Welcome back! I have been taking a break from recipe developing as I have been on holidays, and have been super busy with a new job – but I’m finally back. There is nothing I enjoy more than creating delicious food to share with all of you, so you can imagine my excitement as I was developing this dish. I am a huge fan of sweet and savoury dishes, and there is just something about pineapple with rice that screams perfection. I first tried out this dish a couple of months ago and my boyfriend was raving about it for weeks, so I just had to tweak and perfect it before sharing it with all of you.
This is the simplest dinner ever. I can see where you might think it’s difficult – but serving the dish IN an actual pineapple is completely optional. Buy pre-cut, fresh pineapple instead – to make it easier for you, and serve it in a bowl like a normal human being. The lime adds an even further definition of flavour which is slightly citrus, but it works really well with the pineapple. It also brings out the garlic flavour, and makes the spices really come alive within the dish.
For the rice, I always recommend using wholemeal – but you could also sub in any rice type that you have available to you. I actually used a wholemeal rice, pearl barley and bulgar mix for this dish. We bought this from M&S, and the pearl barley added a really nice texture to the rice. I’m not a huge fan of rice, but when it is combined with such delicious veggies and beans, I can’t say no!
This is the perfect meal prep idea for college or work too. Whenever I make dishes like this, I always make extra for my lunch or dinner the following day. This dish would last for about 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge, and it is perfectly suitable for microwaving in the office/canteen etc. This dish has no oil, and a very high vegetable content – making it extremely high in fibre and vitamins. This would really make the perfect midday lunch.
TOP TIP: Add some avocado to your rice. Mash some avocado into your dish – this will ensure its even distribution throughout the rice, and you will get a slight avocado taste in every bite. Plus – it makes it really creamy, believe me; it is delicious! It’s an excellent way of getting those healthy fats in too (not that this is ever a problem). I love serving this with my homemade cheese sauce also. You could even make burritos out of this rice dish – simply add the mixture to a tortilla wrap and toast it under the grill. There are so many capabilities – Enjoy!
Yield: Serves 4.
- 1 ripe pineapple
- 1 cup of wholemeal rice
- 1 tin of drained and rinsed pinto beans (I used a 580g tin)
- 1 large red pepper
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 2 small red onions
- 1/2 a small red chilli
- 1/4 courgette
- 1/3 head of brocolli
- 1/2 lime
- Dried turmeric
- Dried parsley
- Cut your ripe pineapple into 2 even halves, lengthways.
- Cut the pineapple into cubes while still intact, and then scoop out the flesh using a spoon (it should come out in cubes, you may need to use the knife to help you).
- Discard the tough, centre section of the pineapple, and place the rest of the pineapple into an airtight container. Store it in the fridge until later and set the pineapple shells aside.
- Cook 1 cup of wholemeal rice with 2 cups of water in a covered pot. Stir regularly to ensure that no rice sticks to the bottom of the pot. (You will know when it is cooked, as almost all of the water will be soaked up by the grain).
- When the rice is cooked, rinse it in a colander under cold water and set aside.
- When the rice is cooking, prepare the vegetables.
- Chop the broccoli, red pepper, courgette and onion into small, half-bite-sized pieces (as per picture), and set aside. Chop the chilli very finely (as to avoid a fiery bite full) and set aside.
- Crush the garlic using a garlic crusher.
- Add the broccoli, chilli, crushed garlic and 1/2 of the chopped onions to a large, non-stick frying pan with a splash of water and fry for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly using a turner (if any ingredients begin to stick to the pan, add another splash of water).
- Add the remaining veg (red pepper, onions and courgette), and fry for about 5 minutes, mixing regularly (adding more water IF needed).
- After 5 minutes, add the juice of half a lime and mix well.
- Add the drained and rinsed pinto beans to the pan along with 1 cup of freshly chopped pineapple (in bite-sized cubes).
- After 1-2 minutes, add the rinsed rice and combine everything together.
- Add 1/2 a teaspoon of dried turmeric to the pan along with 1 teaspoon of dried parsley and stir.
- Add salt and pepper to your own taste (I used about a 3/4 tsp of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper).
- Mix everything together well and fry for a further 5-8 minutes until heated through.
- Scoop the mixture into the pineapple shells and serve with freshly sliced avocado and black sesame seeds.