When we adopted Elliana, my friends organized and delivered homemade meals. (Free Friend Tip: DO THIS WHEN PEOPLE GIVE BIRTH OR ADOPT!). Shanna made this yummy beans and rice dish that I sometimes still crave, seven years later. It happened again the other night (the craving), except I didn’t have some key ingredients: Zatarans Black Beans and Rice and Rotel. And because we had a foot of freshly fallen snow, I was not about to drive to the store.
So, I looked at what I had on hand and was excited to discover I might be able to create my own version. It turned out delicious! Plus, it is full of healthy, whole food ingredients.
Experiment with peppers in this recipe, if you like more heat. I didn’t have any, so Jon and Rebekah added hot sauce. I like my food mild, so it was just right for me.
This dish is perfect for a chilly winter evening as a stand-alone main dish or alongside a fresh green salad. It’s a perfect combo of Healthy meets Hearty.
Leftovers are mandatory, so you may want to double this. We ate it all week long.
Black Beans, Sausage and Rice
Total Prep Time: About 45 min
Servings: about 6
Ingredients (use organic whenever possible):
1/4 onion, chopped
jalapeño pepper, chopped (optional, if you want it spicy)
(This is where I would have added a chopped green pepper, too)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large link smoked sausage, sliced about ½ inch thick
1 1/2 cups uncooked whole grain brown rice
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes undrained (I used unseasoned, but you can use whatever you have)
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons dried cilantro (fresh would taste even better!)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh garlic, minced, if you prefer)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 can black beans (drained but not rinsed)
½ cup sour cream
Hot sauce (optional, to taste)
1.Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven.
2. Add onion (and jalapeno and/or green pepper, if you are using) in olive oil, until soft and fragrant. Doesn’t everything yummy begin with a sautéed onion?
3. Add sliced sausage and cook in oil until brown and crispy. At this point, your house will smell amazing and your kids will be asking what’s for dinner. I promise.
4. Add dried, uncooked rice and stir a few minutes, until slightly toasted. You may want to add a little more oil at this stage, if it’s dry. There are no rules here.
5. Stir in canned tomatoes (do not drain), chicken broth, a few pinches of salt, a few turns of fresh ground pepper, garlic powder and cilantro. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 25 minutes. (I use Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Brown Rice, which only requires 25 minutes cook time. Check your rice package for cook time and adjust accordingly.)
6. Stir in black beans and sour cream. (add hot sauce if you need some heat)
7. Serve and enjoy.