Pinto Beans and Rice with Kale

January 12, 2018

You might not know this about me, but I’ve always liked things that are more complicated or challenging.

It’s not really one of my more charming characteristics and it’s definitely made my life unnecessarily more difficult by design, which is something I’m trying to shift.

My first mantra of the year was “act with compassion. live with ease.” The experience of living with ease is an unfamiliar one, but also one I’d like to have and get to know better, especially when it comes to making food.

For a long time, I always looked for complicated recipes or recipes with lots of spices or unusual ingredients. And as much as I love cooking and exploring in the kitchen, I also love eating and these meals inevitably take more time. Not so great when you have 2 hungry kids who always want to eat 10 minutes ago. Or when you have a tendency to behave badly when hangry…

A few weeks ago, we went out to eat a fantastic Mexican restaurant and I rediscovered my love of pinto beans. I had forgotten how delicious they can be.

This recipe is inspired by the most simple of dishes, beans and rice. I added a little extra green because I think most meals are better off with a little extra green. Sometimes I even toss brussel spouts in the mix. For real. And it’s still delicious.

If you want to spruce up your beans and rice game, check this one out. It’s super simple, super yummy, and a crowd pleaser (well, for everyone except my daughter who thinks beans were created to torture her personally).

Pinto Beans and Rice with Kale

Serves 4


1 cup rice plus 2 cups water

1 Tbs coconut oil or olive oil

2 cans of pinto beans (or if using dried beans, 2 cups of pinto beans plus enough water to cover them by an inch, then cook until soft)

1/2 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp cumin

salt/pepper to taste

1/2 lemon for squeezing

for the kale:

1 or 2 heads or bunches of kale, torn into bite sized pieces (depends how much you like kale. I love it and want a lot of it with this meal. If you just like it, then make less)

optional, 10 brussel sprouts halved

1 tbs coconut or olive oil

1 Tbs shredded coconut



Cook your rice in the water until all water is absorbed and rice is tender soft. Set aside to cool.

Heat a little oil in a medium pot and add the onions. Cook until soft and translucent, then add the garlic and cumin. Stir well for about 30 seconds and add in the pinto beans. Cook until heated through.

Combine the rice and beans in the larger of the 2 pots, then set aside.

Heat oil in a large saucepan. If using brussel sprouts, add them in first, flat side down. Cook for a few minutes until the brussel sprouts brown slightly on the flat side. Add in the kale in batches, plus the shredded coconut. Add salt, as you’re cooking. Doesn’t need much.

Divide the kale and beans/rice into 4 bowls. (Or separate out one serving and save the rest for lunch all week long.) Squeeze a little lemon on top and enjoy warm!

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