I am always on the hunt for dinner recipes that take under 30 minutes. And dinner that’s ready in 20 minutes? I’m sold. I mean, I typically only have about 22 minutes of uninterrupted toddler free time , thanks Daniel Tiger! So I’m always trying to find ways of getting delicious, healthy vegetarian dinners ready in 30 minutes or less.
One of our staples is Rice and Beans. This recipe fills you up and doesn’t break the bank. It’s super easy to prepare, especially when utilizing a rice cooker. It’s a great base recipe and spicing it up, or mixing up the flavors, is a breeze.
Here’s our typical go to Rice and Beans:
1.5 cups brown jasmine rice
1 can of black beans
1 small red onion diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper to taste
squeeze of fresh lime
fresh green onion
1. Cook rice following directions on the back of the package. We use a rice cooker and it’s amazing. I add water & rice, press a button, and viola! Rice is done in 20 minutes.
2. While rice cooks throw some olive oil in a large skillet/ wok and saute garlic and onions until browned/ slightly blackened. I like to cook over high heat to really sear the onions without making them too soft.
3. Rinse the black beans and add them to the onions.
4. Add spices and mix well.
5. Add cooked rice into bean skillet and mix until rice is evenly spiced.
6. Add a squeeze of lime juice, fresh green onion and fresh cilantro.
Serve and enjoy!
Some other favorite add-ins for our rice and beans:
- Pineapple/mango, almonds & some cinnamon for more of a Jamaican jerk style rice& beans
- Andouille sausage (for me), green pepper, red pepper flakes & cayenne pepper for New Orleans style dish
When it comes to culinary creativity I like to think that I’m a level above a “Boring Betsy.” I’m not afraid to try cooking outside of my comfort zone: Indian food, Mediterranean, Thai and even vegan dishes. I’ve tried them all – some with more success than others. So, when our close friends asked if my husband and I would enjoy grilled artichokes at our weekly dinner & game night, I found myself taken aback… we didn’t know! Artichokes were one of the lone veggies we had never explored.
We said, “let’s go for it!” and our friends brought them over, prepared, cooked and then taught us how to eat them like artichoke connoisseurs. We were both hooked! Even Emmie got in on the action, and she was a natural at artichoke eating.
Fast forward to today and we now incorporate artichokes into our dinner veggie repertoire. We tend to use this recipe, since we’re a big fan of the nice finishing flavor grilling gives the artichokes. The recipe’s simple garlic & olive oil base is perfect on it’s own or easily enhanced with your family’s favorite spices. If you’ve ever been too intimidated to cook an artichoke I urge you to try! They’re quite easy, and truly delicious.
Having Cystic Fibrosis it’s extra important for me to stay hydrated, especially now that we’re seeing those warmer temps. This doesn’t bode with the fact that I loathe drinking water, something I inherited from my dear mother. Enter fruit infused water. Fruit infused water is perfect for non-water-lovers like myself. It adds just enough flavor and interest that drinking water is way more manageable. Plus the combinations are endless. Here are just a handful of my favorites:
Making fruit infused water couldn’t be any easier! You just slice up your favorite fruits, throw them in a glass or a pitcher, add some water (and maybe some herbs!) and let it soak. The longer you let it sit, the more intense the flavor will be. Even my husband was surprised at how flavorful the infused water was. For an extra kick I’ll even use seltzer water. Nothing says summer like fresh fruit and bubbly drinks.