Tropical Red Beans and Rice

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I work often with vegetarian and vegan clients so it’s always interesting to play around with meat-free recipes. Because I like multi-tasking recipes as well, I try to come up with some that you can use in more than just one way. Rice and beans are a great dish that is filling and is also pretty high in protein due to the beans.

It can be more than just rice and beans on a plate or bowl though. You can change the flavor by adding different ingredients. You can also get creative and use it as a filling in wraps and burritos, in veggie tacos with your cauliflower, or even in a salad as a healthy carb option. For this version, I did all three things since I had tons of leftovers.

Tropical Red Beans and Rice Tropical Red Beans and Rice

  • 1/2 cup (50g) chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger OR 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup (168g) uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup coconut almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 mango (132g), pitted and cut into cubes
  • Cilantro and lime for garnish

Heat a pot over medium heat and add the onions. Saute for about 5 minutes until they soften. If you’re using fresh ginger, add it and saute for another minute or so. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes to lightly toast the rice. If you’re using dried ground ginger, you can add it now.

Stir in the almond coconut milk, broth, salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed. You may want to peek at it a couple times to see how it’s coming along. Once the rice is done, remove from heat and stir in the beans and mango chunks.

Garnish with cilantro and lime, if desired.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 278 calories – 8g protein, 57g carbs, and 2g fat.


  • You can use almond milk or coconut milk for this recipe if you like. I happened to have a coconut almond blend in the fridge so I used that. Almond will give you a more bland, unflavored version and coconut milk will give you a more tropical version.
  • If you want you can use chicken broth in place of the vegetable broth. Obviously that’s an option for the meat eaters. It doesn’t alter the nutrition details much by making this swap.
  • Play around with the beans that you use. I had leftover pinto beans from the chili so I used those. Black, red, or another bean variety makes it fun.

One final note: I had my beans and rice as a side dish next to chicken (sorry, veggie friends!) and broccoli. You can adjust your serving size based on whether you are having it as a side, a stuffing, or as a vegetarian main course. The mangoes went perfectly with the beans since they were sweet to balance out the spicy cayenne pepper. I highly recommend them if you have one.

Ha, I hadn’t had a mango in forever but they were on sale. Nothing like a good deal to make you try something new, eh? 😉

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