Spiced black beans and callaloo with coconut rice and plantain – beans and greens is a super quick, simple and healthy vegan meal that tastes great and is perfect for #MeatFreeMondays! Post sponsored by Appletiser.
Spiced black beans and callaloo with coconut rice and plantain is one of my absolute favourite quick and easy meals that I like to make whenever I am a bit short on time but still want a healthy meal that is tasty, satisfying and big on flavour.
It is becoming more apparent that a mostly plant-based diet – high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and healthy fats, and low in animal products, is much healthier and better for us. It is also much better for the environment; not to mention the countless animals that suffer at the hands of the meat and dairy industries.
I have been transitioning over to eating a mostly vegan diet, and while it does have its challenges (eating out can certainly be limiting!), I feel a lot better for it. Even just reducing the number of days a week that you eat meat/dairy can have a positive effect on your health.
According to the Meat Free Mondays website, “In 2010, a study carried out by Oxford University’s department of public health found that eating meat no more than three times a week could prevent 31,000 deaths from heart disease, 9,000 deaths from cancer and 5,000 deaths from stroke, as well as save the NHS £1.2 billion in costs each year.”
Meat Free Monday is a great way to start cutting down on animal products, and once you discover how easy and tasty vegetarian and vegan meals are, it will be easy to cut down even further!
When Appletiser challenged me to come up with a #MeatFreeMonday inspired recipe, I knew straight away that my spiced black beans and callaloo with coconut rice and plantain recipe was the perfect choice. The tropical flavours of the dish work so well with the refreshing taste of Appletiser, it’s a really quick meal to cook, full of flavour and is really good for you. I always keep tins of black beans, callaloo and coconut milk in the cupboard so I can make it in a flash when I need a quick meal.
You simply fry up some onion and garlic, add in some spices, tinned black beans and callaloo and some coconut milk and you are done! The coconut rice is cooked the same way as regular rice except that some of the water is replaced with coconut milk; and the plantain is simply sliced up and fried – quick and easy!
This meal needs no extras really, though some sliced avocado and a scattering of chopped coriander and red chilli wouldn’t go amiss. And it is all the better when washed down with a glass of tasty Appletiser!
What Is Callaloo Anyway?
Callaloo is a Jamaican leafy green vegetable (the edible leaves of the Amaranth plant I believe) that is like spinach, though it doesn’t taste quite the same. It is very high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. It is hard to find fresh in the UK, but most supermarkets sell it in tins (in the ‘foreign’ section) and that is what I use. If you can’t get hold of it then you can simply use spinach instead (either tinned or defrosted frozen), or you can even use shredded kale if you like.
What Kind of Plantain Should I Use?
Plantain is like banana but is starchier and less sweet. It can be eaten either when it is green or when it is yellow/black. When green, it has a firmer texture and more savoury flavour, and when yellow/black it is softer and sweeter. It is entirely up to you which kind you use; I always prefer green plantain however, though I do find that it needs quite a bit of seasoning. To peel plantain, slice both ends off and make a slit down the length of the skin with a knife; prise your thumb underneath the skin and it should start to come away easily.
Spiced Black Beans and Callaloo With Coconut Rice and Plantain Recipe:
Spiced Black Beans and Callaloo with Coconut Rice and Plantain
Spiced black beans and callaloo with coconut rice and plantain - beans and greens is a super quick, simple and healthy vegan meal that tastes great and is perfect for #MeatFreeMondays!
Serves 2 very generously.
- 200 g (1 cup) white rice (uncooked)
- 120 ml (½ cup) coconut milk
- 360 ml (1 ½ cups) water
- pinch salt
Spiced Black Beans and Callaloo:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small brown onion peeled and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk
- 540 g (19oz) tin (340g drained weight) callaloo drained
- 400 g (14oz) tin black beans drained
- salt and pepper
- 1 plantain (green or yellow) peeled and cut into 1cm slices
- oil for frying
Place the rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a pan. Bring up to a simmer, stir once then cover and turn down to the lowest possible heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat; add the onion and cook gently for 5-10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring, for another minute.
Stir in the coconut milk then the drained callaloo and black beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper and continue to cook for about five minutes, until heated through.
Pour enough oil into a small frying pan to cover the bottom and place over a medium heat. Add the plantain slices and fry for a few minutes, until golden. Flip the slices over and cook for a couple more minutes on the other side until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and season generously with salt.
This post is sponsored by Appletiser, thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love – playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.