There are quite a few boxes to check for a recipe to become a go-to, heavy rotation dinner in our house.
Is it delcious?
Is it healthy?
Is it something we could eat everyday?
Is it something Emerson will enjoy?
Is it quick enough to prepare on a weeknight?
This recipe happily checks all of the boxes. And it's really less of a recipe and more of a formula. Swap in your favorites if you see something you don't like. The great thing about this recipe is that the components keep well for lunches too, so the leftovers make a satisfying lunch the following day. Not long after Emerson was born I began cooking up a pot of grains and a pot of beans on the weekends. It's great to have both on hand all week for lunches and dinners. If you have beans and rice cooked already, this dinner comes together in minutes.
The original recipe comes from Kate over at the wonderful Cookie and Kate, one of my favorite cooking blogs. Her site has so many recipes that instantly become go-to, heavy hitters. I made a few additions to her recipe, which you can adapt seasonally. Sliced radish or jicama would be fantastic as well. Note: we are bean lovers in our house, so I doubled Kate's original bean recipe.
Kale + Black Bean Bowls
based on Kate's recipe
Roasted Sweet Potato
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 in cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Lime marinated kale
- 1 bunch curly kale, ribs removed and chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ serrano pepper (or jalapeno), seeded and finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Avocado salsa verde
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into big chunks
- ½ cup salsa verde (my favorite is Trader Joe's)
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
Seasoned black beans
- 4 cans black black beans, rinsed and drained (or 8 cups cooked black beans)
- 2/3 cup chopped red onion
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- cherry tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
- quick pickled onions (recipe below)
- hot sauce (optional)
- Cook the rice: Pour the rinsed brown rice into a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. After the water is absorbed, turn off the heat. Take pan off the heat. Place a tea towel over the rice, top with the lid, and let sit for 10 minutes. Then fluff the rice with a fork and season with ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread the potatoes on a pan. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast for 35 minutes, stirring potatoes halfway through.
- Make the kale salad: whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, chopped pepper, cumin and salt. Toss the chopped kale with the lime marinade in a mixing bowl.
- Make the avocado salsa verde: in a food processor or blender, combine the avocado chunks, salsa verde, cilantro and lime juice and blend well.
- Warm the beans: in a sauce pan, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant, then add the beans, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Cook until the beans are warmed through and softened, stirring often, about 5 to 7 minutes. If the beans seem dry at any point, mix in a little splash of water. Mash gently with your spoon.
- To serve, spoon generous portions of rice, beans and kale salad into a bowl along with a couple spoonfuls of avocado salsa verde. Garnish with chopped cherry tomatoes and pickled onion.
- If eating leftovers the next day, I recommend mixing in a little undressed kale to your leftover kale. It perks everything up and adds any extra crunch that might have been lost overnight.
- Quinoa or bulgur work perfectly in place of the rice.
These are a staple in our house. Great on tacos, eggs, burritos, salads.
Quick Pickled OnionsIn a small saucepan bring the following to a boil: 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 medium red onion (thinly sliced) and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove onions from pickling liquid with tongs and set aside in a bowl to cool.