I’ll say at the outset that I’m a little embarrassed to share this with you.
A real website curator would have something more substantial with which to reward his four faithful readers for their loyalty. As it is…you have me.
All that said, however, I really find this helpful and hope you do, too. If I get home late and dinner is gone, or if I need to fix something for myself because tonight is a pizza night for the kids, or if I realize late in the evening that I have nothing to eat for lunch tomorrow…this is basically a dish I can make in less than 20 minutes, and it’s delicious and filling.
And it’s basically rice and beans.
I’ve unlocked the universe for you, right? Let the waves of epiphany wash over you, transforming you into a Being of Enlightenment.
So, if I see this scenario coming, I might stop by the grocery store and grab the following:
- 2 Cans of reduced sodium or no salt added beans (I’m a fan of black beans, red kidney beans and black eyed peas)
- Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
- Your favorite aromatic veggies (onions, garlic, peppers, etc.)
- Minute Brown Rice
- Baby Spinach or Kale
In the case where I don’t see it coming, I always make sure to have a few cans of beans in the pantry just in case.
It’s ALL about planning, people.
Before you get cooking, prepare your beans (two cans) and chop up your aromatics (usually about a cup) as well as your spinach or kale (about three big handfuls…it cooks way down). I usually put the canned beans in a colander and wash them off pretty thoroughly. Even with reduced sodium beans, you want to wash off as much salt as you can, and the more you wash them off, the less likely you are to prove why beans are sometimes called the “magical fruit.”
You’ll also want to go ahead and get your brown rice going. A cup of rice, a cup of water and eight minutes in the microwave. Can’t beat that!
Step one is to pour vegetable broth into a sauce or sauté pan. I usually coat the bottom of a sauté pan with the liquid…probably just a cup at most. I don’t like to have my beans really runny, so it’s just enough to get them wet and seasoned.
Second, I use a garlic press to mince my garlic (no more than two cloves, usually), and then add my onions and peppers in the pan. Then add your spinach and Kale. I heat that on Medium heat for three or four minutes. If you’re sautéing onions, they’ll become clear, and your spinach or kale will start to wilt.
Once that’s done, add your beans to the mixture and mix them in well. Stir the beans and veggies on occasion, both to get the flavor throughout the dish as well as to see how done you are. If cooked too long, the broth will start to thicken and get gummy. Just keep an eye on it. Nothing in this dish has to “cook through.” You’re basically just warming and wilting.
When the beans are heated well, and the greens are wilted, add in your rice and mix the dish all together. You can also add one of the many wonderful Mrs. Dash seasonings at this point. I recommend the Tomato Basil Garlic. No salt. No MSG. Delicious!
I can usually make this meal in 10 to 15 minutes. It’s an old standby that has kept me from straying on many occasions.
Feel free to improve it and make it your own! Please! And then tell me! And don’t rub it in if it’s more awesome!
Oh, and Happy Earth Day! Go plant something! And then EAT it…unless it’s a pine tree. Those are NOT tasty.