Make Easy Beans and Rice all in the Rice Cooker!

easy beans and rice

Today is Earth Day and also the kickoff for U.S. Veg Week 2013 – a perfect day for sharing a vegan recipe: easy beans and rice!

So what do plant-based eating and one little recipe have to do with Earth Day? A lot! Animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and that means any time you choose a meatless meal, you’re doing your bit to help the planet. Eating vegan, even for one day, might seem a little daunting if you’re used to a “meat and three” type plate arrangement, which is why I think that sharing vegan recipes is a powerful form of outreach.

There’s a common misconception that cooking vegan food has to be time consuming. I once went to a pot luck where a friend apologized to me for making a dish I couldn’t eat. She said, “I just didn’t have time to make something vegan.” That really struck me, because it is just so untrue! Sure, there are vegan recipes that take a lot of prep and work. There are animal-based recipes that take a long time to make, too, though. For Earth Day and for Veg Week, I wanted to share a recipe that’s quick, tasty, and inexpensive to pull together.

Easy Beans and Rice

Like I mentioned last week, I’m not quite back to my regularly scheduled cooking routine at the moment, but it does feel good to get in the kitchen when I can. Even if the meal I put together takes less than 5 minutes of prep time. I snuck this into the rice cooker while Darrol was napping, and it was ready in 25 minutes total!

makes 2-3 servings


  • 1 cup basmati rice (or brown rice – your choice!)
  • 1 cup water (up this to 2 cups water if you use brown rice)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans
  • 1/2 a sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • As much chopped kale as you can cram into the cooker’s steamer basket
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Your favorite hot sauce, to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine the rice, water, beans, onions, and dried spices in your rice cooker, cram that kale into the steamer basket, and turn the cooker on.
  2. When the cooker clicks off, divvy up the cooked bean mixture and greens between 2 or 3 bowls, topping each one with fresh cilantro and some sunflower seeds.
3 comments on “Make Easy Beans and Rice all in the Rice Cooker!
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