Mexican Rice and Beans

I told my husband I was making him Mexican rice and beans and his reaction was less than enthusiastic and I can't quote him but it definitely included the words blah and bland. Now, I'm not really surprised because on its own rice and beans are two very blah and bland items but one taste of this rice made him realize two things: 1) he wants this rice once a week 2) never underestimate your wife- because let me tell you, ain't nothing bland about this dish, this was just a bowl of flavor goodness. I call this Mexican rice because of some basic Mexican flavors I added such as cumin, lime juice, oregano and jalapeno but you can feel free to omit or add whatever seasonings you prefer and make it as spicy as you like. To add freshness I added parsley at the end but to be really authentic, if you prefer the taste of shampoo you could add cilantro (no offense to the cilantro lovers but I'm just not there yet). I cooked the mixture in vegetable broth that I had which added great depth of flavor to the dish but feel free to just use water or water and some bouillon. To me this is practically a main dish- the beans have lots of protein and the brown rice is a great and healthy and because it is so flavorful it really feels like you are eating a dish instead of a side dish. Add some chopped meat to it and it really could become a meal in a pot (you know I love those!) but I didn't think it was necessary and anyway Gallby wouldn't have been too happy. Enjoy!

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, diced
2 Tbl olive oil
1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
3 1/3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or as much liquid as your rice bag says you  need for 1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbl tomato paste
2 Tbl ketchup
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and saute another 2 minutes to get the rice toasted. Add the rest of the ingredients except the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat until the rice is ready (follow the cooking time on your rice package- each brand has different cooking times.


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