Adventures with Black Beans: Wild Rice & Brazilian Stew

I was going to make this two separate posts until I realized that the dishes kind of go together.  Both involved black beans, both were new and slightly unusual recipes in the Quantum Vegan household, and neither turned out quite the way I expected.   (Not that this is a bad thing.)

wild rice & black beans

Meet the black bean and wild rice mixture from 1,000 Vegan Recipes!  Why is this deserving of an exclamation point?  Because I have an almost obscene love of wild rice and rice in general.  It’s true; I’m a grain geek.  So when the co-op had a wild rice blend on sale, of course I jumped on it and brought home a container.

This was a pretty simple recipe.  Black beans, wild rice, tomatoes, and some spinach.  However, as you can see, it came out a little more soupy than I was imagining.  I think it was intended to be a bit on the moist side, but not quite so much.  This particular wild rice blend may require less liquid than was called for in the recipe so, in future, I’m going to have to reduce it to avoid winding up with bean and rice soup.  The flavor was good, though–simple and savory with a hint of green from the spinach.

Fast forward to Brazilian Black Bean Stew, also from 1,000 Vegan Recipes:

brazilian black bean stew 01
An adventurous amalgamation if I ever saw one.  This recipe stood out to me a few times in the past, but I always went by it because of the combination of ingredients.  Black beans, red onions, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and, of all things, mango!  There’s also supposed to be a banana, but I’m sadly allergic and had to leave it out.

Two things with this recipe.  One, I thought the amount of liquid it called for was on the low side (only 1/2 cup of vegetable broth), so I added a little more as it was cooking.  Two, I should have bought a riper mango.  The one I had was a bit too firm, which I think undermined the intended texture combination of the dish.  But again, a good flavor, though perhaps not the best eclectic dish I’d ever had.

brazilian black bean stew 02
Pretty though, no?  I would make it again, probably with a full cup of broth and a smaller, softer mango for better texture.  Texture can really make or break a meal!