste.

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