I finally have a recipe to share with you guys! I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, but Kevin and I have both been loving this cold rice and bean salad. I wish I had a better name for it, but I don’t. Sorry! It’s so delicious though, and I love making a big batch of it at the beginning of the week and then having it available for quick and easy lunches or dinners. The best part about this salad is that it gets better as it sits in the fridge!
This recipe is originally from my aunt, but I have made a few modifications to it. I basically just added some extra veggies and cilantro for flavor (and because I LOVE cilantro). The measurements for the veggies are really just estimates so you can definitely change it up – I don’t really measure them at all. I just throw in as much as I want. I have stuck to the measurements for the dressing though, but feel free to experiment with that too if you prefer!
Black Bean and Rice Salad
- 2 ½ cups cooked long-grain white or brown rice (~1 cup uncooked), cooled
- 1 15-oz. can of black beans (or another type that you like), rinsed & drained
- ¾ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ¾ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- ¾ cup chopped orange bell pepper
- ¾ cup chopped green onion
- ¾ cup red onion
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- Cilantro (as much as you like)
- Avocado (optional)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
The first step is to cook the rice. I used jasmine rice, but any long-grain white or brown rice would be fine. We have a rice cooker which I LOVE. It makes cooking rice so easy and pretty much impossible to mess up. Whenever I cook it in a pot it ends up sticking to the bottom no matter what I do!
Once the rice is cooking I get to chopping! I started with three bell peppers and I used about half of each pepper.
I try to chop them pretty small so that there aren’t huge chunks of pepper in the salad. I just prefer smaller pieces! Then I transferred all the peppers into a large bowl.
Next up, the onions! Green onion and red onion.
I really don’t know how much I used, but I did cut it small like the peppers. I tried to keep it all the same size for consistency purposes. These onions went into the bowl along with the peppers.
Next I slice up some spinach. We buy a big container of baby spinach every week, and since the leaves are pretty small I like to stack them up on top of each other then roll it up and slice it into thin pieces. The following pictures will explain what I mean!
Then I washed and dried some cilantro, chopped it up into smaller pieces, and added it to the bowl as well.
Next I drained a can of black beans in the colander and added them to the bowl.
Everything in the bowl together! So many pretty colors 🙂
By this time the rice was finished cooking. In the original recipe it recommends letting the rice cool before adding it to the bowl, but I didn’t. I just threw it in there. I’m not sure if this matters or not. Oh well!
It ends up being a huge bowl of salad!
Next up- the dressing!
I whisked the oil, vinegar, mustard, cumin and garlic in a glass measuring cup until it was well blended. Then I seasoned it with some salt and pepper.
Finally, I added the dressing to the bowl of rice, beans, and veggies and stirred it well.
Then I covered and refrigerated it until we were ready to eat it! You could also eat it warm if you want to, but I haven’t done that yet. I think it’s really refreshing to eat it cold in the summertime.
Kevin loves taking this salad for lunch because he is trying to introduce more variety into his diet and get away from PB&J sandwiches every day. This morning when I made his lunch I put some of the salad into a separate container and put some avocado on top, which is what I do often when I eat it myself. Also, extra pepper because he LOVES pepper 🙂
This recipe is really easy and delicious. The cilantro and the dressing give it a ton of flavor, it keeps well in the fridge, and it makes a ton of salad! I think it would be great to bring to a summer barbecue, and both vegetarians and meat-eaters would enjoy it.
Let me know if you try it and what you think!