Mexican Rice and Refried Beans
Now back to the food! Since I made something extra yummy this week, thought I would share it with you. I have so many warm, delicious memories of platefuls of Mexican food with delicious sides of refried beans and rice. Well, since we have red kidney beans at the food pantry and brown rice, too, as well as the onions and tomatoes needed to flavor the rice, this recipe was a go. And I have to say we all really enjoyed it--the clients, the workers and me!
These dishes have soooo many health benefits. Beans are a great source of fiber and protein. If you are watching your fat intake, beans are a terrific option because they contain zero fat. Brown rice, of course, is not refined so it retains all the nutrition in the husk which is usually removed in the process of making the rice white. And beans and rice combined together are considered a complete protein. In the recipes below, I saute the onions and tomatoes in water instead of oil, so there is no added fat. You really can't tell the difference. However, feel free to saute in oil if you like that better.
Now, I happen to love spicy, but if you don't, you can easily eliminate the heat by just leaving out the peppers. Since many of our Food Pantry clients are older, I knew spicy would not go over well and I left them out. For that matter, I left out the green bell peppers that are usually a key ingredient in Mexican rice, too, because many people have an intolerance to them. The food still tasted great. Just feel free to make the adjustments you need to.
Finally, the recipes below are so easy to make you won't believe it. What can be better--healthy, delicious and easy! Enjoy--salud!
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water
1 medium tomato
1 medium onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
NOTE: When working with hot peppers, be sure to wear gloves and don't touch your face until the gloves are removed!
1 tsp. cumin, salt and oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Chop onions and tomatoes and put them in a large frying pan. Pour enough water to just cover the vegetables. If you are using jalapenos, stir them in now. Turn heat to medium and saute until the onions are translucent but not brown and the tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the 4 cups of water and the spices. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Then lower heat, cover the pan and simmer until rice is fully cooked, about 45 minutes.
2 cans pinto or red kidney beans
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Puree beans in a food processor or blender. Place pureed mixture in a pot and add seasonings. Heat on high until beans start to bubble then turn down heat to medium. Simmer for about 3 minutes or until beans are well-heated. Delicious served with red salsa!