This rice and beans dish is a family favorite. A Dominican friend taught me the basics when I was in college, and it's been a staple in my home ever since. Not only is it well-loved by my family, but every friend I've shared this with loves it. It combines tomatoes, ground beef, rice, beans, and some very flavorful seasonings.
I usually use the brown rice that steams in the bag for this recipe—and then I throw some Sazon into the pot to make it yellow. There's also frozen rice that can be steamed in the microwave, which I've used with good results. I recently discovered this beautiful black rice, and I wanted to try it. It has a nice flavor and is whole grain, so I don't have to sacrifice my goals for flavor and a pretty meal. Since I used loose rice that had to be cooked for 40 minutes then left to steam for another 10, the recipe time took longer than I usually like. If you're short on time, just use the regular fast-cooking rice of your preference, and add an extra packet of Sazon to give the rice a rich yellow color. I wanted to increase my veggies, so in this recipe I added some cauliflower rice to the mixture. It doesn't have much of a flavor on it's own, and when it's mixed in, you really don't notice that it's in there because of all of the textures in the dish already. If you are trying to cut down on calories, carbs, or grains, you can just skip the rice and double up on the cauliflower rice instead.
I prefer to cook my meat separate from the tomatoes and beans. I don't think it would make much of a difference, but I like the separation of flavors so nothing tastes too overwhelming. This meal is very forgiving though, and if you want to make cleaning up a bit easier, try cooking the meat then adding the tomatoes, cauliflower rice, and beans to the skillet. Just make sure to drain the oil from the beef before mixing. When I'm using ground beef, I don't have to add any oil to the pan. If I use ground turkey or chicken for this recipe, I add some olive oil to the pan to prevent the meat from sticking since it's leaner.
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: 4 servings
· 1 cup rice
· 1 pound ground beef
· 1 bag (10 oz) cauliflower rice
· 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
· 1 can (14 oz) beans, drained
· 2-3 packets Sazon
· 2 tablespoons adobo
· hot sauce, optional
1. Start by preparing your rice according to package instructions. If you're using white or brown rice, add a packet of Sazon to the water. It'll give the rice an appealing color with a good flavor.
2. While the rice is cooking, start browning the meat in a medium sized skillet on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of adobo and a packet of Sazon.
3. Heat up the cauliflower rice as directed on the package.
4. Put the tomatoes (undrained), beans, and cauliflower rice into a medium sized pot. Add the other tablespoon of adobo and a packet of Sazon. Simmer uncovered on low heat, mixing occasionally.
5. Portion out the rice, the bean/tomato/cauliflower mixture, and the meat onto a plate or in a bowl. Top with some optional hot sauce for an extra kick.
21 Day Fix Container Counts
If you follow the 21 Day Fix, the container counts are:
· 1 red container
· 1.5-2 yellow containers
· 2 green containers
There's a lot you can do with this recipe to vary the ingredients or the flavor. Here's some of the ideas I came up with:
· Beans. I used kidney beans in this recipe, but I've also used black beans or pinto. You can use any kind of beans you prefer for this. Beans are a healthy addition because of the high fiber, which keeps you full longer and helps to bind to fat and flush it out of the body.
· Rice. If you're trying to lower your carbohydrate intake, leave out the rice. Use extra cauliflower rice instead. Just make sure to cook it with the beans and tomatoes, so that it absorbs the bold, vibrant flavors of this dish. You can also use a smaller amount of beans, if desired.
· Meat. I happen to love beef. Not everyone does, and that's ok. If you're trying to stay away from beef, you can use any other protein you like. It can be made with ground turkey or chicken, steak, or chicken breasts. If you're vegetarian or vegan, skip the animal protein and add more beans. You could also use quinoa instead of rice for extra protein, or your preferred plant-based protein source. If you don't keep kosher, you can make this with shrimp or pork chops. I've yet to find a type of protein that didn't work with this dish.
· Vegetables. Onions are often a staple in Hispanic cuisine, so if you like, add them to the meat. If you want to add more vegetables, put in whatever you like. It's really hard to go wrong with this recipe.
· Toppings. I've made this with sliced black olives or jalapeños added on top. If you don't keep kosher, some Greek yogurt, sour cream, or cheese would be perfect. I like to add some hot sauce because I like the kick (Cholula is my preferred brand, as you can see in the picture above). If you want it spicier, add some chili powder or cayenne. Top it with some sliced green onions for a little pop of color and flavor. Guacamole or avocado is an amazing topping, as well.
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