Black Bean Tacos, Mexican Rice, and Margaritas, ~$5 a person

For my first recipe, I decided not to stray too far out of my comfort zone. I still have to work out some kinks on how to display these entries in the best way (I don’t want to tell you how long I struggled trying to make html/css columns display properly in WordPress [and failed]). So, not trying to be too adventurous in this recipe, I bring you refried bean tacos, Mexican rice, and margaritas.

This recipe made a lot of leftovers, which I brought to work, my boyfriend put in wraps, and so on. So I guessed it would make about 6 plates if all of them were exactly the same. I didn’t list protein, fat, carbs because, honestly, I don’t really care about any of that. I did include an estimate of calories, though, just to show that it is a full plate. If you are counting calories, I’d suggest putting less sugar and triple sec in your drinks (less sugar also means less hangover! …but also more tequila taste).

So, without further ado, here is cheap vegan dinner number one. Total is around $10 for 2 (plus $0.75 a for each margarita glass from the thrift store).

Grocery ListDinner

Produce
11 roma tomatoes $1.65
3 onions $0.45
1 head garlic $0.15
4 jalapenos $0.24
2 small avocados (or one large) $0.66
¼ lemon $0.13
Bulk, Spices, et cetera
24 small corn tortillas $0.80
2 cups brown rice $0.79
⅔ cup dried black beans $0.33
2 tbsp oil $0.30
1-2 tbsp vinegar $0.05
1 tbsp cumin $0.15
salt/pepper to taste $0.05
Total: $5.75

Plate:
4 refried bean tacos
1 cup Mexican rice
2 tbsp guacamole
¼ cup salsa fresca

Price Per Plate: $0.96
Calories per plate: 515

Drinks

8 oz tequila $2.80
3 oz triple sec $0.63
¾-1 lemon $0.50
1 orange $0.33
2-4 tbsp sugar $0.08
Ice and water $0.00

Total: $4.34 for 2 double+ margaritas
Calories for each drink: 566 (or 212ish for an average single).

Each drink has about 2.7 shots of tequila and 1 shot triple sec, which is stronger than your average double.

We cut our second drink down to 6 oz tequila, 1.5 oz triple sec, 1-2 tbsp sugar, and used the ¾ of lemon leftover from making guacamole.

Method Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes

-08:00-00:00

Soak beans for 6-8 hours (I use a pressure cooker, so I skipped this step).

00:00-00:50

beans
Put your soaked beans on the stove and bring to boil. Let simmer for 45-50 minutes. If you have a pressure cooker, you can put your beans in without soaking, then bring to pressure for 40 minutes and let release the natural method.

00:02-00:06

While you’re waiting for your beans to come to a boil/pressure, blend the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chili for your Mexican rice.

00:06-00:55

rice
Fry up your rice, then add the tomato blend and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer on low for 40 minutes.

00:11-00:15

Wash your blender.

00:15-00:30

margs
Make drink number one. Take a few minutes to enjoy a few sips.

00:15-00:30

You can also take this time to do some dishes (everything but your cutting board and knife) or wash those strawberries you bought on sale for dessert/freezing.

00:30-00:45

guac
Take out two bowls for your guacamole and salsa fresca. Because most of the ingredients are the same, I just cut up the veggies and made these at the same time.

00:40-00:45

gahlic
Also, cut up extra onions, jalapenos, and tomatoes for your refried beans while you’re at it.

00:45-00:55

If your bean and rice timers haven’t gone off yet, take a couple more sips of your drink. Your bean timer will probably go off first. Just check that they’re done and turn off the heat for now.

00:55-01:05

mexrice
I put a bit extra water in my rice, so when the rice timer went off, it still needed to simmer a bit. This worked out, though, because if there was less water I would have had to watch it for the full 40 minutes to make sure the tomato didn’t stick. Instead, watch it for 10 minutes, stirring, until most of the extra liquid steams off. Then turn off the burner and keep the top on the pot until you’re ready to eat.

01:00-01:15

tomat
While you’re finishing off the rice, start softening up your onions with cumin, then add tomatoes for them to break down, then the jalapenos and garlic, then about 2ish cups of black beans (I put a little bit more) with a tiny bit of the bean water (or fresh water) to mash it all up, and let it cook until most of the water is cooked off.

01:08-01:15

While you are cooking your beans, throw some tortillas on the griddle to warm up.

01:15-01:25

Finish your drink, make another, and set the table. Dinner’s ready!

RecipesBlack Bean Tacos

Ingredients
24 small corn tortillas
⅔ cup dried black beans
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1.25 onion, diced
1.5 jalapeno, diced
couple cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook black beans either by an overnight soak or directly in the pressure cooker (or an overnight soak AND the pressure cooker. Or be fancy and buy a can).
  2. Saute onion in oil until soft (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add cumin and cook for another minute.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until they start to break down (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add about 2 cups of cooked black beans and a little bit of water (either the bean water, or fresh water. I do bean, since I get a bit of it in there from scooping anyway).
  6. Mash up everything with a bit of salt and black pepper (if you’re feeling adventurous!)
  7. Continue stirring until all the water has steamed off.
  8. Heat up only the corn tortillas you want to eat now (there will be extra beans).
  9. Put a heaping spoonful or two in your tortilla and enjoy.

Mexican Rice

Ingredients
2 cups uncooked brown rice
4 roma tomatoes
½ onion
1 jalapeno
couple cloves garlic
2-3 cups water
1 tbsp oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Blend the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and garlic until smooth.
  2. Heat up oil in a pot.
  3. When the oil is hot, fry the rice for about a minute or two.
  4. Put in tomato mixture and water (I measured the water in the blender, so I got the remaining tomato goodness!).
  5. Stir, bring to boil, and let simmer for about 40 minutes with the top cracked.
  6. After 40 minutes, stir tomato mixture back into rice if if floated to the top, and let rice simmer while stirring until the water has cooked off.

Guacamole

Ingredients
2 small avocados
1.5 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced
couple cloves garlic, minced
juice from ¼ lemon or ½ lime
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mash up avocado in a bowl.
  2. Add everything but the tomatoes to the avocados, and mash again.
  3. Stir in tomatoes.

Salsa Fresca

Ingredients
3.5 roma tomatoes, diced
½ onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
couple cloves garlic, minced
splash of vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash and chop vegetables.
  2. Put in bowl, mix.

Margarita

Ingredients
8 oz tequila
3 oz triple sec
juice of ¾-1 lemon
juice of 1 orange
2-4 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
A whole lotta ice
  1. Mix the sugar and warm water until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Throw everything into a blender and blend.
  3. Makes 2 strong doubles or 5 standard margaritas.
  4. Drink and repeat.
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