Pantry-inspired rice and beans for when you’re in a pinch

blackbeansWhether you’re in a pinch for a nutritious meal or watching your family’s food budget, the simplest solution to a healthy, cost-effective meal is often staring right at you in your pantry.

Understandably, your response to a bare refrigerator might be to bypass the cupboards and head straight to the grocery store, order food in, or pick up takeout, which can be unnecessarily costly.

But don’t forget to turn to your trusty pantry. More often than not, your cupboards contain a wide variety of ingredients, including good-for-you grains and canned legumes, to whip up a nutrient-rich, economical and satisfying meal.

Plus, with the following pantry-inspired rice and bean dish to motivate you — a staple in most Latin American countries — you’ll be well on your way to a healthy and thrifty meal the whole family can enjoy!

Cilantro-lime black bean and rice salad


2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium-sized onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
1 tsp. freshly ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 can (398 ml) black beans
1 lime, freshly juiced
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Tofutti Sour Supreme


Heat the oil in a medium pot, add the onion and garlic, and sauté until golden. Add the rice, and stir the mixture for two minutes. Add the cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper, and continue stirring.

Add one and a half cups of water, and bring the water to a simmer. Cover, and cook the rice for 45 minutes.

Once the rice is cooked, drain and wash the black beans, and add to the rice mixture. Mix in lime juice and a handful of chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For added flavour, plate each serving with a generous dollop of Tofutti Sour Supreme, and enjoy!