Problems with Rice and Beans

I was completely oblivious to the concept of ‘complete proteins’ until recently.  If you don’t eat meat, or don’t eat a lot of meat, which is my new plan, you need to make sure you’re getting all 21 essential amino acids (12 are produced by our bodies, and 9 come from food).  Animal proteins are complete proteins, as are things like hummus and pita, peanut butter and whole grain toast, or quinoa.  One of the seemingly simplest complete proteins is beans and rice; it’s like they were made for each other.


But I have problems with beans and rice (no, not the kind of problems that require Beano). I’ve never been able to properly cook rice.  I always follow the package instructions, cook for exactly the right amount of time, and my rice is always mushy.  So I started using less water, and then my rice would stick to the pan or be too dry.  Brown rice is an even bigger issue.  It’s like that extra 20-30 minutes of cooking time it requires allows it to just completely turn to glue.  Hence the reason I don’t cook rice that often.  I’m a pasta girl, always have been; but now this complete protein thing is totally screwing me up.

My issue is twofold.  Beans from a can, no problemo.   Open, drain, rinse, use.  But aren’t dried beans are better for you and cheaper?  No matter what I do, I can’t seem to cook dried beans properly either.  I soak them overnight, then boil them for an hour in my soup, I even tried cooking them on low in my slow cooker.  Nothing works. They are either hard as little rocks, or completely over cooked (slow cooker method).  


So I’m kind of at my wits end with this beans and rice business.  Any suggestions, comments or recipes would be greatly appreciated.  I really don’t want to go back to eating a lot of meat, I’m totally turned off by it now.  But since making chicken takes less time than dealing with beans and brown rice, I get why people like it so much!


3 thoughts on “Problems with Rice and Beans”

  1. I just made black beans the other night; soaked them over night, then drained that water and filled the pot with fresh water, 3 cups water per 1 cup beans. Boiled them for about 2.5 hrs with garlic, oregano, & epazote, adding water so there is always about 2 inches of water above the beans. Turned out not too bad, and probably could have boiled for a bit longer. I find its annoying to cook them because they take so long, but I’ve decided I don’t want to use canned beans anymore because of the bpa in the cans. Hope that helps!

  2. Well, I soak my beans overnight and boil them depending for about 1hr and 1/2 – 2 generally turn out perfect. Try bring them to a boil and then lower to medium heat. Keep lid on and stir occasionally. Also salt at the end as the salt may slow cooking time.
    As for the rice you can either buy parboiled and just follow instructions on box and should be perfect. Or, get regular rice in a medium saucepan over high heat put some olive oil allow to get hot and then add your rice with some salt to taste. Allow to cook for maybe about 2 minutes stirring and then add hot water (this is a secret the water needs to be hot) to cover rice about 2 fingers above rice, lower heat cover and cook until water is fully absorbed. Let me know if it turns out.

    Happy cooking!

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