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Red Bean Cakes with Creamy Coconut Sauce

Red Bean Cakes with Creamy Coconut Sauce

Beans and rice are an inexpensive and nourishing staple food in many regions of the world. Here they are blended with piquant spices and formed into cakes that are served with a delectable rich coconut sauce.

Rice and beans with a zesty twist–and using canned beans means you can make them in practically no time. Tasty, vegan, and substantial.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked or one 15-ounce can pinto, kidney, or other red beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cold cooked white or brown rice
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, paprika, thyme, and cayenne. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.

2. In a food processor, combine the beans, rice, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste, and sautéed onion mixture. Pulse to blend, leaving some texture intact. Shape into patties and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bean cakes and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides. 7 to 10 minutes total. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm while you prepare the sauce.

4. Place the almonds and shallots in a blender and grind into a paste. Add the coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until hot.

5. Transfer the bean cakes to a platter, pour the sauce over them, and serve.

Serves 4.

Adapted from Vegan Planet, by Robin Robertson (Harvard Common Press, 2003).

Read more: Food, All recipes, Entrees, , , ,

Adapted from Vegan Planet, by Robin Robertson (Harvard Common Press, 2003). Copyright (c) 2003 by Robin Robertson. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Vegan Planet

400 irresistible recipes with fantastic flavors from home and around the now


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10:58AM PST on Jan 13, 2014

I made this recipe last night - and doubled it for the family. First off - the sauce was most excellent - I added a dash of cayenne. The flavor of the cakes was outstanding - and loved all the healthy ingredients. But the texture was not to be desired. I recommend using brown rice - not white. I don't recommend using a food processor - it just made a big pile of mush. Next time I'll use a masher so that there is some texture or just my hands. The whole family loved the taste and said to make it again! Just need to work on texture.

2:31PM PST on Mar 1, 2013

Thank you for the recipe, sounds really interesting

7:38PM PDT on Apr 14, 2012


7:29PM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

Nice recipe !

9:54PM PDT on Aug 21, 2011

Yummy! Love this recipe. Thanks.

2:48PM PDT on Jul 11, 2008

I grew up eating red bean soup with dumplings that traditionally had pork in it, but vegetarians or non-pork eaters use coconut milk. It has far more "fat" than this recipe. I still eat this way and would savor this recipe with a smile on my face. I have 4 children and weigh 115lbs. Go Yoga!!! Eat good! Chase your kids! Thanks you Annie B for a delicious recipe. Yummmmmmmmmmmm.

11:58AM PDT on Jul 2, 2008

To save on the fat of the coconut milk I made a dill/cucumber/yogurt sauce that was awsome on the bean cakes. I put everything over rice and it filled my family all day.

7:46AM PDT on Jun 27, 2008

I will try this recipe and modify it if I feel necessary relative to how I eat. Are we all totally consumed with how much fat, carbs, etc. are in something without being able to eyeball it or to use some restraint in eating? Do you eat in restaurants? Curious about that.

2:27PM PDT on Jun 26, 2008

Great point, Marion!

12:31PM PDT on Jun 26, 2008

hey Linda S.
there's more to life than counting carbs and fat. Like wholesome ingredients and enjoying a normal-sized portion of a great meal.

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