Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spanish Rice and Black Beans Topped with Queso

Last night for dinner we had a simple dinner of Spanish rice with black beans topped with cashew queso and a salad. This is an easy meal that you toss together quickly if you have the prepared beans on hand. When I make beans I always start with a pound and then use some immediately and freeze the remainder in containers equivalent to a can (1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups).

You can change this dish by adding any veggies you have on hand to the mix. Today is grocery shopping day at our house so the veggie selection was quite limited last night. In the past I have added broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini or sweet potatoes to this dish. All of them work fine and if you add enough of them this can easily become a one dish meal. Here is what we had last night.

Spanish Rice with Black Beans Topped with Queso
Serves 4


1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 sachet of 4 bay leaves, 2 smashed garlic cloves and 12 black peppercorns
½ yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 carrots, finely diced
4 stalks celery, finely diced
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups cooked black beans
10 ounces rotel tomatoes with chilies
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
Cashew queso for the top of the dish


Combine the rice, water and sachet and bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes. If the water has been absorbed turn off the heat, put the lid back on the pot and allow the rice to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes to finish. Fluff with a fork.

Water sauté the onion, garlic, carrots and celery until soft. Add the black beans, tomatoes (with liquid), oregano, cumin, chili powder and cooked rice.  Cook until everything is hot, probably under 5  minutes.

To serve top the rice and beans with some of the cashew queso sauce. Fresh cilantro would be great on this dish.  I also finished with salt and freshly ground pepper.

I mostly followed the recipe for the queso sauce linked above except that I made the following changes:

• Eliminated the canned tomatoes and replaced them with a 10 ounce can of rotel
• Added 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, since there were no omni’s eating this.
• Added oregano, cumin, and chili powder, all to taste

Nutritional Information (does not include queso):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 316.23
Calories From Fat (7%) - 23.06

Total Fat - 2.74g
Saturated Fat - 0.54g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 395.48mg
Potassium - 777.42mg
Total Carbohydrates - 63.75g
Fiber - 10.9g
Sugar - 4.11g
Protein - 11.52g

This is one of our favorite quick dinners. We always have this with a big green salad to make certain we get plenty of nutrition. It is also great spicy if you want to add crushed red pepper flakes or hot crushed peppers (wet hots).

Each serving of this grain and bean dish contains approximately 8000IU of vitamin A, 100mg of calcium, 140mcg of folate, 300mg of phosphorus, 140mg of magnesium, and 13mcg of selenium.

Unrelated note:

Today I will be trying to set up my Wheatgrass Growing Kit. This is more than a little outside of my comfort zone. Additionally I am not the best gardener, although I do try, which makes this endeavor iffy at best. I will let you all know how easy it is to grow wheatgrass at home. If I can do, which only time will tell, then anybody can.

For now I am off to exercise. But will be back later with another green salad, this time with fruit and nuts. I hope you are all having a great day.


  1. My hubby loves rice dishes. He would so appreciate this one!

  2. Heather,

    Thanks! This recipe is good and quick. We all need those types of recipes for those days when we don't have time to spend in the kitchen.

    hope your day is going well,

  3. The recipe looks great, but the link for the cheese sauce took me to the blogger home page.... weird.

  4. Neca,

    Thanks for the compliment and letting me know there is a problem with the link. I will try to fix it now.


  5. SV,

    Thanks! :-) It reheats well in the microwave too. I just had some of the leftovers for lunch.


  6. This looks really hearty and satisfying, I can see how your sachets with bay and garlic would add a nice dimension of flavor. The "cheese" sauce looks really good too.

  7. Rose,

    I think this is something John will like too. Some of the leftovers were my lunch today. I added some salsa, and liked the cold and hot contrast along with more heat.

    The sachets make a big difference with rice and potatoes. Since I think aroma is a big part of enjoying food, I believe that is why I like the sachets so much.

    talk to you later,

  8. I can never have too many bean recipes, I adore them, so thanks for sharing this one. It looks delicious and I am always happy with a one dish meal ;)
    I am cooking beans today too:) The house always smells good when there's a big pot of beans cooking.

  9. Janet,

    I feel the same way about bean dishes. We eat them so often I am always looking for something different.

    Can't wait to see what you do with your beans. :-)


  10. Wow Alicia, this blows my midwestern mind! This looks so good! I have to try this soon!
    Everything you makes looks excellent!

  11. Brandi,

    Thanks! What a nice compliment! BTW, I am a transplanted midwesterner. ;)

    talk to you later,

  12. Amazing that something with such simple ingredients can look so incredibly good! I would make this for the sauce alone, I think. Gotta try this one! :)

  13. Ricki,

    This is one of my quick go to dishes. Since I almost always have cooked beans in the frig or freezer this one is a breeze The sauce does make it. My hubby adores the sauce. I hope you like it too!


  14. I've transitioned away from canned beans since September and now cook from dry. And I miss the convenience. So the idea to freeze pre-cooked beans is awsome and one I wouldn't have thought of myself. Thanks for the great tip and the yummy looking recipe.

  15. Shannon,

    Yay to you for only making beans from dry. That is a great way to avoid unnecessary added sodium as well as another canned food (and the resulting BPA). I have been freezing beans for ages. I prefer to freeze them in their cooking liquid as I think it results in better texture. Less opportunity for freezer burn. However they will defrost more quickly if they are frozen without the cooking liquid. I hope that wasn't too much info. LOL

    talk to you later,


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