Beans are a staple of our diet in this family. Josh and I LOVE beans and they are a cheap and easy meat substitute. From beans you can make burgers, soups, burritos, side dishes, salads, HUMMUS (!), and my absolute favorite – bean bowls. Years ago when Josh still stood watch and Parker and Theo were babies, I came up with an easy dinner for myself that I could throw together in a few minutes, as a single serving, while still having a healthy meal. That’s when the almighty rice and bean bowl was created.*
I used to use Trader Joe’s microwavable rice pouches but now, with no microwave (a story for another time), I just throw some brown rice into the rice cooker on the quick cook setting and come back 25 minutes later to perfect rice. We eat beans so much that I usually have some already waiting in the refrigerator or freezer only needing to be warmed up. If I don’t then I’ll cook them in the slow cooker or the rice cooker. Simply throw some of the rice and beans into a bowl and top with whatever you want. Tomatoes, cheese, corn, onions, salsa, sour cream, avocado, etc. This can be a really healthy meal or a calorie bomb. It just depends on what you top the rice and beans with. I try to keep this a low calorie meal (especially right now) so I load my bowl with veggies and salsa rather than sour cream and cheese.
This bowl included:
1/2 cup of brown rice (100 cal)
1/2 cup of pinto beans (120 cal)
1/4 cup of corn (35 cal)
1/4 cup of mozzarella (I desperately wanted cheddar but mozzarella is less calories – 80 cal)
1/4 cup of avocado (90 cal)
1/2 of a roma tomato (15 cal)
1/4 of a cup of salsa verde (20 cal)
about a 1/4 of a cup of chopped red onion (about 10 cal)
a little fresh cilantro
For a total of 470 calories. Not bad for an entire meal. Of course I could have skipped the cheese and saved some calories but I actually ate very light all day so I had a few hundred calories to spend 😉 So many, that I even added a serving of tortilla chips to the meal!
In case you’re wondering, a serving of tortilla chips is 7 chips. Seriously. 7 chips. Who eats just 7 chips? Apparently I do now.
*Yes, I know that I did not, in fact, invent the rice and bean bowl.