Mexican Brown Rice Bowl with White Beans and Salmon

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I know, a dish with salmon and white beans feel a little more Mediterranean doesn’t it?

But, I was called to do a pantry sweep for my Five Ingredient Pantry Challenge, (here on my FB group) and I pulled out an assortment of ingredients. Then, I felt in the mood for Mexican so I took it down that road. No worries, I know this will taste good.

My ingredients were based on a few criteria – they had to be from the pantry or freezer and be no more than five ingredients (not counting salt, pepper, olive oil and spices). For my own personal criteria I chose ingredients that either had been sitting in my pantry a little bit too long and needed some attention, or that I had too much of and wanted to move out.

I didn’t overthink the ingredients but most importantly there had a to be balance in this meal – some protein, a whole grain and vegetables – to even be called a bowl. I pulled out some brown rice, a bag of dried white beans, a can of Alaskan salmon, frozen kale and frozen corn.

First things first,  I needed to get the rice cooked and the beans soaked and cooked. I write all about soaking, cooking and using dried beans HERE.

I could stop right there, open the salmon and toss it all together with the kale and corn, but how boring. This is the beauty of spices and a little olive oil. Fat lifts flavor. Spices change the mood.

The spices I am using (chili powder, cumin and dried thyme) give this dish a hint of Mexico. Ahh, Mexico, wouldn’t it be nice to be there right now instead of in quarantine? Close your eyes, we can go there through our food.

I decided to leave the rice as the base and sauté the rest of the ingredients together.

Other ideas for this bowl? Some sautéed red onions, hot sauce, a diced avocado. All would be welcome additions.

Enjoy your new pantry bowl and let me know what you make with your pantry ingredients.

Mexican Brown Rice Bowl with White Beans and Salmon


Makes 4 servings


2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen kale
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each coarse salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 small can wild Alaskan salmon
2 cups cooked cannellini beans (you can use one small can too – drained and rinsed)
2 cups cooked brown rice


1. In a large saute pan heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add in the corn and saute for 3 minutes, allowing it to char slightly.

2. Add in the kale along with the dried herbs and spices. Combine well.

3. Add in the salmon, breaking it up into pieces in the pan. Stir in the beans and combine, until heated through.

4. Serve with a side of brown rice. Add in hot sauce, avocados, or another condiment of your choice.



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