Monday, June 23, 2008

Good 'Ol Beans and Rice

(I'm taking part in Fugal Upstate's Frugal Food series. This post is about those amazingly frugal beans. Check out Frugal Upstate for even more bean ideas.)

When you read or hear a discussion about cheap eating you invariably hear about eating a lot of rice and beans. Usually this is accompanied with a sigh or a grimace. I recently found a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks for something called Good Ol' Rice and Beans. The author was saying that she had a discussion with some people about all the prepared foods in the American diet. She noted that people don't seem to have time to cook anymore. A sweet lady said to her that people "could always find time to cook good ol' rice and beans." The accompanying recipe is one my family loves and would eat once a week if I made it. We serve it with fruit, corn bread and maybe a salad. Cheap, quick and nutritious - can't beat that. And not a sigh or grimace in sight. (By the way, the cookbook is Cheap Fast Good and I'll be reviewing it later this week.)

Good Ol' Rice and Beans

In a large skillet sauté:

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped

When onion is softened, add to the skillet:

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

When the garlic is fragrant (but before it turns brown) add:

1 can (15 oz) red or white beans, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, not drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 cup frozen yellow corn kernels
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Reduce heat and simmer until the flavors blend and frozen corn is no longer frozen! Serve over rice (we prefer brown rice but the white rice cooks faster if you are pressed for time). Top with a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese.


  • If you use canned beans it goes together in about 20 minutes or less. If you use dry beans it would be cheaper but you have to think in advance. Unless you cook a whole bunch of beans at once and store them in the freezer.
  • We blend the can of tomatoes in the blender because some people in my family "don't like tomatoes." We like the flavor of the tomatoes and I want the nutrition that the tomatoes add, so I just blend them and that person doesn't even know they are there.
  • You can change it up by using tomatoes with added flavors (garlic, Italian spices, Mexican spices, etc.) You could really go crazy and add a can of Ro-tel tomatoes.



Southerner said...

Looks so good and easy! I will certainly try this. I posted my slow version red beans and rice so this is a great quick alternative. I need to add more bean and rice dishes. Prices are killing me with 5 kids and all their friends that we feed.

Jill said...

I hear you on the feeding kids thing. My two oldest are teens and suddenly we have extras showing up for dinner more and more often. But I'd rather have them here than somewhere else! Thanks for visiting my blog.


Krysta said...

Beans and rice are a staple at my house and we eat it at least once a week.

Katie said...

This sounds good...I'm going to give it a try!!!

Jill said...

These are great. Let me know how you like them. (I love to share good recipes!)


Betsy said...

Great recipe suggestion! I just discovered your blog and am enjoying it--we seem to have similar tastes because I just posted my favorite ways to cook beans and rice (separately) and mentioned that you can store them in the freezer for a quick beans-n-rice dinner. My kids could eat beans all day (thankfully--what a perfect, healthy, inexpensive thing to like). My blog is full tummies

Anonymous said...

Rice and Beans are a staple at our house too. My husband is Puerto Rican, so I never hear any complaints on his part, and my kids love them too. We have them at least once a week and sometimes more, we never tire of them! this looks great, I will try it next time. It's hard to go wrong with rice and beans, I variate them all the time, haven't ever made them unedible yet :-)