This colorful Mexican rice bowl, filled with fresh flavor and great texture, makes an easy and affordable everyday main dish.
From Toni Okamoto, author of Plant-Based on a Budget: When I started writing this book, I knew I wanted it to be as healthy as possible while still delivering heaps of flavor.
One of my typical swaps is white rice for brown rice. But, alas, in this recipe, it was just too much of a compromise on the flavor. The truth is that Mexican rice is much, much tastier with white rice. Brown rice, while wonderful in other dishes, is just a letdown here. So I’m sticking to my white-rice guns in this Mexican Rice Bowl.
If you’re strongly opposed to eating white rice, you can make this exact recipe using quinoa instead and it’s still really good. Recipe and photos from Plant-Based on a Budget: Delicious Vegan Recipes for Under $30 a Week, in Less Than 30 Minutes a Meal by Toni Okamoto (BenBella Books) ©2019, reprinted by permission.
Rice (or Quinoa) Base
- 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
- ½ cup diced red, white, or yellow onion (about ½ medium onion)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 small cloves)
- 1 cup medium-grain white rice or quinoa
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 (15-ounce) can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped lettuce or spinach
- 1 handful chopped tomato
Optional Additions (add any or all in step 3)
- 1 handful chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup corn kernels
- ¼ cup frozen peas and chopped carrots
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a medium pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion becomes tender and translucent.
- Add the uncooked rice (or quinoa) and cook until it’s golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, salt, and water and stir. Stir in any or all of the optional ingredients at this point as well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pan with a lid, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Fluff the rice (or quinoa) and serve it topped with the beans, lettuce, and tomato.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 319Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 9gSugar: 6gProtein: 12g
More about Plant-Based on a Budget by Toni Okamoto
Between low-paying jobs, car troubles, student loans, vet bills, and trying to pay down credit card debt, Toni Okamoto spent most of her early adult life living paycheck to paycheck. So when she became a vegan at age 20, she worried: How would she be able to afford that kind of lifestyle change? Then she discovered how to be plant-based on a budget.
Through her popular website, Toni has taught hundreds of thousands of people how to eat a plant-strong diet while saving money in the process. With Plant-Based on a Budget, going vegan is not only an attainable goal, but the best choice for your health, the planet—and your wallet.
Toni’s guidance doesn’t just help you save money—it helps you save time, too. Every recipe in this book can be ready in around 30 minutes or less.
Through her imaginative and incredibly customizable recipes, Toni empowers readers to make their own substitutions based on the ingredients they have on hand, reducing food waste in the process.
With a foreword by Michael Greger, MD, Plant-Based on a Budget gives you everything you need to make plant-based eating easy, accessible, and most of all, affordable.
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