Beans & Rice for the Apocalypse

When I first tried my hand at vegetarianism, circa the year 2000, I was forever perplexed by people saying how much they loved beans and rice. I couldn’t imagine a more boring thing to eat. Had I developed a taste for beans back then, I could’ve probably committed to the veg lifestyle for good, but alas, I wouldn’t learn to make them until 15 or so years later.

I’ve noted before that since arriving in PR, our situation has been a little dicey. Even before we secured our living situation, we were living off of this recipe. We change the type of beans, and I generally always eat this within a burrito setting, including cheese and avocado, and sometimes meat (I try to turn all food into a burrito), so it’s pretty versatile.

Here’s a basic recipe for making beans and rice that we use at home and in the EcoVents catering kitchen. I’m not a professional recipe writer and I use approximate measurements, but beans lend them to variation at any point in the cooking process.

And also, you are probably a seasoned chef. If so, don’t be insulted by me making such a simple recipe. Instead, share with me how you make yours. Thanks in advance!

1-4 onions, chopped
4 oz preferred cooking oil.
1 red, yellow, orange, or green pepper, seeded & chopped. (or 2 tbsp of Sofrito if you have it)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Ground Cumin to taste
Smoked Paprika to taste
Other spices: crushed red pepper, adobo seasoning, Cayenne, etc.
Juice of one lime
1-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can of diced tomato (fire-roasted are best imho), or chopped fresh tomato
1-2 cans Habichuelas/Small White Beans (note: back in PA these are a bit hard to find. Look in the “GOYA” section. They usually have the dried version. Of course, any beans will work, but these mini white beans are my fave)

Serve with 2 cups Basmati Rice, y’all.


  1. As with all cooking, I start by frying the onions in a bunch of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the onions start sizzling,( or before, whenever,) I add all of the spices and the lime juice. Then when the onions are soft, I add the chopped pepper.
  2. Once the pepper & onions are soft and translucent-y, add the tomato & chopped garlic. Then add the beans (you can drain before hand or not. I personally like the liquid).

Lately, my secret weapon has been that I serve these with Basmati rice. It’s the best rice and worth the little price bump. Unfortunately, they were out of Basmati at the store yesterday (boo!).

Enjoy, ya’ll, and don’t forget to tell me what you’re eating while in lock down, especially if it involves beans!

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