Mexican Brown Rice and Beans

IMG_0677Hi all– When our boys were small, Larry and I lived a year in Costa Rica, going to a Spanish language school there.  One week we boarded a bus down to the Coast for a stay on the black sand beaches.  We’d watch the crabs and iguanas in the jungly gardens and splash in the warm waves with our boys til the sun went down.  And for breakfast out on the courtyard, we’d have plates of colorful papaya and pineapple next to mounds of “Gallo Pinto”, beans and rice.  It was a staple there and a hearty way to start the day.  So when I ran across a version of this recipe, I was glad to meet up again with this old friend–a pleasing pile of beans & rice.

olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped, divided
1 cup brown rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cilantro, divided
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 chipotle pepper, seeded & minced*
1 tab. olive oil
1 tab. lime juice
garlic salt
1 avocado, cut into nice chunks
1/3 cup cortijo (Mexican) cheese, crumbled

Pour one splash of olive oil in a pan and heat it up.  Drop in 1/4 of the chopped onion and cook until it’s soft.  Then add the brown rice.  Mix in the salt and 3 cups of water. Cover with a lid.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low for about 30 to 35 minutes until it’s tender.

Meanwhile in another pan heat another splash of olive oil and add about half the chopped onion.  Cook until soft.  Then stir in the minced garlic and cook a minute more.  Add the rinsed black beans and the cumin and simmer on low 5 minutes.

To make the salsa, combine the cherry tomatoes, chipotle pepper, 1 tab. olive oil, lime juice and sprinkle with garlic salt to taste.

Cut the avocado into chunks and when the rice is cooked through, arrange the beans and rice on a platter.  Top with the salsa, chunked avocado and crumble the cortijo cheese on top.  Then dig in to this colorful dish.

*Add more chipotle, if you like more spice!

P.S. Here’s pics of us on that Costa Rican holiday in 1983…
. . . . . . . .29701_444158674664_768234664_5582015_1197645_n     29701_444158699664_768234664_5582016_7444148_n     29701_444158869664_768234664_5582026_3611508_n. . . . . . . . . .

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