Sans Meal Plan: Puerto Rican-style rice and beans

Being off meal plan has really pushed my culinary boundaries. From making my way through the Smitten Kitchen cookbook to exploring the aisles of Trader Joe’s, I’ve tried it all. (Except maybe duck. I haven’t delved into fancy poultry.) However, when I don’t feel adventurous or I’ve had a hard day, there’s always one recipe I can fall back on: Puerto Rican-style rice and beans. It’s easy, it’s filling, and it reminds me of home. I could also eat it for a week straight and not get bored—an ideal recipe for any off meal plan cook.

Not pictured: the huge mess that is my kitchen.

Not pictured: the huge mess that is my kitchen.

What you’ll need:

  • A couple of tablespoons of olive oil
  • Half an onion, minced
  • 1/3 of a red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 tablespoon of Goya seasoning (I use Cilantro y achiote, but any type works because Goya = food of the Gods.)
  • 1/4 tablespoon of oregano (I used thyme in this recipe, because I am a dorm room cook and I grab whatever herb is at arm’s length.)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons (or 1 large spoonful) of white cooking wine
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • A can of Goya red kidney beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Half of a chicken bouillon cube. Because Puerto Rican-style rice and beans are not strictly vegetarian. Oops.

Phew, that was a mouthful. Now, to the recipe!  Continue Reading