Vegan Newlywed’s Mexican Inspired Beans and Grains

While living with Bear I devised a way for us to still cook in and save money while I could retain some spoons: slow cookers. I could assemble my savory creation at a time of day when I had the highest amounts of spoons possible, then set the slow cooker for the amount of time and power setting needed for dinner to be ready around 5-7pm. Bonuses included always having leftovers for lunch and me being able to multitask and set about regaining spoons throughout the day.

Many people frown on crock pot cooking, but for some of us it’s a very viable and practical way to obtain the sustenance we need to provide for ourselves. I never crock pot cooked until recently – largely because I did not have a crock pot – and enjoyed planning handcrafted elaborate meals. Not to the extent that I love baking, but I can heat up a kitchen.

The following recipe is an experiment of mine that resulted from Bear and I needing food, us being unable to buy food, and me consequently raiding our vegan pantry.

We are Texan folks who love southwestern flavors, so I experimented with our decent spice rack to liven up an otherwise meager beans-and-rice-esque meal.

Tip for college grads and other poor people like myself: spices will take you a long, long way into dressing up a meal. You don’t need a lot of them. All you need to know is the genre of food you enjoy most and what spices are used. Are they easily and cheaply attainable? Onto the next cuisine if not.

Vegan Newlywed’s Mexican Inspired Beans and Grains

This is, literally, black beans, quinoa, tomatoes, green chilies, and spices. You can sub rice if you want, but I avoid rice for health reasons and prefer to eat quinoa.

Bear and I are working on our own herb garden where we will hopefully be able to grow some of the herbs I mention in this blog, and hopefully you can too. It’s fun and economical!

Finished slow cooker.


  • 2 cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can ro-tel (AKA tomatoes and green chilies in a can)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Dump everything into a slow cooker, dry ingredients first, then end with the water. DO NOT drain the liquid from the cans and include it in the recipe.
  • Set your slow cooker for 4 hours on high if beginning at noon, 3 if a little after, or if you are doing this before noon, set your slow cooker on low for however many hours you need until dinnertime (let’s say, 6pm).
  • Do whatever you need, come back once it’s done, and eat!

I had zero spoons the day I made this and a sad pantry, but it had all the staples I needed. My husband came back for seconds! That means, yes, you DO need the cilantro.

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