One of my favorite answers to “What are we having for dinner?” is beans and rice. It can be ready in a half-hour, it doesn’t require me to have remembered to thaw anything, and it can use fresh or frozen and home-canned ingredients, depending on the season and what I have on hand.
It’s meatless and can be vegetarian, or vegan, as necessary.
And it makes enough for leftovers — which conveniently solves the “What are we having for dinner?” question two nights in a row! 🙂
Start by making the rice first. Add 1 cup of plain, white rice to a pot. Add the amount of water (or bone broth) indicated in the directions that come with the rice (usually 2 cups.)
1 tsp sea salt (I like this kind)
1 tsp Mexican oregano; if you can’t find Mexican oregano, regular (or Mediterranean) oregano will work fine
1 tsp chili powder (like this)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (like this)
Find quality herbs and spices here:
While the rice is cooking, cut up and saute two red (or orange or yellow) peppers, and one green pepper. I prefer to cook my pepper in a dry, hot pan and singe them a little bit. (If you are using peppers you froze during Pepper Season, put them in after the onions are cooked; there is no need to cook them again; they can even be added partly frozen.)
Chop 2-3 medium onions.
When the peppers are cooked, remove them from the pan and add some butter (I like Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter) or another other oil of your choice, and saute the onions.
When the onions are cooked, add the peppers and about 30 ounces of cooked, canned beans, slightly drained, but not rinsed. Obviously home made is best; I don’t have a pressure canner, and the entire point of this dinner is to be something that can be thrown together without a lot of planning. I usually make do with canned, organic beans from the grocery store!
Also add a handful of fresh tomatoes, or a pint of home canned tomatoes, drained. Please do not use store-bought canned tomatoes. The acidity of the tomatoes can cause all sorts of nasties to leach out of the plastic can liner; if you can find them, tomatoes out of a jar would probably be okay.
Cook over low heat until everything is warmed through.
Once the rice is cooked, give it a good fluff with a fork to stir in the spices and add it to the beans and vegetable mixture. It all fits beautifully into my big, 12-inch cast iron pan.
I like to serve it with homemade yogurt on the side.
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