In my ongoing quest to eat more vegetables, I’ve been randomly trying a few things from Mark Bittman’s encyclopedic How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It has all kinds of things I’d never thought to try, or known existed. The number of bean dishes alone could be a book all to itself.
This recipe turned out to be delicious. Comfort food without animal fats—coconut milk instead. It’s not labor intensive, and it has this wonderful crusty finish.
Here’s my version of the recipe, using canned beans and brown rice. Please note, if you’re using the original recipe with dried kidney beans, you should pre-cook them alone and then add in to the recipe, as dried kidney beans have strong toxins that need to be rinsed away after cooking. Look on the FDA website for more info.
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 fresh hot chili, cored, seeded and chopped *
1 TB minced garlic
3/4 cup canned kidney beans
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice (I used brown)
1 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put the oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium. A minute later, add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add beans and cook together for a few minutes.
2) Use a potato masher or back of a spoon to smoosh the beans in the pot (not too smooshy).
3) Stir in the rice, coconut milk, and a good amount of salt and pepper (watch the salt since you’re using canned beans since they will already be salted). If you don’t want a crust to develop, cover the pot. Bake in the oven until the rice is tender, around 60+ minutes with brown rice (less for white rice), adding water as needed. I probably added at least a cup, maybe more, of water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add thyme. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days (reheat and stir in a little water and olive oil just before serving).
*I subbed bell pepper since I was hoping the kids would want to try this one. They didn’t, so I wished I had used the hot pepper instead, which I think would make it even better. I’m also thinking I’d add a little squeeze of lime on top next time.
Here’s what it looked like going into the oven:
Have a great weekend!