No Waste Recipe: Brazilian style rice,beans and dairy-free rice cakes

Foodie Weekender by Bronte Hogarth

In Brazil it’s safe to say that the overwhelming majority of the population eats rice and beans every day of their lives. Fortunately, besides being inexpensive, rice and beans is also a very nutritious dish and tasty.

Here is a recipe for a traditional Brazilian style rice and beans, along with a recipe of what to do if you have any left-over rice. Good food should never go to waste, sometimes we cook too much rice which ends up getting thrown out when it could be turned into something else delicious like rice cakes. Enjoy!

Brazilian Style Rice

2 cups long grain white rice (or brown rice if you prefer)

4 cups water

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 3.39.04 PMHeat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until limp. Do not let it brown! Add the rice and sauté until the grains become shiny. Add the water, cover the pan, and cook over low heat until all the water is absorbed and the grains are tender.

Serves 6.


2 cups dried beans (black or pinto)

6 cups cold water

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 med onion, finely chopped

salt to taste

img_2288Spread the dried beans on a baking tray and carefully look for spoiled beans. Wash the beans in a colander under cold water thoroughly. Put them in a large bowl, cover with cold water (water should cover well over the surface of the beans). Leave overnight to soak (and in the refrigerator in hotter climates). In the morning, remove any beans that are floating – they are likely spoiled.

**If you don’t have time for an overnight soaking, follow instructions above, and after washing the beans put them in a large heavy saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat, let them boil for 2-3 minutes, then turn off heat, cover the beans and let stand for one hour.

Drain the soaked or pre-boiled beans and place them in a clean large saucepan. Cover with water higher than the surface of the beans in the pot. Add 1 tsp of olive oil and bay leaf, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to bring bean liquid to a very slow boil, cover the saucepan, and cook until the beans are just tender. Cooking time can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the variety and age of the beans. Begin testing the beans after 30 minutes to see if they are done.

Meanwhile, heat the 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-duty frying pan, then add the onion and garlic and saute until they are golden. When the beans are done, add two serving spoonfuls of beans to the pan, then use the back of the serving spoon to mash the beans into the onions and garlic. Return this mixture to the beans in the pot, salt to taste, bring once again to to low boil and cook for 5-10 minutes for the flavor to develop and the liquid to thicken. Serve while hot.

Serves 6

Dairy-free baked Brazilian rice cakes

200g of leftover cooked rice

100g butternut pumpkin chopped (or even better, any leftover vegetables you have in the fridge, carrots, zucchinis etc)

1 small red onion chopped

1 teaspsoon of baking powder

a hand full of fresh coriander leaves

normal or gluten free bread crumbs

30g of potato starch (or corn starch)

125ml of water

Olive oil to drizzle

salt to taste

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 3.47.43 PMPreheat oven to 170c. If using butternut pumpkin, pan fry it and the red onion until soft. If using leftover vegetables, make sure they are chopped.

Using the food processor, mix the leftover rice, coriander leaves and a pinch or two of salt. Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder, then small portions of your vegetables at a time until your mix is the ideal consistency, it should be quite thick and hold together. (If your mix is thin or crumbly, you can add more vegetables).

To finish the rice cakes, you will need to have two bowls. One for the breadcrumbs and the other one for the potato starch. Mix the potato starch with the water, which will be your egg substitute. Then take small amounts of the mix, shape them using your hands, dip them into the potato starch solution, coat them in breadcrumbs and place them in a baking tray lightly greased with olive oil.

Bake the rice cakes for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Turn them, over bake them for another 5 minutes or until the other side is also golden brown.

Serves 4

  • A great way to stop food waste is by cooking the right serving sizes. Try using a serving size calculator if you are unsure.

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