Black Bean and Lime Rice

Have you ever had one of those nights, where you just don’t feel like cooking? Or one of those nights when you get home late, everyone is hungry, and you need to come up with something to put on the table now?

Enter Black Bean and Lime Rice! This recipe is simple and easy to prepare, making it the perfect go-to dinner meal. The ingredients are few, yet flavorful. The tangy flavor of lime combines with the sweetness of dried cranberries, the almonds and black beans provide a great source of protein, and the red pepper is an easy way to incorporate vegetables into your diet.

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But, first things first! We were off school today because it was supposed to snow throughout the day. I am not running for a few days to let my ankle heal, so I completed an arm workout instead using hand weights at home. I focused on working my shoulders and chest, but also did some bridges, squats, and crunches so I felt like I was at least doing something. I’m not very good at just sitting around!

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By 3pm, there was barely a dusting of snow on the ground, so we could have had school… but better safe than sorry I guess! It did start to snow around 9pm last night, so I was one happy girl when I got a call last night that school was cancelled again for today. Let’s not waste time, I shut off my alarm for the morning within 30 minutes seconds of getting that call. Best.feeling.ever. 1-21-14 002

Nothing says a snow day better than spending time cooking in the kitchen! And hot chocolate. That’s a must on any snow day.

Yesterday’s recipe of choice: Black Bean and Lime Rice

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of rice (I used whole-grain wheat rice)
  • 1 can of black beans (16 oz.)
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup of raw almonds
  • 1/8 cup of dried cranberries

Directions: 1-21-14 007

1. Boil 2 1/2 cups of water in a medium-sized pot. When the water is boiling, add 1 cup of rice. I chose Nature’s Promise Organic brown rice, but any kind will work. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the water has dissolved and the rice is soft and you can fluffy it easily with a fork.

2. While the rice is cooking, open and rinse one can of black beans.

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3. Cut a red pepper in half. Save the other half for something else (or for later, when this recipe is so good, you want to make it again!) Take the pepper and chop it in small pieces. The less dishes, the better… let’s keep things convenient. While we have the cutting board out, let’s cut the lime in half. Cut several very thin slices from one side, and set the rest aside for later. Lastly, chop the garlic clove in very small pieces (or use a garlic press) and set aside. 1-21-14 005

4. Time to check on that rice! Stir it occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If it’s not done after you’ve prepared the rest of the ingredients, then you have some extra time! Read the latest edition of “Runner’s World.” See how many squats or push-ups you can do before the rice is done. Grade those papers you’ve been putting off, or fold the load of laundry that’s been sitting in the dryer for 2 hours days. Our rice should be done by now, so let’s get back to work!

5. Remove the rice from the heat, and stir in the black beans. Mix in the red pepper, and put the rice mixture back on the stove on a low heat for 3-4 minutes. While this is heating up, toss the garlic in to let the flavors steep. That may only apply to tea bags. Oh well, you know what I mean!

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6. Remove from the heat, take one of the lime halves, and squeeze the juice on top of the rice mixture. Give this a quick mix to let the lime flavor coat the rice and black beans, and pour into a serving bowl. Sprinkle most of the almonds and cranberries in, and mix to combine. Garnish with the remaining almonds and cranberries, and place several lime slices on the top. Use the extra lime to sprinkle more lime juice on the top to kick up the flavor, if desired. Enjoy!

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