Rice and beans is quick-cooking dish with endless flavor varieties. The beans provide protein and fiber and pair well with the whole-grain rice to create a nutritious one-pan meal.
Do a fridge and freezer sweep to see what you can throw in the skillet. Onions and bell peppers are standard, but think about adding green peas, celery, carrots or corn. Use a large skillet to first heat up vegetable oil. When hot, sauté onions and other veggies until tender. Next, add water, uncooked rice, a can of your favorite beans (rinse them before using to cut down on salt) and spices to the pan. Cover the pan while the rice is simmering; when all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy, it's done!
The best part of this dish is how you can mix it up. Keeping the dish vegetarian is just fine, or add chicken or sausage (such as chorizo or kielbasa) for a meatier option. You can also make rice and beans as mild or spicy as you like -- just add chili powder, jalapeno peppers or hot sauce to taste. You can also make a large batch for healthy leftovers for school and work lunches. Ready to cook? Here's an easy recipe to get you started.