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Cuban Style Red Beans and Rice - One Skillet

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp. olive or canola oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (1 medium yellow or white onion)
  • 1/2 of a medium bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup instant uncooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 32-36 oz. low sodium broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • 24 oz. of canned low sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 14 oz. cans)
  • 3 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Add oil to a large sauce pan or Dutch oven and bring to temperature over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped onions and bell peppers and sauté for about five minutes or until the onion is tender.
  2. Push the peppers and onions to the side of the pan and add the minced garlic to the center of the pan.  While tossing constantly, sauté the garlic just until it begins to brown (about 1 minute).  Mix it in with the peppers and onions.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring constantly for about another minute.  Add the instant rice, herbs and spices and cook for an additional two minutes stirring constantly being careful the rice doesn't burn.
  4. Add the broth and bay leaf, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking, then cover quickly.  If more broth is needed, add it 1/4 cup at a time.
  5. While the rice is cooking, cook the turkey bacon by placing a paper towel on a microwavable plate and place three slices of turkey in a single layer, without touching each other on the plate.  Cover with a paper towel and microwave until crisp for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Remove the plate carefully from the microwave (it will be hot), break the turkey bacon into small pieces and sprinkle it into the rice mixture.  Cover and continue cooking for the remaining of the time or until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  6. Serve 1/4 of the rice and beans on a plate.  Top with 1 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese.

Tips

  • This meal goes great alongside a small garden salad or a mixed bowl of fresh fruit.
  • Consider adding 1 tbsp. of chili powder to give it a bit more spice and flavor.
  • Top with fresh chopped cilantro, lime zest, and/or sliced green onion to add color and a bit more freshness.
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