What better way to save money on your budget than to make a meal with beans and rice? Not only are they cost efficient, they are very nutritious. Rice is rich in starch (excellent source of energy), iron, Vitamin B and protein. Beans contain iron and more protein so you will get your total protein requirement for the day. For the vegetarians, this serves as a great lunch or dinner and if you require a little more, you can easily add chicken or the meat of your choice.
I have found myself in the natural food aisles more and more these days to check out their new products. What was once a couple small rows has turned into 5 large aisles in my grocery store so I’m always trolling for sales. The regular prices are still outrageous but I love to scoop up the bargains when they pop up. Last week they had organic tomatoes and kidney beans on sale so I bought them without knowing what I would do with them but they are two items that you’ll always use, right?
What a great surprise the tomatoes were! They are so flavourful that I will never go back to regular. I picked up a 28 oz can for $1.29 (reg. $2.99) so that was even cheaper than the regular ones. I didn’t really notice a difference in the kidney beans but I love that there are no preservatives in the can. So when I decided to do budget meals, I immediately thought of my sales items and Mexican Beans, Tomatoes and Rice was born.
This dish has hundreds of varieties but I wanted to really bring the flavours to life and I think the addition of fresh cilantro and oregano makes this a success. If you don’t care for the heat, skip the Thai chile pepper. I loved the avocados and yogurt with this. In the picture below, I’ve added chicken and it definitely made for a filling meal. I loved this and will definitely be adding it to my regular meal rotation. Cheers!
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped (or jarred, minced)
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1 red Thai chili pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 14 oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drains (or black beans)
- 1 14 oz. can of petite-cut tomatoes (organic if you can find it)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/4 cup of fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Cook rice according to directions and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic, green onions and Thai chili pepper and stir for 1 minute.
- Add the beans, salt, cumin and chili powder mixing well for 1 minute, ensuring the beans absorb the spices.
- Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water, turning heat down slightly to let the mixture come to a gentle boil for 5 minutes. (if you don’t like this dish saucy, eliminate the water)
- Add rice, oregano and cilantro and mix well until rice is heated through.
- Serve with avocado and a dollop of yogurt.