Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quick Red Beans and Rice

So what's so special about beans and rice?  Beans are really good for you.  And I mean awesomely good for you.  There's no fat or cholesterol in beans.  Unlike any of the animal sources of protein.  They have a ton of fiber and they keep you full longer.  That's a definite plus for anyone who is watching their weight.  And in the U.S., who isn't?  Last but not least, they are dirt cheap.  A can of generic beans is about 50 cents.  A bag of dried beans are pennies per serving.  Dried beans are easy to rehydrate, require very little hands on time and the rehydrated beans freeze pretty well.  It does take planning, though, as it can take up to several hours.  But my favorite thing about this beans and rice dish?  It tastes fantastic.

My cost:
1) Can of red kidney beans, store brand: $0.49
2) Can of stewed tomatoes, store brand: $0.79
3) Onions, vegetable oil, dried oregano, garlic powder, brown rice: already in the pantry. 

Changes that I made:
Hardly any, really.  The original recipe calls for black beans and instant brown rice.  I had actually eaten a black bean dish for most of last week, so I wanted to change it up a bit with red beans.  Cutting edge, I know.  As for the instant brown rice, I've never eaten instant rice in my life and well, I already owned regular brown rice so I figured I wouldn't have to eat the instant stuff just yet...

One of the things I like about this recipe is that all of the sodium comes from the canned foods. (A good thing or a bad thing?  I'm not thinking about it too much.)  So, seriously, you don't need to add any more salt. Besides, the garlic, onion, and oregano provides plenty of flavor too.

The Recipe

Quick Red Beans and Rice 
(Inspired by "Quick Black Beans and Rice" at

Serves 4


1 onion, chopped
1 (15 oz) can of red kidney beans, undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can of stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups of cooked brown rice


Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add all of the ingredients except the rice and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until everything is heated through.  Serve over 1/2 cup of brown rice.

Nutrition per serving:

Calories 271
Calories from Fat 47

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5.3g 8 %
Saturated Fat 0.5g 2 %
Cholesterol 0mg 0 %
Sodium 552mg 22 %
** Potassium 260mg 7 %
Total Carbohydrates 47.8g 15 %
Dietary Fiber 8.8g 35 %
Protein 10g 20 %

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Going Vegetarian for 40 days

Hello Gang!

It's been a long time!  My old laptop died right around Thanksgiving last year and I bought a new one a few weeks later, in the midst of Christmas Madness.  Then I went on vacation mid-January.  Now it's nearly March and I'm ready to start posting once more.  And I've gone vegetarian, temporarily!

It's the season of Lent and after much thought, I decided to give up meat (including seafood) for Lent.  I like meat, a lot.  A whole lot.  So it's a real sacrifice.  It's also decidedly Old School.  I think that after a while, it will become easy.  At this point, I'm more worried about forgetting my Lenten promise and eating meat when I'm eating out!  Anyway, Lent started a few days ago and so far, so good!

I've been looking up vegetarian recipes around and  Some sound very exciting, like "Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta."  Don't you agree?  I can't wait to try it and share it with you!  I was surprised to see a lot of vegetarian recipes that are actually quite high in fat and/or sodium content.  "Vegetarian" just sounds so healthy, doesn't it?  Then again, macaroni and cheese is a meatless dish, so it's all about paying attention to the nutrition content of the dish, just like any other way of eating.

I am making an African soup and a black beans and rice dish this weekend.  I'll share those two with you tomorrow.

It's good to be back!