Monday, November 23, 2009

Pinto Bean and Brown Rice Stew in a Tomato Base

The weather today was cool and rainy with a gray sky that looks like it was about to snow, only it isn’t quite that cold. It was the perfect day for a warm bowl of comfort food. I couldn’t decide between stew and chili so I made something that was in between the two. It has the flavors of chili but the texture was closer to stew. I find most chili recipes to be far too thick for my taste, which is why I call this recipe a stew.

I think the fresh salsa was an important component to this recipe, but not everyone agrees so I have listed those numbers separately. Here is the stew I made for dinner tonight.

Pinto Bean and Brown Rice Stew in a Tomato Base
Makes 4 large servings


1 ½ cups pinto beans, soaked overnight
6 cups water to cook the beans
½ cup onion, peeled and finely diced
15 ounces canned diced tomato
15 ounces canned tomato sauce
½ cup brown rice
1 cup water, or more if needed
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
½ teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
2 bay leaves
1 chipotle in adobo, finely minced
2 cups corn kernels (no need to defrost if frozen)


Cook the beans until just tender and set aside.

Cook the onion in the liquid from the diced tomato can until just soft. Add the beans and all the remaining ingredients except the corn and cook until the rice is tender. Just before you are ready to serve remove the bay leaves and add the corn.

I served this soup tonight with a few corn chips and salsa on top. It would also be good topped with tofu sour cream.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 454.29
Calories From Fat (5%) - 23

Total Fat - 2.68g
Saturated Fat - 0.45g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 787.37mg
Potassium - 1909.07mg
Total Carbohydrates - 90.14g
Fiber - 17.48g
Sugar - 12.12g
Protein - 22.03g

Avocado, Onion, Cucumber and Tomato Salsa Topping
Makes 4 servings


1 avocado, diced
¼ onion, finely minced
½ cup cucumber, diced
½ cup tomatoes, diced
¼ cup cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
½ tablespoon hot crushed peppers
salt and pepper to taste


Combine all the ingredients and stir to evenly distribute. Stir gently so that you don’t break up the avocado. This will hold overnight in the frig for lunch the next day if your avocado is not overly ripe.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 82.33
Calories From Fat (69%) - 56.48

Total Fat - 6.76g
Saturated Fat - 0.93g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 6.75mg
Potassium - 315.66mg
Total Carbohydrates - 5.97g
Fiber - 3.55g
Sugar - 0.98g
Protein - 1.29g


I love a meal that comes in a bowl and doesn’t dirty a lot of pots and pans. The cold fresh topping makes this soup, in my opinion. I also love the crunch of the chips with this meal.

Each serving of this soup(without the salsa) contains more than 1,500IU of vitamin A, 130mg of calcium, 440mcg of folate, 490mg of phosphorus, 210mg of magnesium, and 26mcg of selenium.


  1. I bet the chipotle makes it soooo good!

  2. Marissa,

    I think the chipotle does make a big difference. My husband loved this last night and took it for lunch today. I frequently make things like this when the weather is cool and rainy (like it was yesterday and again today).


  3. This looks great! I've tried making something like it before, but it never comes out quite right. I'll have to try this recipe very soon.

  4. This look sooooo good!!
    Debra @ Vegan Family Style
    ps. check out the new giveaway on my blog!

  5. Doc,

    Thanks! :)

    I make variations of this every couple of weeks when the weather is cool. The fresh salsa makes it, in my opinion. My hubby thinks the tortilla chips are the critical ingredient.

    If you are a fan of heat add a pinch of red pepper flakes as well. Sometimes I add them when I want it really spicy.


  6. Debra,


    I will check out the giveaway as in a few minutes.


  7. That looks so good to eat on a cool day. Yesterday it was rainy here, it would have been perfect!

  8. Oh my gosh, the avacado on top is genius! This is a great meal.

  9. Oh wow, that sounds perfect. I may do this for lunches next week.

  10. Veggie85,

    Thanks! It has to be soup when it is cold and rainy in my opinion.

    I just took a look at your chickpea and spinach nuggets. They look so good and healthy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  11. Brigid,

    Thanks! :) I hope you like it as much as we did.


    You are too kind. I am glad you like the idea. Our chef friend does things like this all the time so credit really needs to go to him. See why I miss his food?

    Thank you all for the nice comments,


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