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Caribbean Rice and Beans

Caribbean Rice and Beans

Rice and beans are a staple food in many parts of the world. A staple food is one that people eat nearly every day. This one is a big nutrition winner. Time for an island adventure!

Servings: six 1/2 cup servings

Equipment: stove, medium saucepan

How long does it take?

1 hour to cook rice, 20 minutes to prepare recipe

What's in it?

1/2 cup brown rice
1 can (12 ounces) black beans
1/2 green or red pepper, chopped and seeded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
1/4 cup mild to medium salsa
2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)

How to make it:

Step 1: Cook the rice.
Place 1 cup cold water in saucepan or rice cooker. Add rice, and turn burner to high. Bring water and rice to a boil (takes about 7 minutes), then turn heat down to medium. Simmer rice over medium heat for 45 minutes uncovered, or until water is absorbed by the rice.

Step 2: While the rice is cooking...
Open can of black beans, and drain liquid into sink. You may want to rinse them clean in a colander. Wash and chop the pepper and the herbs.

Step 3: Check on the rice.
Carefully test rice by removing one or two grains with a fork and tasting it. Is it soft enough? If it's still crunchy in the center, add 1/2 cup water to saucepan, and return to medium heat until water is gone (15 to 20 minutes). Remove from heat.

Step 4: Mix it up.
Place the black beans, chopped pepper, salsa, lime juice, chopped herbs, and cooked rice into a large bowl. Stir it gently until the ingredients are well mixed.

Serve your tropical treat warm or chill it in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

Nutrition breakdown per serving:

Calories: 120, Protein 5 g, Carbohydrate 23 g, Fat 1 g (no saturated fat), Dietary Fiber 5 g, Vitamin A 253 IU (32% of RDA), Thiamin 16% of RDA, Magnesium 56 mg (20 % of RDA), Calcium 25 mg (2% of RDA)

What's in it for you?

Rice and beans pack a protein punch and give you all the bodybuilding amino acids you get from meat in veggie form. Savvy vegetarians make whole grains and legumes (like black beans) an everyday thing.

Chef's tip:

Brown rice 101. All rice starts out as brown rice. Brown rice is a whole grain, which means it still has the bran, germ, and other parts of the grain. When whole grains are refined, the bran and germ are removed, taking away much of the fiber and most of the iron, B vitamins, and other nutrients. Sometimes vitamins are added back in, making fortified rice, but the fiber cannot be replaced.

Cooking rice isn't difficult, but it does tend to boil over, which makes a mess and can be the beginning of a kitchen fire. Take a look at the rice every 5 minutes or so to see how it's doing. And, stay in the kitchen or very nearby when cooking rice to avoid the boil-over syndrome. An electric rice cooker is an inexpensive kitchen aid that makes cooking rice easier. Look for one in Asian markets and many home and kitchenware stores.

Last Modified Date: 10/20/2000