HEALTHY EATING

Making Mexican rice and beans

This nutritious treat is one of the healthiest dishes you can eat

In Summary

• Brown rice, a whole grain kind of rice, is a far healthier option to whiter varieties

• Whereas beans can be added to stews and salads, soups or just eaten on their own

Mexican rice and beans
Mexican rice and beans
Image: HANDOUT

          Rice and beans, a classic comfort food combo in most parts of the world, is one of the healthiest dishes you can eat.

           Despite being, unfortunately, among the most under-rated foods on the planet, beans provide an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and many other key minerals. They also help reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels, maintain a healthy gut and are friendly to the environment.

          Beans can be added to stews and salads, soups or just eaten on their own as a nutritious vegetarian treat.

Pinto, nyayo and black beans are easiest on the digestive system. To prevent bloating: before cooking, soak the beans for a few hours in water.

        Brown rice, a whole grain known to reduce cholesterol, lower the risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, is a far healthier option to whiter varieties. Why? The milling process to remove the bran and germ from brown rice turns it white and strips it of its most nutritious elements.

Brown rice is the way to go as it contains all parts of the grain: bran (full of fiber), germ, and endosperm rich in carbohydrates. Wow! This marriage of ingredients is a bean banquet that will have you crooning: “Battista Imperialista”!

Ingredients

- 2 cups of dried yellow beans

- 2 large onions chopped

- 2 Tbs. olive oil

- 3 cloves garlic chopped

- 3 medium tomatoes chopped

- 2 large assorted capsicums cut in strips

- 2 celery sticks

- 3 large carrots diced

- 1 Tbs. paprika

- 1 Vegetable stock cube

- ½ cup parsley [garnish]

- 1 salad onion stripped [garnish]

- 2 cups brown rice

- 1 cup green peas

- 5 cups chopped spinach

1. Soak beans overnight, boil until soft then drain.

2. Fry onions until caramelised, add garlic.

3. Add tomatoes, celery, paprika and vegetable stock cube, stir and cover until soft.

4. Add carrots and the beans. Simmer on low heat for 30mins.

5. Add the capsicum and parsley and cook for another 5min.

6. Boil rice for 30 minutes.

7. Simmer peas 3-5 minutes in a little butter. Drain off any excess liquid.

8. Add to rice and mix with salt and pepper to taste.

9. Sauté spinach to be served on the side.