Garlicky Refried Black Beans

I friggin’ love rice n’ beans; it’s pretty much one of my top five ‘go to’ meals when I don’t feel like thinking too hard about what I want to cook. The ingredients are cheap and there’s so many different variations and ways to prepare it. But a real good rice and beans dish is pure comfort: simple, wholesome and soul-filling. Rice and beans have a pretty big cultural significance all throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and areas of the Southern States, where variations using the two ingredients serve as a important and affordable staples of the regions’ traditional diets. The late, great Louisianian jazzman, Louis Armstrong, had such an appreciation for the traditional Creole version using red beans that he signed his personal letters with the phrase “red beans and ricely yours.” I don’t know if ol’ Satchmo would approve of my version, but I know I sure liked it!

Now, I love Mexican food (side note: Torontonians check out Rancho Relaxo’s new vegan menu!), so I decided to go with some refried black beans for this one. You could also use pinto beans. The recipe is incredibly simple and you could easily serve the beans with just plain rice and it’d still be great, but I whipped up a simple parsnip brown rice pilaf that was super tasty and went well with the garlicky beans. I’ll include the recipe for the pilaf below.

Also, my dad is super into wine and has offered to help me with some suggested wine pairings on select blog entries. All wine recommendations will be VQA Niagara Peninsula and totally vegan-friendly according to the helpful online archive over at The Barnivore Vegan Alcohol Directory! For this recipe my dad has suggested either Strewn VQA Merlot 2006 or Inniskillin VQA Pinot Noir 2007 Varietal Series.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 19-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup low-sodium or homemade vegetable broth
Pinch ground cumin (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté garlic, stirring often, until well fragrant. About 1 minute.
2. Add beans, stir through and season with optional cumin and a couple turns from your pepper mill. Cook for about 3 minutes until beans start to break apart a bit.
3. Add vegetable broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Turn heat up and bring to a boil. Immediately turn heat to low and let simmer until beans are softened, about 5 minutes.
4. Turn off heat and mash up the beans until smooth. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper.
Makes: 2-4 servings

Simple Parsnip Brown Rice Pilaf
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 parsnip, cubed or diced
1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and parsnip. Sauté for a couple minutes, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant.
2. Add the brown rice and thyme. Sauté for another couple minutes, stirring often. This will toast the grains a little bit, so they’re tastier when they cook.
3. Add the water or vegetable broth and salt and pepper, to taste. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, immediately turn to low, cover the sauce pan and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed practically all the liquid. Try not to lift the lid and peak before it’s done!
4. Remove from heat and let sit covered for another 5 minutes or so. Lift the lid, give it a little fluff with a fork, season with more salt if needed, and enjoy!
makes: 3-5 servings


5 Responses to “Garlicky Refried Black Beans”

  1. 1 Jay Corder December 24, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Those wine selections look great. A great site for great recipes.

  2. 2 blendtec blender vs vitamix December 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your weblogs are great, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to return in the future.
    Best wishes

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My name is Ross. I'm a food loving vegan and these are some of my recipes. I'm also the owner of Hot Beans vegan takeout in Kensington Market, Toronto. Check out my 'about' page for more info. Enjoy!

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All images and recipes (unless otherwise noted) Copyright © Ross Corder and Vegan Eats Blog, 2009-2013. All rights reserved. Please do not re-post or otherwise duplicate without permission. Thanks! Also, the "gluten-free" recipe tag is meant primarily for cataloging purposes and does not necessarily ensure that the recipe is completely gluten-free. Be careful to read the labels of any pre-packaged products to ensure that they are indeed gluten-free!

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