Dietitian's tip: Brown rice pairs up with beans in this spicy Caribbean dish. Mix and match brown rice varieties to make your own blend, or purchase a packaged blend. If you can't find small red beans, use kidney beans.
- 1 1/2 cups dried small red or kidney beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
- 6 1/2 cups water
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 1/4 cups assorted brown rices, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable stock or broth
- 1 tomato, cored and diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the beans, 4 cups of the water and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender, 60 to 70 minutes. Drain and discard the bay leaves.
While the beans are cooking, combine the rices, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery; saute until the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the allspice, cloves, cayenne, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cooked beans, the vegetable stock, tomato, thyme and hot-pepper sauce. Cook until the vegetable mixture is heated through, 6 to 8 minutes. Divide the rice among warmed individual bowls. Top each serving with beans and sprinkle with the cilantro.