I love a good sauté, don’t you? It’s such an easy and delicious way to get dinner on the table. It’s one of my go-to strategies for busy weeknight meals.
This Mexican Red Pepper Sauté was actually inspired by the white beans. I live near a Whole Foods store that sells dried beans in bulk and I just can’t walk by those bins without picking up a new variety to try. This particular bean is a Mexican Mayacoba bean. It’s a pretty ivory bean similar to a pinto in shape and flavor. It might even be a pinto bean; I’m not 100% sure. I soaked them overnight in water and then simmered on the stove for 2 hours. I didn’t really do anything to them after that except throw them into this tasty sauté.
I cook my dried beans with a piece of Kombu. Kombu is a type of seaweed. It helps to degas the beans. I also sprinkled some cumin into the simmering pot. Cumin also helps to degas the beans.
You might be thinking, who has time to cook their beans from scratch? It’s really not time consuming. It just takes a little planning. I soaked these beans on Friday night and they simmered on my stovetop for two hours on Saturday morning. I used a bit in my sauté and refrigerated the rest. I might even throw half of what’s left in the freezer for later.
This dish tastes like a little like chili. I love the velvety feel that the peppers get after being sautéed in olive oil. The peppers bring a sweet flavor while the seasoning has a spicy kick! It’s quite tasty.
Another cool time-saver in this dish is the brown rice. I used Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice. It’s precooked and takes just 3 minutes to heat up in the microwave. I’m not a huge fan of brown rice at all, but this is actually the most delicious brown rice I’ve ever had.
So there you have it. An easy weeknight meal, big on flavor and easy on the cook!
Mexican Red Pepper Sauté
- 2 orange bell peppers, diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup white pinto beans (drained and rinsed, if using canned)
- 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
- 2-3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (I used frozen cubes)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- If making beans from scratch, place beans into a sauce pan and cover with a few inches of water. Soak overnight. When ready to cook, drain and rinse, then cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil and simmer on low, covered, for 2 hours. Add 1 tsp of cumin and/or a few strips of Kombu to the pot to degas. If using canned beans, drain and rinse before use.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions and bell peppers for 1-2 minutes. Add salt, peper and other seasonings and cook 4-5 minutes more. Add cooked brown rice and white beans, toss gently to combine. Add cilantro. Cook 1-2 minutes more and serve.