Black Beans and Toasted Coconut Rice

by Jennifer

This black bean recipe is my brother’s, modified with actual measurements (a true cook, he creates dishes without the use of measuring cups or spoons), but still delicious.  I like to serve this with diced, roasted sweet potato, and avocado tossed with lime juice, for sprinkling on top.

Serves 4 – 6.

Black Beans

  •  1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 29-oz. can black beans, drained but not rinsed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat;  cook onions and garlic until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Deglaze pan with the vinegar and cook for 1 minute.

Add the beans, lime juice, salt and pepper, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Toasted Coconut Rice – adapted from Cooking Light

  •  1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 cups basmati rice (I prefer brown), rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 TBS chopped cilantro

Heat a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat.  Add the cardamom and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 10 – 15 seconds.

Transfer cardamom to a bowl and add the coconut to the pot, stirring, until it starts to turn golden brown.

Transfer coconut to the bowl with the cardamom.

Return the pot to heat and add the olive oil.  When it shimmers, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Add the coconut and cardamom, the water and salt and bring to a simmer.  Cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes if white rice, 35 minutes if brown.

Fluff with a fork and stir in cilantro.

Roasted Sweet Potato

  •  1 small to medium sweet potato
  • about 1 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper

While the rice and beans are cooking, preheat oven to 400.

Peel and dice the sweet potato, toss with the olive oil, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender.

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