Tonight I made a quick and easy dinner consisting of some salad, Italian Morningstar chick’n patties and this rice and black beans dish. The whole grain brown rice has a nice chewiness to it and the dish is filling, healthy and great when it is cold out. Eat as a side dish or as a main course.
Black Beans and Rice
Serves 2-4 (depending on if it is a side or main course)
1 cup instant whole grain brown rice
2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube*
1 TB EVOO or 1 TB of margarine
14 oz. can of black beans
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I used the left over tomato sauce from the weekend)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt (or less depending on taste)
pinch of crushed bay leaf
1/4 tsp Mexican spice (optional)
1. In medium size pot (with lid), bring two cups of water to boil. Add vegetable bouillon, rice and either margarine or EVOO, stir and bring to boil again. Cover and simmer on very low for about 5 minutes, or until half of the water is absorbed.
*I prefer vegan, no salt added, vegetable bouillon for a few reasons: #1 is the $.50 cents I might save buying vegetarian bouillon isn’t worth it since I still want to have the vegan one too. Instead of buying both, I just go vegan. (This relates to my own interpretation of supply-and-demand; if we all buy organic and vegan, it gets cheaper and more accessible.) #2 is buying bouillon with salt is risky business. I want the bouillon to infuse my food with the taste of veggies, not of salt lick. ‘Nuf said. I really like Rapunzel and they have several varieties to choose from, including gluten free.
2. Drain and rinse black beans. Add to pot of rice and stir. Add tomatoes (or some chunky tomato sauce) and spices. Stir and cover for another 3-5 minutes until all the remaining water is absorbed. Ta da! Dinner in under 30 minutes, under $10 and most likely within your calorie range for the day.
***ANOTHER AWESOME MULTI-GENERATIONAL TIP*** Worried about creepy crawlers getting into your flour and other grain canisters? Bay leaf has a natural repellant – pantry bugs don’t like the smell. So buy a big bag of whole leaves in the Latin foods aisle – or better yet grow your own! – and toss one in each canister and in each food cabinet/drawer. Mama Mary says you’re welcome!
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