“Poor Man’s burger” with coriander salsa

Poor man’s meat; that’s what some people call beans and brown rice. It is a dish rich in complex carbs and proteins, containing all the amino acids on one plate, but with added benefits of fibre not found in meat. It is also very rich in B vitamins from the brown rice, has virtually no fat at all, aids in the lowering of harmful cholesterol, and is a great weight loss meal.

And even better- this burger comes with a relish! Lime and coriander is a favourite combination of mine since I spent a year in Ecuador.I realise coriander is a great divider, you either love it or hate it. (I even happened upon a website called ihatecilantro.com  “A growing community of anti cilantro advocates and pioneers aiding the fight to ban the most loathesome garnish of our time“) If you don’t like it, you could still make the salsa without it; it is still delicious. It adds a new dimension to the dish, and I love it especially, because I always try to eat some raw food with a cooked dish.

Coriander has tons of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein in; Lutein is concentrated in the retinas of your eyes and is necessary for good vision. Raw onions, raw tomatoes, raw garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, my cup runneth o’er! More details on these ingredients in other posts due to time restrictions today. Suffice it to say, all of these will love your body.

My husband used to say “we should have a salad at every meal, even if it’s a soup meal” I remember thinking (and saying) “You can’t have a salad with a stew, that just doesn’t GO together!” I recalled my words when I was eating this for the first time, my raw salsa-salad, piled all over the black beans .It just works! I always make this when we have black beans now. For me, it’s missing something without it. Definitely one occasion when the sum of the two halfs are more delicious than the individual components. So…

Little-bit-Spicey Black Beans 

I did my beans in the slow cooker over night. I did not even soak them (it is however recommended that you soak beans and discard the water usually, to get rid of the tannins that inhibit nutrient uptake) On this occasion though, I just put them straight in, 2 handfuls per adult, 1 per child (total,7 handfuls)

Then I blended, until thoroughly lump-free in the liquidizer:

  • 1 and a half litres of water
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 small celery sticks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 sundried tomatoes

 It saves a lot of chopping, and mainly because I can put things in that my children would not like to find a-floating. Like….pretty much everything on that list. Then you can pre- sauté all that gazpacho-like base in olive oil, to bring out the flavours, but you know what? It was bedtime, and I just threw it in. I added another generous half-blender full of water to the slow cooker just in case and added some extra virgin to the slow cooker, a very little.


  •  1-2 bayleaves 
  •  2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • No salt yet. Apparently it slows down cooking time. (is it true? I don’t know)

Why did I put in onion powder as well as an onion, and garlic powder as well as fresh garlic? I really don’t know. I wasn’t following a recipe and there seemed to be so much water, that I was worried that it would not be punchy enough. I left it on low all night and the next morning they were done.

 I left it on high for a while longer to reduce down the water a little more. I like a thicker consistency in beans stews. Finally I stirred in salt to taste and 2 tablespoons of ground cumin, my most favourite spice for beans.

 MOJO de Cilantro (Coriander salsa)

 The original ingredients are: white cabbage, white onion, tomato, 1-2 raw garlic cloves. Dice all ingredients, in proportions that you feel happy with (it really doesn’t matter) and add couple of liberal glugs (great word) of extra virgin olive oil, the juice of half a lime (or a whole lime, if teeny), to taste, and plenty of chopped coriander.

Leave to sit for a few hours for flavours to meld (another nice word). Having said that, you can substitute the white cabbage for cucumber if you like, which is what I did this time. Obviously they taste nothing like each other but it’s just a nice crunch to offset the onion. You could also sub red or spring onion for the white onion, a little less harsh.Once I added celery too, and it was very good.

 (I am really sorry, but for things like this, I simply cannot do “half a cup of onion”, “2 cups of tomato” or “3 tablespoons of chopped coriander” Recipes like that drive me mad. How much tomato is in that cup depends on how it is diced, and whther it is packed down. So I just dice up whatever I think. It’s only a salsa after all, which is basically, a very well diced salad.)

I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you how to cook brown rice. Just a tip, When the rice is pretty much done, add a little more boiling water, and leave it off the heat, covered, to further soften and swell. Brown rice takes much longer than white so I normally do it in the morning, and just re-heat it at dinner time. It seems to work fine.

Final step- assemble and enjoy!

Part 1Part 2


Splendid finale…..

Here’s to your health,friends!

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