Latinos and rice…
If there’s one thing that I can’t live without … It’s RICE!!! The first solid food that practically every Hispanic toddler has, will almost always be a bowl of Arroz y habichuelas. The bowls vary from country to country, but it’s a rite of passage that every mom is eager to share with the rest of the family. Having your first bowl of rice and beans is like a Quinceanera, it’s your official introduction to Hispanic society.
I don’t remember my first bowl of rice and beans. However, you never forget the smell of perfectly cooked rice. When rice is cooked, it releases aromas and if you’re like me, the smell transports you back to blissful memories of family and loved ones. So with this in mind, I knew my arroz y habichuelas recipe needed to be fragrant.
Ingredients for a vegan rice and beans dish with Latin Caribbean flavors and zero addtitives.
Growing up in a Hispanic household, we ate rice almost every day and practically with every meal. However, as amazing as it was, I now know that it wasn’t exactly the healthiest. While living in the UK, I found it hard to find many of the Hispanic products that we cooked with back home. After living in London for a few months, my mom shipped me a box full of every typical Hispanic seasoning you can think of. I was so happy! I couldn’t wait to dive into the kitchen, and boy did I dive in!
The problem was that after we ate, we got that “I don’t feel so good feeling”. I hadn’t cooked with these ingredients in months. However, I’m grateful that I did, because putting them back into our diet helped me realize how much they actually affect us. This was the moment when I removed these ingredients from our diet entirely, and now use natural spices and whole foods instead. You can find my homemade adobo blend HERE. Give it a try and Let me know what you think.
I came up with this vegan Arroz y habichuelas con coco dish that is packed with flavor and aromatics, which leave you fully satisfied. The coconut is extremely fragrant transports you back to the Caribbean just with one bite.
More delicious vegan recipes to try
This arroz y habichuelas con coco recipe is borrowed from our plant-based Latin food concept El Colmadito. At El Colmadito we make Dominican classics but with a vegan twist. Check out some more of El colmadito’s dishes like Ensalada de papa, or my go sauce for EVERYTHING mighty mojo garlic sauce!
Here’s my vegan Arroz y habichuelas con coco recipe made with only whole foods. Try it with myvegan Chicharrón de Pollo (that’s fried chicken in Spanish FYI) for a hearty vegan comfort meal! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Arroz y habichuelas con coco (Coconut rice and beans)
- Medium pot with lid
- 2 Medium onions
- 5 Fresh garlic cloves (peeled & chopped)
- 2 Tsp Granulated garlic
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika (Regular paprika works well too)
- ½ Tsp Ground black pepper
- ½ Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Onion powder
- 1 Tsp celery salt
- 1 TBSP Salt
- 1 Vegetable stock cube
- ¼ cup Coconut oil (Substitute with any cooking oil)
- 1 Cup Frozen shredded coconut (Fresh coconut will work if the excess water is removed)
- 1 400g can Drained Red kidney beans
- 1 small bunch Cilantro (Tied with a rubber band or twine)
- 3 ½ cups long grain Rice
- 2 cups Hot water
- 1 400g Coconut milk
- On medium heat, add oil to the pot.
- Once the oil is warm, add onion and fresh garlic to sauté until translucent (about 5 mins).
- Add granulated garlic, paprika, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, celery salt, and salt, to the pot. Mix until the spices are warmed through.
- Add the shredded coconut and mix. Let the coconut mixture simmer for about 5 minutes until the garlic and coconut start to turn brown.
- Add red kidney beans, & mix well.
- Add rice. Mix until fully combined and let the mixture warm through for about 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add the vegetable stock cube to the hot water. Then add the hot water to the pot.
- Add the cilantro bunch, then mix. Leave the heat on medium-high, uncovered, and let the rice simmer until the water evaporates completely. ***Do not mix while evaporating.
- Add the coconut milk and mix well. Let the rice simmer again until the coconut milk evaporates completely. ***Do not mix while evaporating.
- Mix the rice thoroughly one last time, cover pot, and reduce heat to low. Rice should cook on low for about 25 mins. ***Do not open the pot before this as the steam will rush out.
- After 25 mins uncover the pot. The rice should be fluffy with a beautiful color. Give it a good mix. Pull out the cilantro bunch and toss...And that’s it! ENJOY!
- Running onions through some warm water before chopping keeps the tears away.
- Always warm up spices to bring out the aromatics and flavors more.
- Adding rice before any liquids allows for the rice to soak up the spices better.
- Over mixing rice leads to sticky rice, we DON’T want that.
- Tying herbs together or using a cheesecloth pouch helps you pick them out easier later.
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