Nov. 25, 2001 – Perk up plain old beans and rice with the colors of the season. By using red kidney beans and adding some greens such as spinach, you'll have a festive side dish to accompany that holiday turkey or ham.
If you want to speed up meal preparation, use instant rice and canned beans. Look for instant brown rice that offers more nutrition than its white counterpart. To rid canned beans of added salt and fat, place them in a colander and rinse with cold running water. As for the spinach, look for fresh leaves that have been washed, trimmed and bagged, or choose the frozen chopped variety.
Another benefit of this dish in addition to its merry eye appeal is that it tastes so good that even children will enjoy eating their veggies.
Holiday Spinach Rice with Red Beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 cup instant brown rice
1 1/2 cups water
2 cubes chicken flavored broth
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, partially defrosted
1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a 2-quart pot. Add onion and garlic, cooking and stirring often for 2 minutes or until slightly soft. Add rice, water and broth cubes; stir well. Add the spinach to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer without stirring for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the spinach is completely thawed. If any water remains, drain it off. Break the spinach up with a fork and stir it into the rice. Add beans and stir to mix. Serve hot
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 280 calories, 4 gms fat (13 percent fat calories), no cholesterol, 565 mg sodium.

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