Rice and Beans with Pineapples and Peppers

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Rice and beans: It’s the meal I always recommend to my clients as a quick, basic meal base. It’s the meal I swore I’d make more frequently after our honeymoon in Costa Rica when we were eating amazing rice and beans (gallo pinto) for breakfast every morning. But somehow it’s the meal I rarely ever make, and yet we love that rice and bean combo.

Over the weekend Funk and I were out of town so we didn’t get to do our usual major grocery shopping trip. One thing we always have on hand at home is brown rice and canned beans. I had time to make a quick trip to the grocery store for bell peppers, an onion and some canned pineapple to finish off the meal.

There are so many reasons to love rice and beans: It’s a great vegetarian meal-base that is protein and fiber packed. It can be enjoyed with any variety of veggies, spices and seasonings. It can be rolled up into a burrito or even mixed in some soup for an easy soup-for-dinner creation. It’s EASY!

I love adding a little something sweet to savory dishes, which is why I added cubed, canned pineapple to this dish. And the piece de resistance in this meal was the Lizano salsa, which is basically the Costa Rican equivalent of ketchup as we use it here. Funk and I have been purchasing this off of Amazon ever since we ran out of the big bottle we brought home from our honeymoon. It’s addictive. But if you’re not in Costa Rica (such a shame) and don’t have a bottle handy, I think a jarred green salsa would make a great substitute. I love Trader Joe’s green salsa.

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 sweet onion, diced

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can cubed pineapple, reserving ¼ cup juice

1/3 cup Lizano salsa or green salsa

I used Trader Joe’s pre-cooked frozen brown rice that I popped in the microwave for 3 minutes. Meanwhile I diced a green bell pepper and onion, and drained the can of pineapple, reserving about ¼ cup of the juice.

Sautee pepper and onion in oil in a large skillet for about 5-7 minutes until onion begins to brown. Drain and rinse a can of black beans, and add it to the mixture. Once rice has cooked, add that as well as the pineapple and reserved juice. Pour on about 1/3 cup sauce or salsa and cook for another 5 minutes and enjoy.

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