Cooking Family Meals on a Budget: Latin Style Rice & Beans

Whether you're a family of two, four or eight, cooking family meals on a budget  is most likely something you spend time thinking about. Following our popular series, Cooking on a Budget of $25 or Less, we'll be sharing budget friendly recipes and tips all spring long.

brownrice-ccflcr-robqld.jpgOur tip this month:  Use a pantry staple you already have on hand for your recipe's base. This can be a legume, like a bean or lentil, a grain, like a pasta or noodle, or, one of the friendliest pantry staples - rice. Brown, white, jasmine and wild are just a few of our favorites. This week, we're sharing our special recipe for Spanish Style Rice & Beans, which gets its pack of flavor from our homemade sofrito. Sofrito is a base used in many Latin dishes, made with peppers, cilantros and spices. We've shared ours below. We suggest doubling this recipe and inviting your abuelos over for dinner. !Buen Provecho!

Spanish Style Rice & Beans 

For the Rice (yields 3 cups)

  • 1 cup Brown Rice                   
  • 1 tsp Tomato Paste 
  • 1 tsp Cumin 
  •  1 tbsp Oil 
  • 2 cup Water 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in a deep pot or saucepan
  2. Add cumin and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add brown rice and cook for another 1-2 minutes
  4. Add water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let simmer for 30-45 minutes
  5. Season with salt & pepper to taste
For the Beans (yields ~2.5 cups)
  • 1 cup dried Red Beans (Can be replaced with canned beans if dried beans are not available)
  • 1/2 tbsp Sofrito  (See recipe below)
  • 1/2 tsp Tomato Paste  
  •  1 tbsp Oil 
  •  2 cups Water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Sofrito (yields 2 cups)
  •  1 cup Cilantro 
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro Acho (can be found at a latin supermarket) 
  •  1/2 cup Green or Red Peppers 
  • 1 tsp Cumin 
  • 1 tsp Oregano 
  • 1 cup  Onions 
  • 5 cloves Garlic 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
rice and beans sofrito.jpgDirections:
  1. Soak red beans overnight.
  2. Boil red beans until cooked through and set aside.
  3. Add all sofrito ingredients to blender and blend to desired consistency.
  4. Heat up oil in a pot.
  5. Add sofrito and tomato paste to the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes
  6. Add red beans and water. 
  7. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Adjust consistency with water if it is too thick.
  9. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
To Assemble
  1. Combine rice, beans and sofrito in a large bowl. 
  2. Season to taste with salt & pepper
  3. Enjoy!
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