Rice Plate

“Rice plate” is a dinner staple in my kitchen. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to prepare. Sam and I eat some version of it about once a week. It always includes brown rice, a legume, chopped onion, and another chopped fruit or vegetable. It usually also includes avocado. Toasted sesame oil, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and your hot sauce of choice should be served along with it. Chipotle charges almost $9.00 for something similar.

For a while, we were on a kick: Indian-inspired: (brown rice, curried lentils, chopped vidalia, chopped mango); Mexican-inspired: (brown rice, black beans, chopped vidalia, pico de gallo, guacamole); Japanese-inspired: (brown rice, shelled edamame, chopped scallions, seaweed salad, avocado); Korean-inspired: (brown rice, tofu, chopped scallions, quick vegetable pickle, kimchi); Italian-inspired: (brown rice, cannellini beans, chopped vidalia, chopped tomatoes with fresh basil and garlic, olive oil and balsamic instead of sesame oil and Bragg’s)

Here’s instructions for making the classic:

Rice Plate

“Classic Rice Plate” includes brown rice, pinto beans, chopped vidalia onion, chopped tomato, Bragg’s, toasted sesame oil and sriracha. In the one pictured here, I added jalapeño, cilantro, some of the onion, and some fresh lime to the tomato to make it a pico. Regardless of how you modify your rice plate, I implore you to use dried (or fresh) legumes, as opposed to canned. The texture and taste really is superior, and they don’t take much longer to make. I usually throw my dried beans in water in the morning, before I go to work, and then cook in the evening. But even if you forget to soak them, you can use the “quick soak” method– covering with water, bringing to a boil, letting simmer for about 15 minutes, and then letting sit for one hour. I know that one hour plus doesn’t feel very quick, but it’s not active cooking time. While the beans are “quick soaking” you can chop your vegetables, go for a run or write a blog post.


  •  3-4 cups brown rice, cooked according to instructions (I cook mine in a rice cooker) 
  • 8 oz pinto beans, soaked overnight/ all day or “quick-soaked”
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • Dash of liquid smoke
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 cup mirin (optional– but it gives a nice sweetness– a sweeter white wine would also work)
  • Vegetable broth
  • Bay leaf
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 hass avocado, sliced
  • Toasted sesame oil, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce, and sriracha

While the rice is cooking, prepare the beans. Drain the soaked beans. Lightly coat the bottom of a large saucepan with oil and place over medium heat. Add a few of the chopped onion, and a dash of the liquid smoke. Let cook for about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic. Add the beans, and mirin. Add vegetable froth to cover the beans. Add the bay leaf, cover, raise the heat and bring to a boil. Cook  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and  let simmer until tender. Add sea salt to taste.

Assemble plates with a scoop of rice, a scoop of beans, tomato, chopped onion and avocado slices. Drizzle toasted sesame oil on top. Spray or drizzle Bragg’s/ soy sauce on top. Serve with sriracha. Enjoy!