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Bean and Rice Bowl Recipe – for a better night’s sleep

Written by Alina, co-founder of KOJO


A cup of beans can provide you with half your daily dose of tryptophan – an amino acid that promotes good quality sleep.


For 2 people

1 x 400g can of lima, black, kidney, pinto or navy beans
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 red onion – peeled chopped
2 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon of almond butter
2 handfuls of spinach or kale
250g of brown basmati rice
1 avocado
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of sea salt


Optional toppings:
Chilli flakes, cayenne pepper, fresh chill sliced, chopped coriander.


  1. Heat a pan over medium heat, once warm, add a drizzle of coconut oil.
  2. Add onion, garlic and salt and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, cook your rice as per the instructions.
  4. Add the smoked paprika and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes. Then add the almond butter, tomato puree, black beans, lime juice and can of chopped tomatoes.
  5. Bring to a boil, before lowering the heat to a simmer for 15 mins
  6. Once the rice is cooked, add the juice of 1 lime to the rice and mix well.
  7. Add the spinach or kale to the beans and stir through to wilt.
  8. Top the rice with the bean stew.




Epsom salt baths

After a long day, a bath can feel like heaven. Adding Epsom salts can take your bath to the next level. They’re high in magnesium, a mineral that the average person is deficient in. Magnesium helps aid muscle relaxation and stress. Add 500g (2 cups) into your bath and enjoy for at least 15 mins. 


Magnesium rich foods

If baths aren’t your thing, eating magnesium rich foods can have the same stress-relieving effect on your nervous system. Foods include: edamame (1 cup), dark chocolate (yay!) (up to 4 squares), 1 avocado, almonds and cashews (1 palmful), legumes (1 cup) are just a few of my favourite plant-based options. 


Green tea

A good quality green tea can be high in l-theanine, an amino acid that lowers the stress hormone corticosterone. 1 cup a day before 11am (to avoid the effects of caffeine later on in the day) can promote relaxation earlier in the day. 



It was found that many people have shallow breathing habits. It sounds almost too simple to work, but taking deep breaths that fill your chest and belly whilst keeping your shoulders low, can activate the anti-stress mechanisms in the brain. Try practising this deep breathing at in the morning, before sleeping and before eating. 


Chamomile tea

A good quality chamomile tea has lovely relaxant properties and can reduce symptoms of anxiety. A therapeutic serving is 2-3 tablespoons of chamomile tea in 1 litre of hot water or two tea bags in a litre of hot water.