Recipes

Vegan Jamaican-style Beans and Greens with Coconut Rice

This is one of my proudest recipes: cooked completely off the top of my head on a whim, using what I had on hand. And it’s one of my favorites now too. It’s hearty, it’s comforting, it’s nutritious. Not to mention, it’s really simple, doesn’t require many ingredients, and ingredients can be easily substituted (a quarantine must!): instead of the kale you could try collards, chard or other greens, and you could use black beans instead of red kidney beans.

I never found a Jamaican red beans and rice recipe I really liked, but I knew I could find one someday because I’ve loved it in restaurants before… all it took was randomly combining things myself! And the best part is, this was the perfect way to use up kale from my garden that had gotten really big. This recipe really made the kale shine!

Now my Caribbean beans have some competition for my favorite bean recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white long-grain rice (or brown rice, but add an extra cup of water)
  • 1 can of coconut milk, with 1/2c of it set aside
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves minced garlic, 2 cloves set aside
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
  • 2 tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 1 tsp chick’n bouillon (or veggie bouillon)*
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*You can also sub chickenless seasoning or other umami seasoning, but you probably won’t need a whole teaspoon of it if you do.

Directions:

  1. Make the rice: add the rice, water, and 1/2c of coconut milk to a rice cooker and start it. (Or make it using your preferred method, but substituting 1/2c coconut milk for 1/2c water)
  2. Add the onion to a pot over medium heat and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and saute 3 more minutes. Add water or oil if necessary to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the beans, the rest of the can of coconut milk, Jamaican spice mix, and chick’n bouillon to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. While the beans are simmering, prepare the kale: add the chopped kale, 2 cloves minced garlic, a splash of water or oil, and 1/4 tsp salt to a pan over medium heat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and tender, about 8 minutes. Taste it and add more salt if needed–it should be a bit too salty to want to eat it on its own. (But that’s what makes it extra amazing in the beans!)
  5. After the beans have simmered for 10 minutes, smash some of them in the pot with the back of a wooden spoon. You want about half of them to be whole beans, half broken/smashed.
  6. Continue simmering until the beans are tender and melt in your mouth, about 5-10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, erring on the side of undersalted. Add broth if they have dried out too much; you want them to be a similar consistency to the pictures here. Then stir in the kale.
  7. Serve with coconut rice, and top with additional sauteed kale if you have extra! (The more, the better, honestly.)

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Recipes

Vegan Caribbean Beans Recipe

Black beans, pinto beans, brown rice, avocado recipe

Today I’m sharing my favorite bean recipe of all time. That’s a serious statement given how often I make beans.

It’s based on a recipe my mom made when I was a kid, and since then I’ve veganized & modified it, and have been making it by feel ever since. But today’s the day… after years and years, I finally wrote it down.

Cue applause. 😛  (It may come as a surprise since I often post recipes, but I usually don’t write them down otherwise!)

These are my favorite beans not only because of the taste, but because they’re easy to make, involving almost no chopping if you have a food processor. Bonus: I’ve discovered they’re the perfect way to use up hot peppers from the garden, and tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, & herbs to boot–and this recipe really makes them shine. They’re also one of my favorite bulk cooking recipes because the flavor actually gets even better over the course of a few days.

Not to mention, they’re really versatile, and can be dressed up or down depending on your mood. As a kid we had them in cheese-topped tortillas, and now my usual go-to is with brown rice and avocado. They also go great as part of a salad!

Vegan caribbean beans recipe with avocado

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 15oz cans black beans, drained and washed
  • 1 – 15oz can pinto beans, drained and washed
  • 1 large yellow or white onion
  • 2 cups bell peppers, any color
  • 1 cup fresh tomato
  • 3 tsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • Heaping 1/4c fresh parsley
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2-3 small medium-hot peppers* (~3 tbsp worth)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4c dry white wine
  • Topping ideas: Avocado, fresh tomato, scallions, hot sauce, vegan cheese

*Every hot pepper I’ve tried has tasted good in it, and I often mix and match: jalapeno, garden salsa, anaheim… try experimenting with your favorite peppers! Or try 1/2+ tsp dried cayenne to taste.

Directions:

  1. Chop the onions and bell peppers, either by hand or in a food processor. Add to a pot over medium heat and sauté around 5 minutes or until the onions begin to get translucent.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the vinegar, wine, oregano, parsley, garlic, and hot peppers. Blend briefly until everything looks approximately minced–do not blend until smooth. (Careful not to inhale it right after it’s done blending, the hot pepper can sting your nose!)
  3. Chop or food-process tomatoes until diced, and add them to the pot with the onions and bell peppers. Also add the blended herb mixture, and the rest of the ingredients (beans, cumin).
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes, until everything is tender and combined.
  5. Blend 1/2 to 3/4 of the pot, depending on how pureed you want your beans. If you puree them a lot they’ll be like black bean soup, and if you puree them less they’ll likely stay in tacos better–it’s up to your personal taste! I usually coarsely blend around 2/3 of it.
  6. Serve on its own, with rice, or in a burrito or taco.

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