Rice and beans are the ultimate BrokeAss food — healthy, filling, tasty and, perhaps most importantly, cheap. So it came as no surprise that, due to the leftovers from the dinner party I had earlier this week, rice and beans would be my dinner tonight.

But throwing leftovers together in a bowl and microwaving them just isn’t my style, so I came up with this sexy, vegan rendition of everyone’s favorite complete protein combination.

Serves 2


2 cups cooked rice

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 mango, diced

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

1/2 avocado, diced

juice of one lime

salt to taste

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 plantain, sliced into ½-inch-thick pieces on the bias

Rice cakes over black bean puree


Heat the beans in a small pot with 3 tbsp water over medium heat until fully heated. Puree using an immersion blender or a potato masher until smooth. Turn off heat.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Heat the rice in a small pot or the microwave until warm to the touch. Stir in 2-3 tbsp water until the rice becomes sticky. Use wet hands to carefully shape the rice into patties, about 3 ½ inches wide and 1 inch thick. Fry the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side, until a thick crust forms. Add more oil if needed. Flip very carefully, and don’t worry if the patties fall apart — they’ll still be delicious, and it won’t matter when you serve them. Keep the patties warm in the pan with the heat turned off until ready to serve.

Heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Add the plantain slices and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

Toss together the mango, onion, avocado, cilantro, lime and salt to taste. Set aside.

To assemble, divide the black bean puree between two plates. Top with rice cakes and mango-avocado relish. Serve plantains on the side.

BrokeAss Gourmet caters to folks who want to live the high life on the cheap, with delicious recipes that are always under $20. Gabi Moskowitz is the blog’s editor in chief and author of The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook and Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious Unexpected Recipes.

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