This, to me, is a “perfect” meal. Beans and rice topped with grilled meat and vegetables. There are a lot of flavors, colors, textures, fiber, and other nutrients packed into this very simple meal. I would eat this type of meal every day if I could.
This week’s complete meal idea is a little different because I used two old recipes as side dishes for the new Pineapple Pork Kebab recipe. The two old recipes are just so simple and perfect that I didn’t want to mess with a formula that already works, you know? My Savory Coconut Rice adds to the slightly tropical theme and gives a more flavorful base than plain white rice. Black beans are one of my all time favorite foods (they’re delicious AND nutritious), so I like to throw them into whatever meal I can. I made a modified version of this very basic Quick Seasoned Black Bean recipe from way back in 2010. It’s barely a “recipe”, more like a way to make canned beans way more delicious.
Anyway, I’ve been eating these bowls almost twice a day since I made the kebabs and I haven’t gotten sick of them yet. Like I said, to me this meal is absolutely per-fect.
This Complete Meal makes six servings and includes:
Pineapple Pork Kebabs: $6.80 (recipe) / $0.68 (per kebab)
Savory Coconut Rice (updated price): $2.55 (recipe) / $0.43 (serving)
Quick Seasoned Black Beans (updated price): $2.73 (recipe) / $0.46 (serving)
Total Meal Cost: $12.08 (total) / $2.01 (serving)
Each of the six servings consists of about 2/3 cup rice, 1/2 cup beans, and one kebab. One kebab sounds small, but seriously, it FILLED my bowl. This arrangement also leaves you with four extra kebabs, so if someone is extra hungry there’s more to go around! You could always throw an extra can of beans in there or make more rice if you want more full servings for later in the week.
The updated prices reflect the cost of ingredients that were purchased this week. The coconut rice cost me slightly less because I got the coconut milk on sale, while the black beans cost more because I couldn’t find a large can of beans and had to use two 15oz. cans instead. If I had made my own black beans from dry ahead of time, that would have cut the price considerably.
This meal utilizes a lot of pantry staples, so my receipt was fairly small:
The real winner this week is the incredible sale I got on the pork chops. I should have bought two packs and froze the second one!
Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to complete this meal. I’ve broken the list into two categories, pantry items and grocery items. Pantry items are ingredients that people are likely to have on hand or can be kept a long while and reused in other recipes, while grocery items are more specific to this recipe. As always, this will vary from person to person, so make sure to check both lists to see what you’ll need to purchase.
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- Soy Sauce – 2 Tbsp
- Canola or vegetable oil – 3 Tbsp
- Olive oil (or just another Tbsp of the oil above) – 1 Tbsp
- Honey – 1 Tbsp
- Salt & Pepper – to taste
- Sriracha – to taste
- Jasmine Rice – 1.5 cups
- Cumin – 1/2 tsp
- Ginger, fresh – 1 inch
- Boneless Pork Chops – 1.25 lbs.
- Green Bell Pepper – 1 medium
- Vidalia Onion – 1 medium
- Cilantro – 1 bunch
- Canned Pineapple Chunks (in juice) – 20 oz. can
- Coconut Milk – 15 oz. can
- Black Beans – 2 15oz. cans (or one 28oz. can)
- Jalapeño – 1 small
The Pineapple Pork Kebabs can actually be made with either pork or chicken, whichever you prefer or can get for a better price at the store. The meat tastes better the longer it is allowed to marinate, so that will be your first step. Prepare the marinade, cut the meat into cubes, then toss them together and pop them in the fridge. This can be done the night before, the morning before you go to work, or as little as 30 minutes before you plan to cook.
Because you’ll need at least 30 minutes of marinating time, I utilized that 30 minutes to prepare the Savory Coconut Rice and Quick Seasoned Black Beans. The rice will take longer to cook than the beans, so begin that first. While the rice is simmering, you can move on to the beans.
Both the beans and the rice can be kept warm over low heat with a tightly fitting lid, while you skewer the kebabs. The kebabs cook quickly, so once they’re prepared and in the oven, it’s almost time to eat!
The kebabs are so good that I hope you don’t have leftovers. But if you do, the leftover meat, vegetables, beans, and rice should all hold up well to refrigeration (up to about 5 days). You can pre-portion your leftover servings into small containers with all three items in one dish, or keep the three recipes in their own separate containers. I tend to pre-portion so my “bowls” are grab and go ready. Just pull it out of the fridge, pop it into the microwave, and I’m eating in about a minute and a half.
If you find you made way too much rice, it freezes very well (see the tutorial on how to freeze rice). Having cooked rice stashed in the freezer is one of my favorite tricks for preparing meals fast on weeknights. If for some reason you have leftover beans, they freeze just as well as the rice.
You’ll most likely have leftover ginger because it’s hard to buy fresh ginger in just a “one inch” piece. I usually break off a knob that’s about 3-4 inches long. Wrap that extra ginger tightly in plastic wrap, then put it in a freezer bag. The next time you need grated ginger for a recipe, pull it out and grate it while frozen. Ginger grates with even more ease (no stringiness!) when it’s frozen.
Okay, please excuse me now. I can’t look at these photos any longer without fixing myself a bowl. Bye bye!