Coconut Rice and Beans: Recipe #241

We were inspired by a national dish of Belize to make this coconut rice and beans dinner. Belize is a beautiful coastal country in Central America between Mexico and the Caribbean, with jungles and beaches and coral reefs. Not to mention delicious food! Hope you enjoy this little culinary trip to a wonderful new land without having to leave your kitchen.

Thanks to National Foods for global cuisine ideas, and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family! 😍

Ingredients ($5.50 for a potful)

9 small handfuls of dry pinto beans (about 4 cups) – $0.32
5 cloves of garlic, 1 of them crushed – $0.20
1 tbsp coconut oil – $0.55
1 large onion, chopped – $0.50
1/2 bunch kale, chopped – $0.90
1 red pepper, diced – $0.79
1 tbsp minced basil leaves – free from garden
3 mini cans coconut milk (161 mL each) – $1.49
1 1/2 cups dry rice – $0.53
2 cups water – free
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Coconut Rice and Beans

1. If you have time, soak the beans in water overnight first. Then, whether or not they’ve been soaked, put the beans in a large pot filled with water. Drop in 4 whole, peeled garlic cloves. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and boil gently for at least 3-4 hours (if dry) or 1 hour (if pre-soaked). When the beans are tender and not crunchy, drain and rinse them in cool water and set aside.

In the same large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, crushed garlic clove, red pepper, kale, and minced basil leaves. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions and peppers are soft.

2. Add the beans back into the pot with the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Next, add the dry rice, coconut milk, and water. Stir to combine everything thoroughly, and bring back to a boil. Then cover the pot, turn down to medium low heat, and let it simmer for 45 minutes until the rice is cooked and everything has come together nicely into a thick and creamy dish.

Serve the coconut rice and beans with your favorite side dish, or eat it as a complete meal in itself. Enjoy your tropical getaway! 🌴

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Juicy Jerk Chicken: Recipe #150

My husband remembers eating jerk chicken at a favorite Jamaican restaurant when he was younger. I researched it, and it turns out the key ingredients to the seasoning are chili, nutmeg, and thyme – not a combination I would have thought to put on chicken. So we made our own marinade, he barbecued it, and we all enjoyed a juicy jerk chicken dinner with rice and asparagus.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5.50 total)

2 large chicken breasts – $3.27
1/2 tsp each ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and nutmeg – $0.70
1 tsp Cajun seasoning, which is mostly chilies (chili powder could work too) – $0.28
1/4 cup soy sauce – $0.40
1/4 cup olive oil – $0.40
1/4 cup brown sugar – $0.13
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27

Directions for Juicy Jerk Chicken

1. In a small bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients – all the ingredients except the chicken. Mix well.

2. Pour the marinade over the chicken breasts in a glass dish. Cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour (or 30 minutes room temperature if you’re pressed for time). Turn the breasts over several times during the marinade time to coat evenly. Preheat the barbecue near the end of the marinade time, then cook well on each side until there’s no pink in the middle.

3. Serve your juicy jerk chicken over rice with grilled asparagus on the side, or with any other side dishes you like. You can also cook the remaining marinade in a small pot and use it as a sauce for the chicken and rice. This makes a very tasty dinner!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!