#MassyMethodMondays: A Healthier Take on Rice and Beans

#MassyMethodMondays: A Healthier Take on Black Beans and Rice
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We Latinos have a warm-hearted, fun-loving culture and I believe our vast variety of flavors and colors represents our diversity. A simple rice and beans recipe can be packed with flavor, but that flavor can come with a catch — calorie overload. Many of the comfort foods we enjoy can leave us feeling "not so comfortable" around the waistline. Don't worry, you can have flavorful rice and beans and still look and feel fantastic. I have a few tips and a great recipe that's so calorie friendly, you'll also be able to make room for that dessert. You may hear that a slimming nutrition program doesn't include carbs or rice... but rice isn't the enemy. The manner in which we cook it can be. To cut all those calories, but still enjoy that flavorful rice, I have a fun recipe for you.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup basmati rice
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

In a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over low heat, then add rice, lime juice, and stir for 1 minute. Add the water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil. At boiling, cover, turn down to simmer (over low heat) until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Add in the cilantro and fluff rice, if you need to add a little more lime go for it. (This recipe serves 4 and with only 129 calories per serving and 4.5g of good fats you don't have to feel guilty and compromise flavor).

So now let's get down to the beans already. Beans in typical Latin cuisine can be calorie dense and high in sodium, but these protein packed legumes can be given lots of flavor while keeping them relatively low calorie as well.
I have prepared the perfect black bean recipe:

  • 2 cans of organic black beans.
  • 1 slice uncured nitrate free bacon
  • 1 small green pepper (seeds out)
  • 1 small red onion 
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

On a cutting board cut your onion, pepper and garlic into very small cubes and separate into even halves. On another cutting board cut your bacon into small pieces and cook in a heavy sauce pan until golden. Add the bay leaves, fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon cumin, your onion, pepper, and garlic mix. Cook until caramelized for 3-4 minutes. Add the 2 cans of black beans and stir. Keep cooking for 8-10 minutes. Heat should be on a medium to low setting. In a separate sauce pan add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the rest of the onion and pepper mixture. Add in the rest of the cumin and cook until caramelized. Add apple cider vinegar at the end and stop heat. Add this mixture to the beans and stir. Cook for another few minutes until the beans have your desired consistency. Remove bay leaves and add salt to taste. I only add 1/2 teaspoon to beans and prefer to add at the end. The spices and bacon create great flavors so, the adding extra salt isn't required.

This recipe, amigas, makes 4 servings (1 cup) per guest. With only 225 calories and 1.5g of fat per serving, give this recipe a try and share with a friend.