This quick and easy curried rice with spinach and black beans makes a great side dish or vegetarian/vegan main meal.
This curried rice with spinach and black beans is my latest obsession. It only takes less than 15 minutes to whip up, and it tastes so good I have to force myself to not eat the entire lot in one sitting.
I’ve been cooking like crazy for the past couple of years. For so long, I was wrapped up on the sweets side, but I’ve been having so much more fun with dinner lately. And by “fun,” I mean throwing stuff in a pan and seeing what happens. I never used to do that, but that’s how this curried rice with spinach and black beans came about. I’ve always been a fan of curry powder, although my experience of the stuff was limited to my grandmother’s “Curried Lamb.” Essentially, she made a white sauce, dumped in some leftover lamb and a bunch of curry powder and served it over rice. Oh my word, I could eat that every day forever. But now, as a grown-up with a kitchen, I’ve been able to move beyond the white sauce for some more practical curry powder uses.
Rice is a staple in our house. This recipe uses cooked rice (which is why this is a great use of leftover rice) because I have picky eaters. So I prepare a bunch of white rice –usually Minute Rice, because I’m always in a hurry–and let the kids have the plain stuff with butter and use the rest for quick and easy recipes. This works as a side dish (try it with some breaded chicken) or as a vegetarian main dish. Omit the butter or use a butter substitute, and this is a fantastic vegan dish, too.
To “chop” the fresh spinach, I use my handy dandy herb scissors. It’s so much faster that way. You’ll also note I add just a touch of honey to this dish at the end. To me, it adds a bit of rounding and depth to the flavor, but honey is optional if you like what you’re tasting before adding it in. Because there is no other liquid than what is added by the butter and/or oil, you may also add a few tablespoons of chicken or vegetable broth if you have it open in the fridge. But it isn’t necessary. Or try adding a bit of white wine.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter (or additional oil or butter substitute)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
- coarse sea salt
- 2 -3 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
- In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir. Heat until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the spinach. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and the curry powder. Stir and cook just until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Move the mixture to the side of the pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the rice and stir the mixture together. If necessary, add additional butter or olive oil. Stir in the black beans and heat through. Add additional salt to taste. Stir in the honey.