Rinse the rice well, then add to a large pan with the water and a pinch of salt if desired. Bring to a rolling boil then turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover with a lid and simmer for 18 minutes. Turn off the heat (don't take the lid off) and leave to sit in the pan for another 5 minutes to steam undisturbed. Fluff with a fork and it's ready. For brown rice use the same method but simmer on low until all of the water is absorbed. This will take about 30 minutes. Once it's reached that stage, turn off the heat and leave to steam for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. In an Instant Pot, rinse the rice, then add it along with the water (using a reduced amount as per my note in the ingredients list) and a pinch of salt if desired, to the inner pot. Put the lid on and set the vent to the sealed position. Press the rice button and leave until the pressure has released naturally. Open the lid and fluff with a fork. For brown rice, cook on high pressure, manual setting for 22 minutes and leave the pressure to release naturally.
To make the beans
While the rice is cooking, in a medium sized pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Use water to sauté with to make the recipe oil free and add a little more as needed to stop sticking. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until translucent.
Add the garlic, chili pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, bay leaf and dried herbs of choice to the pan and continue to cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
Drain the black beans and add them to the pan along with 1 cup / 240 ml of the stock and the salt. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, check the seasoning, add the remaining stock if you want a little more sauce and add more salt to taste if desired.
To portion out
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and cut the lime into quarters.
Divide the rice evenly between the 4 meal prep containers, keeping it over to one side. Then add the black beans to the other side. Add the cherry tomatoes to the top as well as a generous dollop of green sauce (see notes if you are using something other than green sauce) and a quarter of lime in one corner on top of the rice and away from the sauce so it's easy to pick out before reheating. Put the lid on the containers and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
My Green Sauce works perfectly with this recipe, but you can use hummus, guacamole, salsa or hot sauce instead. Either homemade or store bought. The Green Sauce can be added when you divide the mixture between the containers as it heats nicely. If you are using an alternative like guacamole, hummus or salsa I recommend adding it after the meal has been reheated and just as you are about to eat it. You can do the same with the green sauce if you prefer to keep it raw and more fresh, herby tasting. Remove the lime and reheat everything else in the microwave until piping hot. The tomatoes are fine to stay in there and will cook and become nice and sweet. It should take 3 to 4 minutes but will vary depending on how powerful your microwave is. If you don't have a microwave and have used glass, oven-safe containers, remove the lids (if they aren't oven-safe), cover with a piece of foil and warm in the oven after preheating to 350°F (175 °C) for about 10 - 15 minutes. Before serving, squeeze the juice from the lime wedge over the beans. This recipe makes generous "dinner sized" portions. Feel free to divide between more containers for smaller portions. Nutritional information is calculated with the optional oil and without the green sauce.