Marco Rice and Beans

Time to check in and see how the Challenge went for you!?

I am proud at myself how much space I made in my pantry this last week and also how much money I saved in the grocery store. I have to admit that it somehow makes me a bit uneasy to have such an empty pantry – like I would expect whatever apocalypse coming upon us at any minute – but I think that may be a very natural feeling to have when you are in charge of cooking food in your family – sometimes as often as 2 times a day..

I think that next grocery store run means to stock back up but on grains and beans and pasta which makes it easier to whip up a meal last minute when you decide to do so.. – but that said, at least I managed a shift on the expiry date front and can now start with fresh resources and make smarter choices…

Big lessons learned:  Do a pantry challenge at least every 6 month! Stop buying hummus and start using the 4 jars of Tahini! and last but not least..: dried beans are not for me  (although cheaper) – I prefer canned!

And here we go with my weeks favorite recipe that I have learned from a roommate we had back in London. His name was Marco and he was from Puerto Rico. He cooked this dish at least once a week and ate the leftovers for 2 to 3 days! Thanks for sharing Marco!!

This Rice and Bean dish tastes so authentic that it almost feels like a little vacation in the Caribbean! It is also a great alternative to the mexican chili and a good addition to every potluck! Double the recipe to have leftovers – it’s worth it!!

Marcos Rice and Beans

serves: 6 – prep time: 5 min – cooking time: 35 min

Image result for rice and beans

4 cans of Kidney Beans – or mix 2 kidney with 2 black beans or pinto beans – the recipe calls for the cans with the juice although I prefer to rinse my beans and add 2 cups of water instead

1 big onion

1 green pepper

1 big bunch of cilantro

1 Tbsp dried oregano


4 cloves of garlic

5 rashers of bacon

1 tube of tomato paste (equals 5 oz or 140g)

*1/2 butternut squash – cut in cubes and steam or bake until soft then mash with a fork or potato masher

*2 cups of rice – wash and rinse – add a dash of olive oil and salt and cook slow and covered until the water is absorbed

First: set up the rice and the squash to cook

then start the bean dish by cutting the rashers of bacon and fry them in a deep large pot (5 min)

meanwhile cut the onion, pepper, garlic and cilantro – just roughly chop them as they go in a food processor or blender anyway – blend with salt/pepper and the Oregano until smooth

add the mix to the bacon and fry for another 5 minutes

add the tomato paste and fry for another 5 minutes

add the canned beans with the juice or add the rinsed beans and add 2 cups of water

cover and cook for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat – stir from time to time so the beans don’t get stuck to the bottom

add the mashed squash and let sit for 10 minutes to thicken

serve with your rice of choice and sprinkle with cilantro

Buen provecho!

*in front of an ingredient means, that I added the recipe next to where I listed the ingredient..



  1. jessica becker · January 25, 2017

    Yum! Thank you Karo!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Annie · January 26, 2017

    Mmmmm delicious! I loved this and it’s awesome that it pairs with everything! Fish, chicken, steak, tofu!
    I have been and still continue to only eat my pantry starches… but sadly I keep Buying things to fill it back up! Ha!

    I added a dab of cholula hot sauce to the beans and it made the dish ! Gave it that Caribbean kick I wanted.

    Thank you for sharing! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

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