I figured out one of the reasons I do not see value in Instant Pot is because our meals are not centered around meat anymore. I’m in a habit of packing a large pot with veggies, whole grains and other wholesome plant-based ingredients in a matter of half an hour – 45 minutes, sprinkling cheese at the end for kids’ “wow” factor and serving it with more vegetables, for example tomato and red onion salad. There are always plenty of leftovers the next day, I spent 45 minutes tops in the kitchen (including a clean up) and no Instant Pot can cook me plant-based meals like these. For everything else, there is slow cooker => 9 healthy slow cooker soup recipes are a must this time of the year.
I grew up with meat being centre of almost every lunch and dinner, and my mom still can’t imagine a meal without meat – she can’t believe “where we get so much energy from” every time she visits. Yeah, it’s a miracle I’m still standing, right?! But it’s never too late to change.:) Plants are good for us and eating more plants is healthy and cheaper.
This black beans and brown rice dinner is packed with cumin garlic roasted cauliflower, tangy Kalamata olives, pre-cooked black beans, and cilantro and lime flavours of traditional Mexican rice dish, but mine is way more nutritious. And what about kids? This is why you see lots of olives and Parmesan cheese at the end – my kids’ favourites, so no one complained and ate a ton of plants => 5 ways to make kids eat healthy.
How to Make Black Beans and Brown Rice with Cauliflower
First, you cook brown rice until it’s falling apart but not mushy. For this reason, I do not like short grain brown rice – always comes out as a mush. I prefer long grain or my favourite, basmati brown rice.
While rice is cooking, you have all the time in the world to prepare other ingredients: chop vegetables, rinse black beans etc.
Roast cauliflower with cumin and garlic in batches. If you add all of it to the pot at once, it will cook (steam) rather than roast because its water will be evaporating and creating too much steam in the pot with high walls.
Then you mix everything together and you have got yourself delish one pot veggie packed meal (not vegetarian because of Parmesan cheese but I’m sure there are ways around it with dairy free or other sharp cheese). If you have leftovers, freeze them, and then serve with a side of meat another day – again healthy. For more one pot meals, check out my collection of 18 healthy one pot meals. For example, I think you will be all over my Tex Mex rice and beans with zucchini.
Black Beans and Brown Rice with Cauliflower
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 lbs cauliflower, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups Kalamata olives, pitted & cut in halves
- 15 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tsp cumin, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
- Avocado oil
- 2 limes, juice of
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Cook rice as per package instructions.
- In the meanwhile, chop cauliflower and olives. Preheat large heavy bottom pot or a dutch oven on medium-high heat and add a bit of avocado oil. Divide cauliflower into 2 batches and cook each batch the following way: add cauliflower, cook for 5 minutes or until a bit roasted, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 amount of garlic, cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl and cook remaining half of cauliflower the same way.
- To the same pot with all cauliflower and on medium heat, add black beans, olives, remaining 1 tsp cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, lime juice and fluffed with a fork rice. Stir gently. Add Parmesan and stir until warmed through and cheese has melted, about another minute. Remove from heat and serve warm, with meat on a side or tomato and red onion salad (like me) for a veggie loaded filling meal.