Dinner Tonight: Black Beans and Brown Rice Bowl

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black beans and brown riceBeans and rice are a classic combination in many cultures. Together they make up a complete protein, which basically means they provide all nine of the essential amino acids needed in your diet. Super healthy and economical, this recipe for black beans and brown rice is packed with protein, fiber, iron and zinc.

This is a great recipe for Meatless Mondays, as beans are an important source of nutrients in vegetarian or vegan diets. You can customize this recipe easily, just add your favorite veggies, herbs and spices.

Although soaking beans and cooking them controls the sodium content, canned beans can be used in a pinch. Look for low sodium and BPA-free options.

Black Beans and Brown Rice Bowl

• 1 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 1 small red or white onion, diced
• 1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
• 1 cup cooked long grain brown rice
• 1 cup cooked black beans*
• 1 cup  halved cherry tomatoes
• 1 cup  baby spinach
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley for garnish

Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and the jalapeno and cook until soft. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

Remove from heat and toss in remaining ingredients.

Divide between two bowls and serve. Garnish with parsley and serve!

*Soak the beans overnight in a very large bowl and add enough water to cover by at least 4″. Drain beans from their soaking liquid and give them a quick rinse. Add them to a large pot and cover with another 4″ of water. Bring your pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour. You can start checking around 45 minutes and let them keep cooking until they are completely tender. Add more water as necessary while they are cooking so that they stay covered in liquid. Once  beans are tender, season with some salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you prefer.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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