Delicious & Simple: Brown Rice & Black Bean Stew

I created this recipe (pictured above with baked tofu) years ago when I first took a crack at going vegan.  Now, this dish not only serves my vegan lifestyle, but is a crowd-pleaser for my carnivorous friends and family!  Even my little picky nephew loves this hearty stew.  This will make a great addition for those #MeatlessMonday everyone’s hashtagging about!



  • 2 cups Brown Rice
  • 2 cups Black Beans
  • 1 Jar of Salsa (I use mild or medium, but feel free to make it spicier)
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 packet Lipton Onion Soup & Dip Mix (or store brand)
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread (or your favorite butter or butter alternative)
  • 1 medium Zucchini
  • 2 large Carrots
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1 large Potato
  • 1 medium Onion
  • Salt, Pepper & Onion Powder to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Organic Sugar (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Vegan or Regular Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
  • 1 cup Water (Optional)


Step 1: If using dry black beans, soak overnight.  If using canned, rinse first.

Step 2: Prepare rice according to package.  It’s okay if it’s a little hard still.

Step 3: While rice is cooking, chop onion finely and set aside.  Chop celery, carrots, zucchini and potato in small chunks and set aside.

Step 4: Heat large pot on medium heat with buttery spread and allow to melt.  Add onions.  Cook until they are soft before adding all the other vegetables.  Stir frequently and cook for a couple of minutes.

Step 5: Add vegetable broth to the pot.  Stir for a minute.  Add black beans and drained brown rice.  Season mixture with salt, pepper, onion powder, Onion Soup & Dip Mix packet.  Keep stirring as you add ingredients.

Step 7: Add Salsa and cook for a few minutes.

Step 8: If mixture is too dry, add a cup of water.  To cut some acidity or spice, add sugar.  Simmer for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve this stew hot, cold or at room temperature!  You can even serve it with tortilla chips as a dip.  Enjoy!


  • Sandy Lo

    Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50 Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and “Dream Catchers”, “Breaking The Moon” and “Indigo Waters” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music City. “The Watch Dog” reached the Top 10 Ghost Stories on Amazon. Aside from her writing projects, Sandy is also a freelance digital strategist.