Spicy Black Beans and Rice with Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Flank Steak

Got leftover steak? Try this kitchen sink creation of black beans, rice, zucchini, onion, garlic, spinach and steak with a kick!

Don't try this at home.  Seriously.  Unless you happen to have leftover "Lightening" Flank Steak, a too large zucchini purchased 5 days before from the farmer's market, some baby spinach (but not enough to make a salad), an onion, some garlic, some cilantro about to be thrown out, a can of black beans and some brown rice lying around.  Oh. . . and Cholula hot sauce.  This Spicy Beans and Rice with Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Flank Steak is literally a week night creation made only because this is was what happened to be in my refrigerator and pantry at the end of the week.

There are weekend table recipes, and then there are recipes like these that you create for your husband that asks for a meal that is a "vehicle for hot sauce."   This fits that bill.  I am not sure that it is the metric that I would use to measure success, but it works on a random Thursday and easily reheats for lunch on Friday. And it's pretty good if you like this sort of thing.

I threw on 1/2 cup of brown rice in one cup of chicken stock (or water).  Meanwhile, I sauteed some garlic and onion in olive oil until the garlic browned and the onion just started to get translucent. Then, I added some chopped zucchini and sauteed on high heat for 12-15 minutes, until the zucchini was soft.  I turned the heat down to medium and tossed in the spinach until it was wilted, and then added the drained beans, cilantro, some spices, salt and pepper for one minute and removed it from the heat.  When the rice was ready and fluffy, I tossed that in too.

As for the leftover meat, I wanted it hot but not overdone.  So, I put just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet and added some red pepper flakes and garlic.  I got the pan nice and hot and seared the leftover flank steak for one minute on each side.  Then I tossed it on top of the rice mixture.

Now for the product plug.  Cholula is my favorite hot sauce.

It has kick, but also a lovely sweet flavor.  Before serving, I recommend putting a few dashes of Cholula on the rice.  Or if you are a real hot sauce junky, as much as you'd like.  Otherwise, the whole combination is just a tad bit bland.  Serve with a sweeter wine to cut the heat or a nice cold beer.

Spicy Beans and Rice with Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Flank Steak

Recipe Type: Main

Author: Julie du Pont

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Total time: 50 mins

Serves: 4

Got leftover steak and a love of heat? Try this week night kitchen sink creation of rice, beans, onion, garlic, zucchini, spinach and hot sauce.


  • Rice, Beans and Veggies
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 regular sized zucchini, in a 1/2 inch dice
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Flank Steak
  • 1 tbsp of
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves, chopped
  • leftover grilled flank steak (3/4 lb)



  1. Bring 1/2 cup rice in 1 cup chicken stock or water to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for roughly 30 minutes (or according to directions on rice).
  2. Meanwhile, saute garlic and onion in oil on medium high heat until garlic browns and onion begins to soften and become translucent.
  3. Add zucchini and increase heat and sauté until zucchini is softened, 12-15 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and toss in spinach. Saute until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add beans, paprika, cumin, cayenne, cilantro and salt and pepper and toss. Remove from heat.
  6. Add in rice and toss.
  7. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add oil, red pepper flakes and garlic. When garlic begins to brown and oil is sizzling, add steak. Saute for a minute or less on each side.
  8. Serve rice with a few dashes of hot sauce and top with steak.


Julie du Pont is a Darien resident, mom and lawyer.  She blogs about food and entertaining.  For more recipes and entertaining ideas, check out http://weekendtable.com

See also the Darien Food Blogs topics page, which you can bookmark.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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