Skagit Food Co-op blog:

The Bounty of Bulk

Bounty of Bulk: Red Beans & Rice

Across time, space and culture, there are a few dishes that achieve legendary status. Red Beans and Rice is one of those meals, based on the humble and versatile red bean. Save money and buy bulk protein and fiber packed legumes: Organic Small Red Beans are only $2.49 per pound in the Co-op’s Bulk section. These beans are a bit smaller than kidney beans and can be used in place of pinto beans in recipes.

Dishes based on cooked beans and rice have nearly endless variations, and are a staple of diets across the globe. An emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine, red beans and rice was traditionally made in a slow simmering stove pot on Mondays, containing red beans, vegetables, spices, and pork bones, often leftover from Sunday dinner. Similar dishes are also common in Latin American cuisine, including moros y cristianos and gallo pinto. Some recipes are a handy way to use up leftover vegetables, meats, herbs, spices and fruits.

The following recipe is a  Co-op staff favorite! Go tropical and try this innovative recipe to combine the fresh, zesty flavors of citrus and kiwi with the rich, earthy base of spiced beans and rice with coconut milk. This Jamaican-style dish is tasty when paired with grilled meats or fried fish and a ginger beer – try new imported Fentiman & Hollow’s alcoholic Ginger Ale for $4.99 per 500 ml. Try any leftover salsa on broiled, steamed or baked flaky fish or just with a handful of plantain chips.

Rice and Beans with Orange Kiwi Salsa

Recipe from


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (reserve 2 tablespoons raw onion for the salsa)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salsa:

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 oranges, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion

Directions:  In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 2-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the allspice, thyme, chili flakes, coconut milk, water and rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, gently stir together the kiwi, oranges, 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion, ginger, jalapeño pepper, and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Once the rice is done, add the kidney beans, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and serve with salsa.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.