Beans and rice are a classic combination that satisfies your carb quota while still packing in some protein from the beans. This recipe is a simple way to get more vegetables into your diet while keeping excess oils and simple carbohydrates at bay. Brown rice packs more fiber and nutrients including magnesium, manganese, and zinc than classic white, making it a healthier choice.

Serves 6 as a side

What You'll Need:

1 cup brown rice
3 generous tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, or a mix of different colors equaling 1 full pepper, chopped
18-ounce can of beans (any kind – small beans preferably)
1 green onion (optional), sliced
1/2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

What to Do:

  1. In a large pot, combine 2 1/2 cups of water, brown rice, tomato paste, salt and pepper, cumin, and paprika. Stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the rice cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain any additional water (when it's done cooking).
  3. While the rice is cooking, sautée the onions, peppers, and garlic in a pan with butter or olive oil until the onions become translucent.
  4. Add the beans and saute another 2 minutes.
  5. Fold the bean mixture into rice until evenly combined. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Top with sour cream or shredded cheese, if desired, and serve!

What's your favorite rice dish, and how do you make it healthier? Share with us in the comments below!

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