Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinner: Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet

I would also add super healthy, vegetarian and delicious! This meal came together so fast, I was literally trying to find ways to make it take longer to stall before bf got home. Not that I'm complaining. A quick dish is an amazing tool to have any night of the week. This recipe came courtesy of pinterest. Shock I know. Funny side story, yesterday I attended a bbq (happy late 4th of July to everyone!) and discovered that pinterest is the new thing that guys go to in their jokes about girls. At least the people I was hanging out with. For example, I was making fun of a few guys friends for their random wikipedia escapades and they shot back with pinterest. No offense was taken, I thought it was funny, but it shows you how popular the website has become. Anyway, back from my tangent. We had this meal plain, but it would also be delicious with a whole wheat tortillas to make little burritos.

Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet
adapted from here

1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1-1/2 cups quartered lengthwise, sliced zucchini (I just used one large zucchini)
1/2 diced green bell pepper
1 can (15 oz each) Whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz each) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
3/4 cup brown rice (uncooked)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend

One quick way to make this dinner is to cook the rice ahead of time. I almost always make my rice or quinoa, depending on the dish, in the afternoon when I'm doing work. Just put the rice in the pot, add 1.5 cups water, and simmer for 15-20 minutes covered until cooked. I stir my rice every 5-10 minutes just to make sure the water hasn't been absorbed or rice is burning on the bottom. Then, when I was ready to cook, I heated up the oil in a large skillet and added the chopped zucchini and bell pepper. I cooked those veggies for about 4 minutes or until tender and just barely starting to brown, then I added the garlic and cooked for another minute.

Then I added the tomatoes and the beans and stirred and brown to a simmer. When the whole mixture was hot, I added the rice and stirred until everything was evenly mixed. Initially, I was reluctant to use the fire roasted tomatoes because I worried they would be too spicy, but they really weren't hot at all. And I am a major wuss! It just added great flavor.

I sprinkled a large handful of the mixed cheese over the top and improvised. I wanted the cheese to melt a bit and didn't have a lid large enough for the skillet, so I just placed a cookie sheet on top for a few minutes and it worked great.
I forgot to take a picture before spooning myself some dinner. I was hungry! but you get the idea.
Delicious! You absolutely must try this dinner. You won't regret it!

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