Today is an easy budget friendly super healthy meal that is bursting with flavor and texture and leaves you full and happy. Getting tons of protein and whole grain staying power to fill you and warm you up is important with this cold weather. We had rice and black beans at home so I quickly just googled to see if there was anything different I could do with them. Of course I gravitated towards an Ellie Krieger recipe- especially because we had every single ingredient on hand. I added in chicken and extra carrots and it turned out perfect. I timed everything so while the rice cooked we chopped and cooked the veggies, set it aside. Seasoned then cooked the chicken, set it aside. A little clean up and the rice was complete, so everything got mixed together to eat! Leaving the kitchen clean, plates full and we were ready to go. That’s how you do a weeknight meal my friends.
Rice and Black Bean Pilaf adapted from Ellie Krieger
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 large carrots, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 (15.5 ounce) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
Place rice and chicken broth in a saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook rice, covered, until tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes.
While the rice cooks, prep your veggies, then heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, celery, carrot, cumin and chili flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not mushy, about 6 minutes. Stir in black beans and parsley then cook until just warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.
Remove rice from heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork.
Combine hot rice into the pan with the onion-black bean mixture and stir to combine. Serve with chicken if desired ( below).
Quick Chicken Breast Recipe:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half to make 4 thin ( 1/4″ thick) cutlets or pounded so all one thickness, place in pie plate drizzle with olive oil and season with a little of sprinkle of each based on your taste preferences: cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano. Heat a large pan over med/ high heat, add chicken when it’s hot, cook for 2-3 minutes per side until no longer pink at the thickest spot. Remove from heat and let rest until you are ready to serve.