Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Chickie's favorite healthy, easy lunch

I'd like to share with you what Chickie and I had for lunch today. This is something I make frequently. It's healthy, easy, cheap, lasts for several meals, and, best of all, my somewhat picky 2-year-old likes it pretty consistently. You can alter the "recipe" however you'd like; it's hard to mess it up!

Chickie's Rice and Beans
4 servings instant brown rice*
2 cans of beans (whatever variety you like except refried), one drained and one not
1 can of diced tomatoes (again, whatever variety you like, even Ro-Tel if you like spice), not drained
1-2 can(s) veggies of your choice, drained
Salsa, to taste

1. Cook the rice according to package directions.
2. Stir in the other ingredients.
3. Heat further (stovetop or microwave) if desired. (It's just the right "hot-ness" for Chickie if I stir in the canned ingredients as soon as the rice is fully cooked. I like to heat my own a little more.)
4. Season with salsa if desired.

*Instant brown rice is just as healthy as the slow-cook stuff; it's simply pre-cooked. The texture may not be quite as good, so if you are better at planning ahead than I am, go ahead and make the slow-cook variety. Either way, keep in mind that brown rice is very healthy and white rice is not nearly as good for you.

Isn't it pretty? Today I made it with black beans, garbanzo beans, and carrots.

I leave the salsa out and put it only in my serving so that it's not too spicy for Chickie. And while we're on the subject of salsa, here are my two current favorites:

1. Cookwell & Company Tomatillo Salsa. This is gourmet stuff. They had samples at the grocery store along with a buy one, get one free coupon. My jaw dropped when I saw the $6 price tag but I figured with the coupon it would be $3 a jar, which isn't bad. Of course, I've fallen head over heels for this awesome green salsa and will probably fork over the $6 when our two jars are gone...which shouldn't take long.  This is a regional brand, so you may need to find a different type of tomatillo salsa.  My sister says Trader Joe's makes a great one, and it's cheap.

2. Valentina Salsa Picante. We buy the big jars of this stuff because I eat so much of it. It's smooth (similar to Taco Bell's sauce) and oh-so-yummy. And it's dirt cheap, about $2 for this huge, 34 oz. (1 L) bottle. Looks like it's time to add it to the shopping list, huh?

Enjoy your rice and beans!


beckiwithani said...

Thanks for the recipe! Looks like something Molly would like, too.

Oh, and tell Ana thanks for sharing her cold bug ... Molly got it, and now I have it! (Before you feel guilty - It's so mild I just have to take one Benadryl to feel mostly better. And Molly has just had a runny nose for a couple of days, already almost all better. So looks like this is one our bodies fought off almost completely!)

beckiwithani said...

One more thing - have you tried Trader Joe's (Jose's) Salsa Verde? It's AMAZING, and under 3 bucks!

Mommy Vern said...

I love this combination- I always use black beans though and white rice. I'll have to give a try with the brown, I'm sure its just as good! I have been a fan of rice and beans since my Texas days. Last time I made this, I added chopped tomatoes, corn and green peppers and simply seasoned it to taste. For some reason I can't handled heat like I did before I was pregnant! How hot is the salsa pictured?

Special K said...

Oh my god Valentino's is on the "perpetual" grocery list around here! I never eat it....but my husband swears I am a good cook and then adds it to everything!