Lunch at home often features some sort of bowl assembly, with my default being a good ol' bowl of beans and rice. As simple and boring as that combination may sound, I hardly tire of it. Sometimes I do feel like dressing the pair up a bit, so for a recent meal, I did just that. How does one kick up plain rice and seasoned black beans? Make lime cilantro brown rice and a spicy blend of soy and black beans, add a bit of blanched spinach, and top it all with a blob of fresh guacamole. Sure, it's still very simple and only slightly less boring than just beans and rice, but the combination is actually completely delicious and quite satisfying.
For the Lime Cilantro Brown Rice (printable recipe here), I pulled out my tiny-but-reliable three-cup, single-button rice cooker to do the cooking. Here's what you need, should you feel like trying this (yields about four servings):
1 1/2 c brown rice, rinsed and drained
3 c water (or the appropriate amount specified for your rice cooker)
1 tsp ground cumin
Juice of one lime, divided
Zest of half a lime
1/4 tsp salt
1 dried chili (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
Put everything but the cilantro and half of the lime juice into a rice cooker, stirring to combine. Cook according to your rice cooker's instructions. Alternatively, you can put everything but the cilantro and half the lime juice into a medium-sized pot, stir and bring it to a boil, reduce to low heat and cover, cooking until the water is evaporated and the rice is completely cooked. For either method, once the rice is done cooking, discard the bay leaf and chili. Add the remaining lime juice and cilantro, fluffing the rice to combine. Serve warm.
The spicy soy and black beans resulted from having only a single can of black beans on hand and a surplus of cooked soybeans. I like fitting leafy greens into my meals whenever I can, so blanched spinach--my go-to green--made its way into the bowl. And of course, guacamole adds a cool and creamy touch. All of that extra guac paired oh-so-fabulously with an abundance of baked corn tortilla chips (each in bowls of their very own, of course).
I hope I didn't bore you too much by extolling food bowls. Now go arm yourself with chopsticks, have yourself a bowl of your liking, and enjoy!