One summer in high school, I went on a mission trip to Belize. And during one of the stupid “get to know you” games we played with the teenagers there, I learned that apparently EVERYONE in the town we were in had the same favorite food: Red Beans and Rice. It was kind of funny hearing about 20 people have the same favorite food for some reason. After that trip, I tried making it a couple time on my own, just winging it. It turned out edible, but really bland. I was disappointed but still really wanted to try and make it because it is a really healthy dish.
Then I was browsing Pinterest for some really cheap recipes because of the “broke college kid” situation. And I found this one! I was really pumped because the solution to my bland problem was just cooking the rice with the beans and a liberal amount of paprika. I felt like an idiot, but it’s ok.
The reason this is such a cheap recipe is because rice and beans are two of the cheapest ingredients to include in a meal, and this one just uses those two (plus paprika) to make an awesome filling dish. Beans are also a great source of protein and are low in fat, so you are making a healthy meal too! Much better than ramen noodles or a can of soup. Plus, this recipe makes plenty of food to save some and reheat later. It basically encourages laziness.
One of the other selling points that really lured me in? It is one of those one-pot meals. You can even make it in your rice cooker if you want to! I just did it in a pot on the stove because I don’t have a rice cooker and it worked great. This is also originally a vegetarian recipe, but I botched that a little bit because I used a chicken bouillon cube to flavor the rice a little bit. You can always use vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian, I just had bouillon cubes on hand and no vegetable stock. Convenience wins. We killed the vegetarian idea even more because Trusty Sidekick has this weird thing where he thinks nothing is a real meal unless it has meat in it. So I just cooked up some ground beef with taco seasoning and mixed in into the rice and beans once they were done. Totally unnecessary, but I was dealing with a manchild and it couldn’t be helped. I’m not going to include the ground beef in the recipe though.
And without further ado, here is the price breakdown:
- 2 C. rice: $0.25
- 1 can red beans: $1.00
- chicken bouillon cube: $0.05
- 3 cloves garlic: $0.25
- The amount of paprika is not even $0.05 so I won’t include it.
Total: $1.55 (I know this seems impossible, but seriously, that is how much I spent! Using vegetable stock shouldn’t change this price that much either.)
- 2 C. rice (either white or brown work)
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 4 C. water
- Rinse the beans at least two times in the can and mince garlic.
- Put the beans and dry rice into the pot on your stove (or rice cooker) with 4 C. water, bouillon cube, paprika, and garlic.
- Cover the pot and heat until the water begins boiling. Reduce the heat so the water simmers. For a rice cooker, just press start and leave for 40 mins.
- Leave for about 40 mins and DO NOT take off the lid. It releases the steam and the rice won’t cook as well.
- Once all the water is absorbed, it is ready to serve! Dish it out and enjoy.
Hope you all enjoy!